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Monday, March 31, 2008
Well the truth is hard to know where to start!!
Multi stage racing is certainly an experience although I'm not sure there were many moments I would have called fun!!
Although in some respects it was very well organised, communication was very piecemeal so I felt like I spent most of the first two days trying to chase what was going on. By the end we had a pretty smooth routine and felt like we'd been doing this together for years!
Having said that the first nights hotel was lovely and we started with a pre-race dinner buffet on the outdoor terrace overlooking the river. We were all in bed by 9:30 to rest up for the 5:30 wake up call.
Next morning we had to pack up and put our bags away and cycle to the Egat headquarters where the race started. It was good to have a chance to warm up but still had to wait about half an hour for registration and the helicopters with the media to arrive so we could start!!! I was very nervous and had no idea what to expect but was cheered by the news that we had a 14km 'neutral zone' before they separated us for the category starts.
The rest of my 'team' was in the 30-39 group so I was very much on my own, however as there were only four girls out of 140odd competitors we were put with the 50+s. I held a fond hope that this might mean they wouldn't be as competitive, but only in relative terms! Straight off from the gun the politics started, manoevring for position, breakaways, mad sprints, breaking draft lines and everyone doing their best not to 'pull'. The first day was 105km and I managed to keep up with the peleton until the last 20km where they broke away at 55kph+ and of course completely taking me by surprise. I soon discovered that not only do you have to watch the road in front of you, the cyclist arounds you and in front, but also legs of the front of the peleton as the only notice you have of a break away is tightened legs muscles and suddenly the've accerated 20kph in 3 seconds! Amazing
The second day I was starting to get the hang of it a bit more but still hated the politics - its so frustrating to have to slow down to 20 only to shoot off at 55 within a couple of seconds - not something that I had trained for and all my lovely base training was absolutely useless. Neither had I trained to go 30 up hills so was soon lost on the second day. The Thai lady blatantly cheated to come third grrr as well as drafting me for 50km then shooting past me at the last 100metres but I knew at that point that I was much stronger so wasn't too worried about losing her on the hills the next day.
The third stage was definately the hardest with pouring, blinding rain, gusting winds and 50kms of hills. It was also the most pleasant as we left the main roads and winded our way through the hills on a narrow country lanes. Was fighting for second for about half the race but hard to know as my competitor had got a flat tyre and had been taken up the pack by moped - I think they were trying to make sure she wasn't penalised for the flat but I sure would have loved a bit of a rest and a ride up a few of those hills!!! The Thai lady dropped out at this stage so I knew i was guaranteed at least 3rd place!!
Although the first two days had felt pretty easy after the hills I was getting tired and just wanted to get the award ceremony and lunch over with as quickly as possible. Even so I managed to get at least 10 minutes run in after each stage so my brick training didn't suffer. Everyday we had to stop by and pick up the boys at the next finish (about 40km on) and then go on to the elite finish (another 30km) where we had lunch and the award ceremonies for the stage. We then went on to the hotel where we had to unpack, get the bikes and wash our clothes for the next. Somehow the days were really busy and there wasn't as much time to relax as I was expecting. The third day we had checked into our rooms and everything when they told us we were at the wrong hotel! I think we were all ready to cry. Nevertheless after a nice hot bath and a little nap we were ready for the goodbye banquet with music, entertainment and a showing of the race video. I am a celebrity!! ha ha
By the fourth day about a third of the race participants had dropped out, we were now a small band indeed, and breakaways were less dramatic as everyone was tired. however we were still cruising at 35-45 for over two hours with only a few breaks where we slowed down a bit. We then separated as we attacked the last 8km to the finish line - straight up hill and absolutely relentless. I was so pleased to have my little police escort as it meant I could zigzag across the road to my hearts content. I have no idea how far I was behind the other girls but was just so pleased to have finished my first bicycle tour!! 100 + 90 + 90 + 100
We just had time to change, pack the bikes and collect our awards before we had to rush back to Bangkok to catch our flights home. The reservoir where we finished had amazing views and made me realise how high we had climbed in the last two days. An excellent feeling of accomplishment.
I would definately recommend Sonic takes a team next year as if there is enough of you it doesn't matter what the rest of the pack is doing. It is fully supported and each peleton has several water carriers and spare wheelsets. The roads are cleared, the course is clearly marked and everyone is kept track of by walkie talkie so you will never get lost or left behind. Each team has a van with a Thai interpreter and driver. They check you in hotels, help you organise your stuff, take you to dinner and basically babysit you and treat you like royalty. For me as a vegetarian there wasn't enough to eat and you are responsible for taking your own nutrition and sports drinks but considering that this is run and organised by keen amateurs its an amazing deal for 1200HKD. I met some lovely people and learnt so much - it will certainly be an experience I will never forget.
These races need your support to survive and I hope I can inspire a few of you to consider joining next year.
If I can do it- anybody can
See you at Tour Egat 2008
CATHERINE RAYNE TEAM SONIC SPORTS HONGKONG
RACING REPORT FROM TEAM ANZA
: Racing: Anti Drugs Tour of Thailand April 2006 - Race Reports & ResultsSaturday, April 8
Anti Drugs Tour of Thailand April 2006 - Race Reports & Results
Sent in Daily by Big Col Stage 1, Anti-Drugs Tour, Thailand Facts: - 120km including 25km neutralised - rolling climbs all the way with 3 decent climbs - about 100 starters - 2 races, Open and 30-39 then Masters started a few minutes later - start time around 11am Singapore time - temperature was already 44C in the neutralised section!! ANZA riders Dylan and Colin - Open Seb and Locky - 30-39 Dave - 40-49 In the first race we had to contend with a big semi-pro team - effectively the B squad from the Siam Baru team. Basically 10 thin light fast guys - bugger. Dylan and I got over the 3 main climbs with the front group of about 15. Although we put in a few attacks, you couldn't escape the big team. Eventually Siam Baru let 4 riders away including 2 of theirs and then they controlled everything. Frustratingly no-one would work with us and we lost 3 minutes. I came in seventh and Dylan ninth. But with some hard stages to come we aren't too worried about the time gap. Seb and Locky had a good race and found a nice group to ride with after the tough climbs. They finished safely, about 24 minutes down, and even had the legs to sprint at the end. Dave faired rather worse. He's a bit sick and nearly had to pull out. But there's no stopping Dave and he finished the stage, despite a water shortage, and he only lost 30 minutes. Great effort. Tomorrow A fairly flat 110km stage. We're hoping the big team control it all and it ends in a sprint. Then comes the monster climbing stage on Saturday... arrrggghhh Memories Burning hot water - the water they handed out was the same temperature as us - 45C! Not much use for cooling down and actually nearly burning hot. Trying to eat enough is actually the hardest part. I've felt like vomiting several times today. I never want to see rice or an energy bar again. Our race motto has become "eat till you feel sick then one more". The funniest event actually happened after only a few kms. Dylan turns round to Seb and says "why don't you attack to get things going". Amazingly and stupidly, with 90km and 3 climbs in 45C heat to go, Seb does what he's told. I was so stunned by the idea I sat and watched his suicide unfold without stopping him.. Unbeknowst to Brave and Intrepid Seb as he redlines it, the first climb suddenly appeared and he got caught and dropped, never to be seen again. Great tactical advice from Dylan there. Already being marked down as a potential team manager in his retirement. Will report tomorrow on how the 110km and 2kg of rice went down. Cheers Colin Stage 2 of the Anti-Drugs Tour Today was about 100km total including 10km neutralised. Pretty flat the whole way but still 45C on the road. Overall: after hoping for a nice steady ride in the bunch we were all sorely disappointed to be in a race that blew apart. The tired legs on the start were much more tired by the end. Colin's race: After a few attacks early on, a few guys escaped but nothing too threatening. The only danger was number 10, a Siam Bara rider on the same time as Dylan and I. After 8km a few guys attacked and I tried to get across without getting any attention. Mission accomplished except I found a bunch of 8 other guys all looking at each other and not working very hard. I managed to get 2 to work with me but after a few kms they stopped again. I rode the front a bit, looked back and saw they couldn't even agree who was going to sit on my wheel. I attacked and left them. By now number 10 had a couple of minutes on me but there were long straights so I had a carrot. It took me 20 minutes to ride him down. We spent the next 70kms working well together, taking equal pulls and holding about 40kph steady. We built a 5 minute lead over the next group so I knew we would be the leaders overall. Tactically I didn't want to be in the lead tomorrow and have to defend against the huge team so I let the other guy win and claim the extra bonus seconds. Hope I don't regret that later! Now I'm in second place, 6 seconds behind the leader and 90 seconds ahead of 3rd. Dylan Too busy eating to type. He says it was a frustrating day (between mouthfuls). Think he's on his 7th plate of food since the race - no joke. And there are still 2 more plates in front of him! Seb Stayed with the bunch and helped control things for colin and dylan. Was very stop start with short sprints followed by slowing down to nearly stand still. Evebtualy the legs could not sprint again. Came in nice and easy lost 3 min. Locky Had a better day on the bike being relatively flat helped. Got myself involved in most of the breaks trying to keep myself close to the yellow jersey, who was doing no work what so ever... Got away with Dylan about the 70km mark however the bunch had other ideas. Final got sucked up but the pleleton which was a lot smaller, Dylan attached again but my category did not follow. 5 of us sprinted in ... Long story short there was a bike length between me and a podium position, ended the day 4th, 5th overall on GC. Big day tomorrow...! Dave Still sick so he had a tough day. Although he got in the leading break he couldn't finish. Tomorrow: is full of climbs including 2 huge ones. Wish us luck! The ANZA Tour Team Stage 3 - a pretty brutal day! The course was 131km including 11km neutralised. It was fairly flat for 70km until a big hard climb that took about 20mins (and 99% of what was left in your legs after 2 days). Then it was gently rolling for 20kms then it got bad. The last 30km was continuous sharp climbs and descents ending with another 15 minute climb out of valley plus about another 5 sharp climbs before the finish. And it was still 45C! Colin: Dylan, Locky and Seb did a sterling job keeping it together until the first climb. Only one threatening guy escaped and I knew he wouldn't get much time before the climb. Loads of guys went flying past on the climb but I knew they were going too hard. I kept it steady and went over the top 3rd and worked hard on the descent to bridge to the leaders who had taken out 40 secs. By the bottom I was in a group of 4, the top 4 on GC! The only problem was the other 3 all rode for the same team. I could see what was coming from the second we got together. We rode together for a few kms before they attacked me. Luckily I was strong enough to defend and only their yellow jersey was really strong at that point. But with 30km to go we hit the hard part. They started the games again taking turns attacking me. I defended a few times but then blew up. Then they all jumped me and rode off. That was at 15km to go. That might not sound a lot but there were about 10 smallers climbs then the big one, oh, and then another 5 or so. I lost all enthusiam at that point and lost 5 mins. I finished 4th. And I'm now 4th overall, 1min 40 down on 3rd. Seb: nice steady first 70km. Enjoyed the fact we did not need to sprint every 5min. Then we hit the big climb. Decided to go my own pace and ended up doing the rest of the stage on my own. Had great fun on the desents and hateing the climbs. The last climb was a world of pain. Hardest day on a bike, again. Locky: Felt good today, so good I decided to fly off the front 3 times hoping to get a few to come with me and also get some TV time, failed on both fronts...! The last flyer off the front I managed to stay away for 5km then realised I had another 85km to go and decided that it was a bit to time trial the rest... Then the hills hit, too hilly too hot all resulting in a 55km individual time trial crossing the line not knowing what day it was! Not sure placing, GC should not have changed. Looking forward to a flat day tomorrow, not sure the sprinting legs are feeling the same way. Dylan: he's waiting on food so too preoccupied to type. He got over the first climb in the second group and attacked on his own near the finish. Or so he thought. After a long solo he came upon the 10km to go sign about where he expected the finish. just before the hardest section. He promptly cramped on the climb and limped home. Dave: sat on the front for 70km, again, then cramped, again, and caught a bus home, again. Flat but long day tomorrow then home.... The ANZA Tour Team Stage 4 - Its over, thank god. First the stage report then a final reckoning. The stage was 128km with only 5km neutralised. Although it was overcast and cooler (35C) at the start, it was sunny after an hour and 42C in the shade. Thankfully I didn't check on the bike, but it must have been well over 45C in the sun. We were told it was flat today. Maybe it was if you had fresh legs, or compared it to yesterdays 47 climbs. After some rolling hills in the first 30km we went up a 10km drag into the wind that did a lot of guys in. Proof that it wasn't flat came on the other side. I hit 79kph on the descent and it lasted several minutes at that speed. Flat stage? Yeah right. Colin and Dylan: mission number 1 was to protect Colin's 4th place on GC from a few guys who were within a few minutes. Mission 2 was to try to get away and steal a couple of minutes to get third place. We both worked hard chasing breaks to protect 4th. There was a steady stream of attacks. We both got away at times. Siam Bara knew we were both threats and they chased us hard every time. Although we probably had some of the strongest legs left in the bunch, we had 8-10 Siam Bara guys and a few other GC rivals to contend with. In the end it was too much to ask to steal time back. Defending 4th was hard enough! The plan was to get to 80km then start attacking. That we did. Col was closed down fast every time he twitched or reached for his bottle but they let Dylan away with 30km to go. The plan was for Col to cross but he had about 10 Thais stuck to his wheel. So Col worked hard defending Dylan's break, chasing everyone that attacked. Then he rode tempo on the front to prevent more attacks. Dylan had 3 companions in the break, one of whom dropped off. Unfortunately the other 2 got him in the sprint but 3rd place was worth the effort. Col, determined to shake his reputation as the worlds worst sprinter, concentrated hard and got 6th in the bunch sprint (probably his best ever sprint result) and came 9th on the stage. Col kept his 4th overall. Seb and Locky: both worked hard at the start but the hard stages before and the brutal "flat" roads took their toll. They, along with many others, dropped off with 50km to go and they rode in together. Seb says it was his hardest day on a bike but he's said that every day! Locky had a close call with the Bangalore Boy (more below), coming down a decent at +65km he cuts in the inside then cuts in front, when the heart got back to under 200bpm I decided to have a quiet word with him, perhaps not so quiet, half the peleton turned around to see what was going on... Dave: Masters was about 30km shorter than Open/30s but still a hard race. He earned himself a few beers by working hard for a couple of friends he made. Basically he chased all the attacks until he blew up near the end. Mission accomplished though as his pals got the results they needed. The final reckoning: Bear in mind in the following that there is a 30min cut-off each day. If you fail to finish within the time limit then you are off GC (although you can still start the next day). Just staying on GC is one helluva an achievement given the speed, heat, climbs, distance and competition. I guess less than half the hundred starters finished on GC. Colin: 7th, 2nd, 4th and 9th on the stages, 4th overall Dylan: picked up a 3rd and 9th on stages, not bad for a man who is sick, also finished on GC. Plus one outstanding result explained below. Seb: came 5th overall in the 30-39 category, actually his first ever cycling prize, great effort. Obviously he stayed on GC Locky: 4th and 6th on stages, 6th overall in the 30-39 category, again on GC Dave: should have been in bed sick rather than stage racing. As usual he put in a huge effort until he succumbed each day. The result of the above in terms of hardwear is a number of attractive plates. Let us know if you need some new crockery. Other successes: The following inter-team rivalry has been hidden until now but its time to show and tell (only coz we won). There is a team from India here - known to us as the Bangalore Boys. Number 2 rides what looks like a 1960's Bob Jackson frame with similarly aged components. Think he borrowed most of his kit and other stuff from his great grandfather. He took one upside down water bottle each day and was never seen to drink from it (we don't know why either). He was never seen eating on the bike. Water seemed to be his fuel of choice. But so what I hear you cry. By stage 3 he had eeked out a lead over Dylan of several minutes. Yes, Bangalore Boy was leading a guy riding a Litespeed with Dura Ace and Mavic Carbon Cosmics. He was leading a guy who had every energy drink, gel and sports supplement known to man. Someone who takes his nutrition, hydration and post-race recovery very seriously and who has better fashion - or at least kit bought this side of the Great War. But Bangalore Boy never finished stage 4 within the time limit. Rumours that his bike expired are surely untrue. Our version is that Dylan's brutal attack made him realise his dream of beating Dylan was over and he drifted in outside the time limit. Whatever the truth, Dylan beating Bangalore Boy is surely our greatest triumph. The ANZA Tour Team
Handout: Anti Drugs tour of Thailand 2006
Our Racing Bike Driver Andrea:
- Andrea Quaranta (Italia):
- 48 years, most about 36.000 km/Year
- stay here like holyday since 17 years,
- he really know every corner arround Chiang Mai, speaking also Thai and will be availible for heavy long tours also with surpricing locations
- Cycle Experiance:
- 02.02.2008 (2551): 257 km Race - Saraburi to Petchaburi - 1. Place (40-49) of 45 - 5. Place (all) of 100
- 12.08.2007 (2550) - Road Race 20 km - 1. Place (41-50)
- 06.-09.04.2007 (2550): www.thaibiketour.com - 'Anti Drugs Tour' -
Chom Burg - Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi - Sri Sawat, Sri Nagarind Dam - Kanchanaburi;
- 9. Place (open)
- 30.04.-03.05.2006 (2549): Tour de EGAT - 3. Place (40-49) - 1. Place (3.5., senior 40-48) - 4. Place (2.5. Runner Up, senior 40-48)
- 16.10.2005 (2548): Chiang Rai - 'Doi Tung' (Hill Race) - 1. Place (30+)
- 27.-28.08.2005 (2548): International MTB-Race - 1. Place flat (40-49) - 5. Place hill (40-49)
- 27.03.2005 (2548): - 4. Place (senior 40-49)
- 20.02.2005 (2548): 'Team Time Trial' Cycling Promotion Association - Roadracing 40 km - 2. Place (all) - 1. Place (40-49)
- 21.-24.04.2004 (2547): Tour of EGAT
Supan Buri - Kanachanaburi, Kanchanaburi - Sri Sawat, Sri Sawat - Kajiralongkam Dam, Kajiralongkam Dam - Three Pagoda Pass;
- 1. Place (40-49)
- 06.-09.04.2004 (2547): www.thaibiketour.com - 'Anti Drugs Tour'
- 12. Place - Nr. 43 - Andreas Quarnta - Team Chiangkhong +30:23
- 2004 (2547): Tour de EGAT - 15. Place (open)
- 2004 (2547): 'Rayong King Cup' - 1. Place (all) Foto
- Bilder soweit verfügbar ...
- Siegerehrung Rayong 'King's Cup' 2004:
Results MTB - and Road races by Martin Brot, 2007
1. Rank, 1st stage
1. Rank, 4th stage
3. Rank, 2nd stage
5. Rank, 3rd stage
MTB - races:
1. Rank, Phuket, Patong - Pronthep
1. Rank, Chainat
1. Rank, Khanom
1. Rank, Hat Yai
1. Rank, Chom Bung / Ratchaburi
1. Rank, Koh Phangan
1. Rank, Phattalung
1. Rank, Khao Mane, Nakhon Si Tammarat
1. Rank, Kho Yao Noi
Results MTB - and Road races by Martin Brot, 2006
MTB - races
1. Rank, Nakhon Si Thammarat
1. Rank, 100 km race, Phatthalung
2. Rank, Kings Cup, Had Yai
1. Rank, Khanom
1. Rank, Khian Sa
2. Rank, Karon, Phuket
EGAT - Tour, Bangkok - Bhumiphol Dam
3. Rank, 1st stage
4. Rank, 2nd stage
5. Rank, 3rd stage
3. Rank, 4th stage
2. Rank, GC
JOEL GIRONELLA (Philippines)
the Victorious one in yellow..9th stage leading the peloton is Victor espiritu
mano a mano with heir apparent Baler Ravena in Baguio City 2007
signing a t shirt for bisekletaguy
thats me the driver of Victor espiritu after their service car bogged down in the Padyak Pinoy 2007 stage 9 and this is my precious cargo.. VIP Victor Espiritu
below is the offical team Wow Magic Sing car sticker which was signed and given to me as a gift by members of the Champion's team after i helped them out with their bogged down vehicle by volunteering to drive them back home....
below thats me with victor checking my Colnago c35
if you cant have enough of my light hearted blog and wondering where you can go for the serious stuff...i want you to check out the link of my idol Philippine Professional cyclist VICTOR ESPIRITU's Blog.
The Victorious One » About The Cyclist
Sunday, March 30, 2008
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