New Irelander bags Tour Long Malagan

Main Stories, Sports

The National – Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LOCAL boy Seth Tamevalet was the overall winner of the inaugural Tour Long Malagan endurance bicycle race held over the Queen’s Birthday weekend in Kavieng, New Ireland.
Tamevalet, from Ngavalus village along the Boluminski Highway, used his local knowledge to power his way to the lead and finish ahead of fellow New Irelanders and a quality field.
A member of the organising committee and New Ireland Tourism Bureau officer Bianca Meli said after the declaration of the bush bike category winner that Tamevalet had shown great form coming into the event, having won several local races recently.
A proud Tamevalet said he hoped the win helped promote the province and the sport.
“I am very happy with the win because I want to show others that this is a great event for New Ireland,” he said in accepting the award.
He gave credit to other riders who pushed him all the way to win the inaugural endurance race.
In the race bike event, Brisbane-based Ryan Kopola proved that his victory by winning two time trial races was no fluke when he crossed the finish  line at Utu in less than four hours.
Kopoola faced a good challenge from Scott Bishop and Justin McGann of the Cyclopaths club in Port Moresby but raced away when McGann experienced mechanical problems with his bike midway to through the race.
The first woman to cross the finishing line in the race was reigning champion Caroline McGann also of Cyclopaths club of Port Moresby.
The two-day event covers a total 173km from Pam village in Namatanai to Bol village for day one while day two started at Bol and ended at Utu High School.
This was the first major sporting event organised by Upsouth Event in Kavieng apart from the triathlon races in Port Moresby.
Upsouth Event director Steven Damien thanked  major sponsors Steamship Shipping, Hardware Haus (Kavieng), Kavieng Port Services, City Pharmacy, Cathy Amos, Leon Buskens, Kavieng Police, Kavieng General Hospital, Red Cross, volunteers and, importantly, the villages along the Boluminski Highway for their support.
Despite limited support from politicians and the New Ireland provincial government, the New Ireland Tourism Bureau flew the province’s flag in supporting the endurance bicycle race.