here's the stage 2 part of the story.
May 2,2005 Stage2 Kanchana Buri - Sri Sawat 128kms
We left the River Kwai hotel and cycled 5kms to the city temple for registration. We notice half the field dont want to start already and so we are fewer this time. Yousof says to watch out for the hills, it wont get cooler when we climb...it will get hotter! I dont know how im gonna finish today because of the killer stage. I recall, joel G opening his lap tap and pointing out how steep this mountain is going to be when he checked the elevation chart.Anyway, as usual, im going to hang on as long as i could and ride the remaining kilometers with anyone willing to finish. The rolling start becames fast paced and attacks were immediate. near the 10kms mark, joel g, and two cannondale riders slowly inch their way up front...then they disappear. Robin shouts at pedi..."kill the pace pedi"....I was near pedi up front so i went to pedi's right side and tried to sit there to prevent chase group from chasing....nobody reacted and Martin got caught in the middle of the big group....by the time they reacted it was too late...the gap becomes bigger....i couldnt hold the pace and by 50 km mark i was dropped. i just sat up in front of the peloton and every strong rider squeezed between me and pedi...otheres attacked on my right side. i stayed still like a meralco post and everyone was going.
soon i was joined by around 5 riders. at the 60km mark there was this heartbreakhill and saw people dropping out like flies...some retiring others stop, pause then ride again....up 500meters, i feel my right leg cramping so i decided to use Eagle Claw technique, just dismount and walk with my bike.
My partner (the thai who was talking to himself) agreed to walk with me. in the middle of the hill i saw 5 singaporean riders including nur inside the truck, . Pastor Jimmy (team singapore) ask me if i want to join them. i said no. Jim said in that case everybody has to get off the truck and walk. we walked as a group at 5kph...i tried to ride again and saw my speed fixed at 10kph. i said its not worth the risk. might as well just walk faster and save my legs for later stages....so everybody walked. Myself, nur, simon, cito, jimmy and the thai who talks to himself. on the summit, we were given water and we decide to ride together as a group. the thai, jimmy and simon went faster and i got dropped together with nur and cito. we rode together until we reached the finish line at the ferry boat terminal at the 82kilometers mark. i was completely bonked out. my special thanks to lady friend nur, and i kept my promise afterwards and treated her to lunch. i also treated cito to lunch.
Ariel narrates his side of the story. when joel went, ariel and robin was left to try to contain the peloton. BMW big boss Martin organized a chase group which was going from 38 to 55kph to chase down joel G and company. Malaysia 403 attacked and robin chased. 5 kilometers before the climb Martin launched an attack and was in front of peloton.
Ariel checked but when he saw the climb ahead...he called on to robin...pare ikaw naman dyan sa ahon. the two carried on but by the climb ...both rode 10kph. Robin got to the summit first, ariel followed and caught robin 3kms to the finish. Robin and ariel finished same time top ten GC
Ernie narrates his side of the story...Bakus was with them until the climb..he was pleading for the philippine team not to leave him. Ernie maintained the pace and Bakus got dropped with two cramping legs. Ernie....whose dream was to win King of Mountain was so happy to get to the line first but have to slow down after the line when he got cramps. He winded up 2nd in stage 2.
Anthony,Cecil, Eric and Ronald got the toughest day of their lives when their race was extended up 40kilometers more from where we finish.Eric got 2nd place podium victory.
When the race ended and im not in the finish line for over an hour, boss Joel G got so worried he asked Josephine, public relations of Egat to try and look for me in all the sag wagons...josephine said all the drivers of sag wagons replied that they couldnt find me. Everybody got worried sick...until they found me having lunch with new friend Nur and Cito at the sri nagarand resort. Joel G and the rest of the gang was so relieved. everyobne thought i got lost and went to myanmar which was only 3 kilometers from our finish line. I assured everyone, i got enough food and water in my hydration pack to last me two days, and that i got my passport, ticket, visa, dollars, baht with me always. everyone got a good laugh.
I asked Dante whether that Giant of a man they call Tiny finished.... Dante said they saw tiny clutching his heart and so he got taken by an ambulance. Tiny did not finish. and so did many others....
to be continued....
Team Powerbar Philippines 2005.