The National, Wednesday, April 27, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
TEN cyclists were selected over the Easter weekend to take on visiting cyclists on the proposed Tour Long Malangan event during the Queen’s Birthday weekend in New Ireland in June.
The team was selected during an event in Kavieng on Sunday organised by the provincial sports and community development office.
Leading the side will be Reuben and Darius Paris of Ngavalus village outside Kavieng.
Reuben, a supervisor with the New Britain Palm Oil Ltd, won his category and son, Darius, took out top honours in the geared bikes division.
Reuben is a cycling dynamo having won cycling events since bicycle races were introduced in Kavieng in the late 1970s.
His cycling conquests read like a grand tour CV with his first race at the age of 24. He has won sprint and long distance cycling events from 1978 until his recent win over the weekend.
He noted that it was a coincidence that his son, Darius, started racing in 2008, also at the age of 24.
His racing history in the last four years also reads like a racing pro.
The New Ireland cycling team, which includes four women, will have a daunting task taking on visiting riders from other parts of Papua New Guinea and Australia.
The local riders with the basic racers will be competing against high end lightweight carbon-fibre bikes with riders donning their clubs’ colours.
But Rueben is unfazed with all this glitz and is pleased they will be pitting their wits against some of the best riders in PNG.
They will be training very hard to put up a great competition against the visiting cyclists.
He added that the race would be great for the province especially along the Buluminski Highway.
Meanwhile, 33 riders have registered to compete in this year’s inaugural Tour Long Malagan.
They are Cyclopaths (Port Moresby), Telikom Cycling Club (Port Moresby), Team Sa-Ra (Port Moresby), Cycling Ok Tedi (Tabubil), Wulhou Sports (Manus), Lae (Morobe), Kokopo (East New Britain) and Canberra (Australia).
This two-day cycling endurance event will be held on June 11-12.
The event course will start at Palm in the Namatanai electorate and finish at Utu High School, which is situated 6km outside Kavieng.