this is my report.
2 weeks before race after suffering up Baguio during Tour of Luzon.......had to bring thomas wiegand and brigitte klein to manila airport so they can go back home to thailand. I remember pulling the bike of brigitte carrying it on the push cart. two days later im almost immobilized by back pain.
so one week to go am panicking mode again...my back needs either massage or see doctor. I call my friend the cycling doctor,,, doc butch ydia he said it could be muscle spasm...so its massage work only.
after massage my back pain gone exactly one week before race TOUR OF FRIENDSHIP 2009 starts.
i finished all work. Thursday i sleep in Makati condo
Friday me and my wife meets 10 guys at the airport with leian and kaight. philip. tiboy atty mike.rex tan and wife and coach ponga.
may1 we arrived in thailand. airport almost empty because the red shirt protesters stormed ASIAN meet a few weeks ago..and so people now afraid to go to thailand..this together with SWINE FLU scare really made people stay at home. Im putting this on record because 20 years from now people forget we almost fail to race in thailand in 2009 because of red shirt demonstrations and swine flu. also the world economy in recession in 2009 too.
raymond see with a Giant Thai Mural at the Bangkok airport May 1 2009
thats my beautiful wife margie standing in front of the mythical guard at BKK airport
my friends at BKK airport
virna and rextan my teamrocka teammate inside the Grandia coach enroute to hotel...
sticker at the back of coach says it all...r1 race 1..sdu means suan dusit university
team excellent noodles in yellow shirts arrived ready for anything....the masks are there so their team wont catch any of the swine flu virus on the plane and at the airport in bangkok
may1 afternoon we put up assembled our bikes. we had pack dinner meet and had to pay 12000baht then receive our race numbers kit consisting of Tshirt and cycling cap.
dinner meet at suan dusit place hotel..photo shoot with team bamboo lake robert meier, thomas wiegand and maam the thai wife of thomas....
raymond see immediately receives a GIFT from team SPECIALIZED singapore boss Dennison Seah consist of car accessory replica of official team jersey of Team Specialized Singapore...thanks so much denison!
may 2 early morning we rode 30kph after 30kms we arrive in nice long stretch of road for the ITT..I did 12;25sec I think..however i beat 2 guys so this means am not last man today. Tough guys had about 9 minutes over 7 km distance.I rode back with team rocka and paul and peter 30kms back to hotel.
photoshoot near start area of ITT 7kilometers
may3 ride out 30kms to the next ptt gas station.then released for the real race suppose to be 175kms away. i think the speed went to 45kph and i get dropped after 50kms...so had to ride solo 52kms there i saw tony lopez in sag wagon he had flat. I ask him to go with me..i can fix his flat. he obliges had his numbers removed and two of us rode the next 110kms so 210kms total its 430pm in thailand i need 10more kilometer with mountain am sure i cant make it anymore . No people at the finish means NO USE TO FINISH. so stopped by roadside. Got picked up with 3 beautiful ladies..One chinese looking i think tony was glad we hitched the ride. Ping too beautiful to describe and Yuie was bubbly and spoke good english...also she is chinese thai.
photoshoot by margie see shows team Joy Rider Singapore cyclist riding his bike with MIS ALIGNED HANDLEBAR after he fell and crashed.
Photoshoot of teamrocka teammate REX TAN shows him suffering leg cramp and so have to ride on one leg for sometime.....but he still managed to finish
photoshoot by margie see of teamrocka teammate philip go finishing the 220kms stage 2
Leian Cruz and Rene Tablante speechless at the end of 220kms race..BRAVO LEIAN and RENE!
may3 hotel was FANTASTIC resort like called THE PAVILLION> the food was very good too.
may4 starting line was at the PAVILION. the race took us again to heartbreak hill where i start suffering after 40kms with group i climb like a turtle...i didnt stop then on downhill i was joined by 105 guy RYAN from Geyland cycling we rode together next 20kms then caught 6 man group. at the u turn for the juniors...i lost my super domestique and had to suffer like dog next 40kms...after 100kms i went pee got scared as my pee turned red (dehydrated or am peeing blood) i stop. I get in car with richard the Singapore airline PILOT of team PASSIONE . i go back to margie's coach Toyota Grandia..watched the race unfold. PHILIP had one of his greatest rides today..i dont know how he do it.. i cant finish and am already depressed after not finisheing two stages. TIBOY ALSO FINISHED with a GOOD TIME for stage 3 which was 145kms long over the rolling and mountain course i can only do 100kms. and i am impressed with paul mutuc albert altura winston chua and jon rufino also...as i saw them NOT QUIT...just GRIT TEETH. at the finish couple of people really really went down after the finish line due to fatigue. im lucky am still alive. you can get comatosed here if you hit your head on the pavement after suffering severe cramps at the finish line or black out in the mountains.
check out what my wife margie is giving me throughout stage 3...Gatorade, Coke and special LANCE ARMSTRONG (LA MINERAL WATER in the genie looking bottle available only from the organizers Tour of Friendship 2009) ...not even drinking Lance ARMSTRONGS sweat could help me finish stage 3 though... the genie bottle i am taking home and display on my trophy shelf
winston chua and paul mutuc finishing stage 3...BRAVO WINSTON AND PAUL
before the start of stage 4..rubbing massage for team philippines by playing coach Cesar Lobramonte
may 4 dinner and award ceremony was at the garden setting and i overheard the singapore team said "looked like a GARDEN WEDDING here..its so beautiful" anyway was depressed and dissapointed but i want to watch the ceremonies so stayed on. near the end of award ceremony my name called. The announcer emcee said they are giving away TROPHY REPLICAS to the key organizer who brought in large number of cyclists from other countries this year. 5 names were called. raymond see was one of them my wife so happy. Of course i didnt expect anything but if they give me a trophy.....of course i am very happy to accept.
before the dinner we had some time to play near the river...ave chua gamely shows her "SNAKE IN EAGLE SHADOW" KUNG FU
"garden wedding" dinner setting at PAVILION
may 5, flat stage 154kms long today...i plan to stay as long as i could...the speed was 44kph for one and a half hours...i can only do 60kms with the peloton after that i ride with the 30-39 category when they passed by i hanged on. at the ladies finish line...i went straight and motor escort approached told me i went wrong way. i said its ok am not feeling well so motorcycle said ok. PASSIONE TEAM rider from singapore Jeremy adams also 40-49 cat turned back also...rode with me..he said "we are both businesman raymond...we paid to race..but we lack the training for long distances...we can stop whereever we want we are not professionals if you decide to stop at the 110kms mark the ladies finish line..i will ride with you to that finish line no problem dont worry about it" evening we had a nice dinner in the GRAND BALLROOM. wow the ambiance was GREAT! FILM SHOWING even much better. Dinner served...consist of soup, lengua, peking duck!
a box of donuts for tiboy reyes teamrocka1bikeshop after helping Thomas Wiegand when he suffered a flat tire in stage 4
may 6, flat stage instead of 140kms shortened to 100kms. I can only do 20kms with peloton because everyone of the top ten teams said they will attack from the beginning. 50kms per hour the next 3kms after start....45 next 5kms...rest 40kms..attack again. I said to myself "the peloton wants 40kms per hour for the next two hours..i cant do that i wont finish" so fortunately for me robert meier of team bamboo lake also had same thinking with me and so two of us decides to ride together for 80kilometer 30-35kph. he was always in front..when he slowed down i reached for my egg sandwich gave it to him and after 5 minutes...vroom vroom he speeds up im already dying again i ask him to slow down he obliges (thanks robert!) we passed by margie helping somepeople who crashed...she shouts "careful so many people crashed" The road was like south luzon expressway....for 80 kilometers. near the finish i told robert "at the finish we ride together i raise your hand and you go first ok" robert did raise hand then at finish he apply brake so i can go two inch ahead of him...what a humble gentleman this guy is...he did work i want to give him line..he refuse.
photoshoot with my good friend the coordinator of Tour of Friendship madam Khun Kai Titareet the wife of Mr Pong who unknown to many is the one who designed the beautiful SADDLE TROPHY ..Thanks so much MADAM! photo before the start of stage 5
lightweight weenie bike 4.9 kilograms with exotica AX LIGHTNESS PARTS seen before the start of stage5 photo with permission from the owner of bike by raymond see
lew wheelset and sram rear derailleur SUPER MODIFIED
drilled carbon levers anyone...?
philippine team POLO tri rider andy aguila from the philippines lost his race number and had to make do with this do-it-yourself number (taken from 704 number of BEA LOCSIN from philippines) ...until my wife margie said she found andy's number in the Philippines Grandia coach...nice one andy!
THANKS SO MUCH ROBERT I WILL INVITE YOU TO MANILA.
at the finish i was told there were 3 crashes 40 49 cat. Mike Yngson and admiral tiples crashed. admiral tiples loses his saddle. Mike had bruises all over. Paul and Peter also crashed about 82kms mark and Peter i think lost his Lightweight wheels in that crash. Cycleworx guy 3 crashed one lands in hospital due to rib injury his red white black Pinarello cracked at bottom bracket area. ALEX BILLAN won first place. Team Bamboo lake chiangmai Thomas Wiegand 2nd place inspite of a crash also. Ave Chua won 4th place even when she said her whole body aches already after 4 days of racing...she was clearly a crowd favorite after the race she had been asked to pose for photos and she obliges . "she is strong and very beautiful" one of the thai guys told me..."i said careful thats winston thats her husband" the thai guy smiled...
cracked pinarello from team cycleworx singapore (margie see foto)
the Colnago of philippine team CNC rider emmanuel tiples shown here losing the saddle after figuring in a crash near the finish of stage 5 (margie see foto)
TURN PRO AT 60 JERSEY was one of my favorites for tour of friendship 2009
the other jersey i like very much is the Jei You Shanghai Jersey shown here by Paul, team X terras atty mike and raymond see of teamrocka at the finish stage 5
Leian cruz who was also a bit disappointed for the last few stages after failing to climb up the podium WAS SO HAPPY TODAY after a successful breakaway
LEIAN CRUZ team FITNESS FIRST Philippines WINS First PLACE. 30-39 category Congratulations Leain!
Alex Billan of team Excellent Noodles Philippines wins First Place 40-49 category and Thomas Wiegand 2nd Place STAGE 5.
me? I am just happy to finish...i told team rocka before the start of this race. ITS LIKE GOING TO WAR AND COMING BACK ALIVE guys...its a natural high just to finish the tough stages. I can imagine how happy most of the guys are to FINISH and to have a SADDLE TROPHY too.
raymond see in yellow and robert meier in green..finishing with hands in air...am really happy ..It was great to race in Tour of Friendship 2009...and am happy its all over!
I am really very happy for you guys. You make our country the PHILIPPINES PROUD.
Once more....MAbuhay team Philippines!
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