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Asia Trail Master
VJM 70: Hisashi Kitamura has done it! His first career ATM race victory after numerous podium places and places of honour. But the Japanese Uglow runner had to give it all in the final 10km to keep Veronika Vadovica behind him and arrived totally dehydrated. Earlier on, Kitamura adopted the “John Ellis tactic” of not worrying too much about the early dozens of kilometres. Vietnam’s Hung Hai took off like a rocket but ran out of steam come halfway. Kitamura and Vadovicova caught up and dropped Hung Hai uphill. Meanwhile, Quang Nguyen Duc stayed in the mix up front as well, but eventually couldn’t keep the high pace set by the Japanese and the Slovakian. Coming into CP8, the last checkpoint with 10k to go, it sounded like Vadovicova is the stronger one of the duo. However, Hisashi Kitamura was not going to let her spoil his first ATM race victory 🙂

Kitamura is also the new points leader in the ATM Championship, taking over from John Ellis who has one race less. For Uglow’s latest protégé, now it already becomes a tactical game of trying to improve on his worst result of the season (7th in CMU) to score additional points as he already has five results in the bag.

Veronica Vadovica has also finished already as second overall, roughly seven minutes later than Kitamura. See the video on this page.

Note that the dehydrated Hisashi Kitamura has recovered already a bit and is fine now, by the way.

The podium is completed by the two Vietnamese aces Hong Hai, who led the race until over halfway but then struggled in the climbs, and the experienced Quang Nguyen Duc. Ander Iza Rekakoetxea has made it up to fourth place at the finish, despite being plagued by a sprained ankle. Important championship points for Rekakoetxea. Tomohiro Mizukoshi has managed to hold on to the top five. He had a hard time in the second part of the race, also still not 100% fit following achilles tendon injury. David Longo from Canberra, Australia, has arrived in sixth place. France ‘s Valentin Orange is seventh.

Belgium’s Vanya Cnobs is second in the women’s race. The Belgian runner is now living in Singapore and is a former national champion cross country running in the U19 category. The podium is completed by Philippines’ Fredlyn Alberto. Solid run by the known runner based in Hong Kong and her second ATM podium of the season!
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