The weather is set to boom over the next five days of the Nepal Open and day one delivered with great climbs and surprisingly little valley wind to hinder the big transitions.
The 55km X shaped task was won Nepal Open regulars Ajay Kumar (IND) with Jamie Messenger (GB) a close second. Wil Brown (USA) stole a march on the lead gaggle to snatch third place on his Mantra 4, by diving in low to tag the End of Speed Section, but then finding himself just 120m off the ground with almost a kilometre down wind of goal. “I saw Ajay and Jamie go, and I said to myself ‘I haven’t just done all this work to keep up with them to lose it now.’” He said of the risky decision that only just paid off. While the rest of the field glided past Brown he clung on to a low ridge taking almost an hour to climb up enough to sneak into goal, long after he’d been written off.
Of the 95 starters 60 made goal and there were three reserve tosses on the course which offered a couple of options to reach the furthest turn point. Mitch Riley (USA) and Ivan Ripoll (SPAIN) were among the gaggle that gambled on the longer but potentially faster route to the north. “We were still heading out to the turn point as the field was coming back the other way.” said Ripoll disappointed but smiling after both pilots salvaged respectable results from the gamble that could have delivered big.
Tomorrow looks set for an even bigger task.