This was my first race in Malaysia and it came to be by simply posting the
race details to ANZA MTB Facebook page and asking who was interested,
thankfully Massimo “Mad Max” Nanni picked up the thread, registered both of
us, collected me from my condo at 4.45AM (sadly not in the Interceptor) and
drove up to Malaysia for the 8AM race start. Couldn’t have been easier. For
The advice given to me when it comes to racing in Malaysia was to get there early and get to the front otherwise you’ll be weaving in and out of bikesfor the first 5-10km. We arrived an hour before the race to find a hundred or so bikes already stacked up at the start and some good weaving ahead of us.
The course was 40km and billed as an epic ride, I later learnt that epic in
Malaysia MTB terms means a course that is going to rip your legs off and
leave majority of us hoping that each hill was the last, or in my case
asking the course volunteers if there were any more hills only to get a
“faster, faster” response each time.
After the first three main climbs which ranged up to 16% gradient and were
hard but rideable I started to believe they were the big three climbs I’d
seen on the course profile and the last of the hills, I was sadly mistaken,
there were 5 more to come ranging up to an incredible 37% gradient. Taiwan
KOM training anyone?
At the bottom of one hill a friendly policemen in the middle of the
plantations (it’s not clear to me why he was there either) happily informed
me I was in 10th. By the top of that hill I was in 7th after WALKING past
3 riders in considerably more pain than me.
I eventually crossed the line in 7th overall and if I’d registered for my
correct age group I would have been 2nd out of the old “veterans”.
Back at home after yet another delayed border crossing out of Malaysia I
unpacked the sponsors race kit which amongst other things contained cream
cheese biscuits, a condom and zip ties. Maybe that policeman was there for
a reason after all.
This weekend we are racing in the Singapore National Championships at
Tampines closing out a brilliant month of MTB racing.