Historic podium for Athlete team in REDBULL WULONG MOUNTAIN QUEST.

PRESS RELEASE  - September 8th 2011.  Wu Long, China

Team Champion SystemAdventure makes historic podium finish in final stage of Asia’s top adventure race, REDBULL WULONG MOUNTAIN QUEST.
It was a historic moment yesterday for Asia’s top adventure racing team, Champion System Adventure, taking 3rd place on the podium in the 80km final stage of REDBULL WULONG MOUNTAIN QUEST.

wulong race 2011 start

In its 9th year, the event had its most competitive world-class field ever assembled, with the top teams in the sport from Spain, USA, France, Australia, Scandinavia, UK, New Zealand and of course China.  The annual adventure race is held each year in the remote and spectacular Wu Long County of the Chongqing province of China, a region full of steep jungle canyons, spectacular caves, and a 2,000 meter mountain plateau billed as the ‘Switzerland of China’.   Organized by the Chinese Mountaineering Association, the event has one of the richest prize purses globally in adventure racing (USD $150,000) ensuring the participation of many current and former world champion multi-sport outdoor athletes.   The stage race is held over four days and requires coed teams of four to mountain bike, trail run, and kayak 220 kilometers, along with other challenges like abseiling and cave navigation.

AbseilingChampion System Adventure, raced the final day with a point to prove after having two teammates fall ill from food poisoning last year and again one team member this year struggling on Day 2 with sickness.   Hong Kong-based team Team captain, Ryan S. Blair, revealed “we new it would be a tough day for all the teams with 145 km already in our legs, but if the team was all healthy we knew we had potential to crack into the top of the field. It shows you how far the level of sport has come in Asia and its great to see how Hong Kong has in many ways spearheaded this growth and development with so many different adventure sport events held in the territory each year, and having so many good outdoor locations for training and racing.”  Blair continued, “our teamwork was also flawless today and my teammates were so strong leading the charge on all the uphill’s, with Jay and Klayten towing whenever needed.”

rafting The team started the final stage off bold, running hard near the front of the field on the opening technical mountain run down a steep canyon wall with a narrow jungle trail clinging to its side.  After an hour decent the team was in 6th position and in the next kayak leg pulled even with AXA Sports, Scandinavia’s top team in 5th position.  A two-hour mountain bike followed with an uphill finish where Champion SystemAdventure caught Europe’s top team, THULE, going into the transition. With a 15-minute mandatory rest, teams refueled and put on ropes equipment for a massive 100+ meter abseil off one of Wulong’s spectacular cliffs.  The two teams left the transition neck and neck with Ryan sprinting ahead to secure his teams ropes thinking the top USA team was probably still on the other lines. It was a strategy move that paid off and saved the team 7 minutes and a surge in momentum.  Now in 4th with a 22km gorge and mountain run to follow, the team ran on adrenaline to pass OutThere USA, captained by world champion mountain biker and adventure racer Mike Klosher, and pulled away from the rest of the field to secure its first podium finish in Wulong.   


Blair’s team included Hong Kong-based former professional cyclist, Klayten Smith, Louise Mark from New Zealand, and Jay Kiangchaipaiphana from Thailand. The 3rd place podium finish on the final stage moved the team into 6th overall, and after 4 days of racing were just five minutes behind THULE, Europe’s top team.   Jay was the top Asian finisher in the event.
The Champion System Adventure Team consists of a small group of endurance sport champions based in the Asia Pacific region. Team members strive to live out their passion for adventure, travel and international competition, while helping to promote the value and protection of Asia's spectacular outdoor areas.  The team is managed by Asia Pacific Adventure, and sponsors include: Champion System, The North Face, Specialized Bikes, High Performance Sports, Garmin, SportsWorld, Feelfree Kayaks, Paradigm, Pure Fitness, ChungYung Cycle Co., Active Nutrition, Sports and Spinal Physios and Sports Plus.
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