and enjoy the benefits
Australian MTB Marathon Champion and 2011 Tour de Timor Women's winner Peta Mullens from Bendigo, Victoria, has convincingly won the 2012 Tour de Timor in Elite Women after 6 stages covering 540 kilometers and climbing over 5,500 metres.
Peta wore the Pink Jersey from day one, winning 5 of the 6 stages and coming 2nd to Lisa Jacobs in stage 3 by half a wheel in a sprint. But by then the Victorian's lead was out to 27 minutes over Lisa and the final result was looking inevitable.
Two stages later, with Peta's lead at 40 minutes, Lisa Jacobs was effectively out of the race after blowing-up on the mountainous Stage 5 - a 2200 metre climb from Mota'ain to Gleno - and finishing the stage in an ambulance. Malaysian rider Masziyaton Mohd Radzi moved into second but would finish the Tour over 90 minutes behind Mullens. Peta's overall time of 20:29:57 would have placed her 10th against the men.
Mullens' team, J&P in Orr, which included Jarrod Moroni (8th), Phil Orr (4th) and Ashley Hayat (7th) also won the mixed teams category.
The 2012 Tour was full of major accomplishments. Malaysian rider Shahrin Amir won the men's by 57 seconds from Australia's Peter Kutschera after the yellow jersey had been traded between the top riders all week. Jarrod Hughes took 3rd at +2:21 and also claimed the King of the Mountains on the final climb from Shahrin Amir. The Newcastle and Australian Defence Cycle Club rider, relatively unknown at the start of the week, now has a target firmly on his back for future races. Shahrin Amir's overall win breaks the Australian dominance of this race, now in its 4th year. The big news in the Teams' event was the win by the Timor-Leste Men's National Team, and their Women's national team came 3rd in their category. This is a major achievement for an emerging cycling nation and represents huge steps taken in the previous 4 years.
But the major change for 2012 was that the Tour crossed the border with Indonesia - 4 times! The Tour rode to Pante Makassar in the Oecusse enclave, where riders had the benefit of two consecutive nights in the one campsite plus beautiful beaches and swimming conditions. The cooperation between Timor-Leste and Indonesia to achieve this marks a significant change for the Tour and opens up all of the island for future tours.
(Photos and article courtesy of Russell Baker, MTBA President)