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rocka1bikeshop news is a weblog relating to cycling news in the philippines. rocka 1 bikeshop is a local bike shop based in bulacan town philippines email

Wednesday, December 20, 2006



Tour of EGAT stands for ELECTRIC GENERATING AUTHORITY OF THAILAND (same as our Napocor) so EGAT is the sponsor and the finish line for the 3rd and 4th stages is on TWO DIFFERENT HYDROELECTRIC DAMS with resort facilities…138kilometers apart. I think I recovered in time for stage 3 and 4 after bonking out of Stage 2….see my report.


a spectacular view of Sri Nagarind dam taken by Nur Nuraz (singapore olympic cyclist)


We had a nice evening at the Villa styled resort facilities at Sri Nagarind Dam. As usual while the other teams slept, our team Philippines settled down at an open aired patio and drank Heineken beer, have our legs rubbed down by Dante Valdez (he is the pro shop mechanic of Velo City and our Philippine group paid for his air fare and gave him close to 18thousand pesos for pocket money… just to have our bikes tweaked, cleaned and ready to race the following day…plus massage services…so Philippine team got the only professional Mechanic/Masseure in Thailand) and we had great story telling until 11 pm. Dante says I am in worst shape in the team as my muscles wouldn’t relax anymore and so stiff he don’t think I will finish in stage 3! ….so even my mechanic thinks I’m a goner already…I laughed.

In the morning we had our breakfast consisting of Tong Yang soup ( I warned everybody in Tour of Egat 2004 …there were just 2 cyclists participants from Philippines and they didn’t finish because of diarrhea….so better not eat any of the spicy food until the last stage…everyone laughs.) After breakfast …. off we go the the starting line. The Villa resort was on top of the dam so we had to snake through 5kms down what looked like Kennon road to me! Eric, Cecil, Ronald and Anthony will have to go up this same route tomorow and I felt my category B (40 and up) finish line would just be at the bottom of this mountain.

Strangely I’m feeling a bit better today maybe I had recharged my batteries, yesterday I bonked big time…nearing the point of collapsing but I still wondered how I would fare because again I’m entering the TWILIGHT ZONE as I have never ever raced 3 consecutive days back home in Manila. In the back of my mind, the little devil tells me, I don’t have to finish this stage...just go 50kms and then it will be okey to quit!

tense moments at the starting line with ernie hortaleza in the polka dot jersey as a result of being first on the King of the Mountain stage 2 yesterday


When the race started, 3 riders attacked. nobody wants to chase, I was yoyoing at the back then decided to move up front and try to chase...I saw my speedo went up 65kph when I jumped and after 3 minutes, I caught the Malaysian rider up front...I told him to GO! He hesitated, so I went and he latched on to me....I asked him...”can you pull?” he replied... “sorry, I think I better wait for my team....” so we slowed down and we were reeled back in by the peloton.

At the 23kms mark there was this long long uphill climb about 3 times the uphill at Valley Golf going to Antipolo...horror of horrors I got dropped!
Now I don’t want to ride 70kilometers solo again so I chased down the 20kph average speed guys (Team Singapore riders) again and formed a group. I caught the Thai who talks to himself (he keeps on cursing in thai whenever he sees a mountain in front of us) , the Singaporean on the Giant T Mobile carbon and of course my lady friend Nur who wants to ride with team Singapore and provide encouragement....together we were inching back in. At the 40km mark, I was pulling in front when I saw a herd of cows crossed the road! I shouted at the cows and they stooped for a second and allowed us to pass safely.

We caught, Cito with another rider, a Singaporean on a Pinarello Dogma and another guy and we became 8. Everybody was dead tired. I saw a Toyota van by the side of the street and asked for Gatorade….no he didn’t give me any….turns out he is from team Singapore….the guy on the Giant T mobile saw me then offered me Gatorade grape flavor in a bottle says I can have 3 gulps…. in exchange I have to pull 5 kilometers and they will draft behind me…shit I’m being bribed to race…but I am dying of thirst…and the thai spectators aren’t offering water by the roadside and the only way you can get mineral water is at the feed zone 50kms mark where the motorcycle escorts on big BMW’s will pass by and offer mineral waters just like the Tour de France. I agreed to pull and drank the Gatorade!

I saw the group no longer able to shift up when there is a downhill. I shouted at the Pinarello guy to shift up 200meters near the summit of a hill. He said he can’t...he stays at 39x 25 and wants to recover. I just shifted down and went 65 kph downhill and half the 8 man chase group gets dropped. Our 4 man group caught William of Singapore, two other guys and Lawrence of Singapore, plus two other 30 - 39 riders... by this time Cito of team Singapore wants to stop and have coke. I said “I’m sorry I have to go Cito…Philippine team official vehicle will give me only 30 minutes window then they will leave me behind”

So everybody stayed with Cito and I drove the solo chase group until I got to the finish. Dante took my bike at the finish and couldn’t believe I made it under 30minutes after the winner crossed the line! I made it inside the 30 minute window and as soon as I stepped inside the official Philippine Van I got cheers from my super duper teammates who was so happy for me. I later found out I’m 18th for category B! I’m very very happy. The van proceeded to the finish line for category A riders (where the awards will be handed out) which was again some 30 kilometers from my category B finish line….

Ariel narrates that he and Robin attacked at the 23km mark but was reeled back in. With 20kms to go the category B peloton numbering over 40 at the start (we were over 100riders at the start of stage 1) was only numbering about 20 riders...everyone got dropped. While on a 52 x 23 Ariel saw a tough hill and shifted down to a 39 x 17...his chain jumped and he got dropped! He saw our mechanic Dante and Dante went down from team vehicle to help him. Mimi (brother of Yousof of team Cycleworx Singapore and support crew of Singapore Cycleworx bike shop) helped push ariel for him to gain momentum

With 3kms to go Pedi attacked and took the stage for 50 and up. Tim Hardy of Saeco Cannondale took the win 40 to 49, Joel was second and Ernie missed out his chance for 3rd place when he couldn’t escape the bunch sprint. Ariel, Robin, Peter was inside top 15. Later the 3 was not in the list and Peter complained to the race officials and the officials corrected their mistakes.

Eric confronted the winner of the Category A when the Thai went to stand on the Podium. My teammate Eric Carandang asked the fellow how that should happen when Eric nipped him on the line. The fellow replied...”any complains? complain to the race officials”

A review of the photo finish was in order and thereafter Eric Carandang was declared the Stage winner for category A! The Thai fellow refused to take his second place on the podium and Eric asked him to be a good sport. He clearly wasn’t happy but he took his trophy anyway. Cecil, Ronald and Anthony finished one of their hardest race of their carreer. I later found out that teammate Eric Carandang suffered a puncture with 25kms to go and it was Anthony Dy who stopped and gave up his front wheel to Eric. Eric says he was so grateful to Anthony Dy that he had to give 110percent today and get the win for Anthony! Incredibly, Eric caught up with the breakaway inspite of the puncture and was able to nip the second placer on the line by just 2 inches! WHAT A WAY TO WIN!

after the race all the precious bikes were placed inside thai military wagon to bring back to the next hotel.

to be continued...

raymond see
team powerbar philippines 2005

1 comment:

google said...

Hello Team from Philippines,

after i read your blog about the race, i should take part also.

No Winning, but just enjoying the race.

See us at EGAT 2008 ?