Monthly Archives: October 2014

It’s a Shorty but a Goody!

It seems all last weekend’s racers and riders put so much energy into their racing that they were unable to put pen to paper to entertain us with their exploits.  All save Pierre of course, who despite multiple mechanicals still finished the Melaka Century Race in 15th with enough energy to give us a great account of his race and the Team Direct Asia performance.

Speaking of shorties, the Singapore Nationals have been shortened to zero km today through late cancellation.  For the lowdown visit www.cycling.org.sg/road/

Looks like we are all short of time this week, so instead of our super reliable Tri-corner, we have a bit of a Tri-nook hidden away within this editorial – here it is:

Tri-nook (Martin Reynolds)
Hong Kong Tri
The 2014 Hong Kong ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup took place last weekend.  Well done to the ANZA members who made the journey and came back with some super fast times (and a podium), including

Olympic Distance
Wendy Wilcox 2:34 (1st in Age Group)
Alex Kolb 2:25 (11th)

Sprint
Donna Mcwilliams 1:43 (17th)

Committee Meeting
The ANZA Committee is having another of our regular meetings next week.

We wanted to open the floor to any members that have topics that they’d like tabled at the session. All members are invited to submit items for the agenda. You can get a committee member to speak on your behalf or can present personally.

Please approach any of the committee at club breakfast tomorrow if you’d like more info, or email us at anzacycling.rti.ed@gmail.com
committtee

The rainy season is upon us, lets hope it holds off until we finish Club Breakfast tomorrow.

Let’s be careful out there!
Ed.

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Melaka Century Race | 26th October 2014

By: Pierre-Alain Scherwey

Melaka race is a good chance at redemption for the riders unable to attend Matabunkay or the Masters Tour of Chang Mai.

Ideally located just 3 hours driving time from Singapore. This requires only one night out in the Bayou Lagoon Resort for Singapore residents. Among the massive 2,600 participants, 170 raced in the top category. TDA fielded a strong team of 7 – including Matt, John, Tony, Brad, Simon, Raoul and Pierre. Raoul being a guest rider from Anza Singapore.

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We hit the road at 700am and I felt right away that the team was in fantastic spirits. Our agreed tactic was to put guys in the breakaway and to control the front of the race which is our usual tactic when our sprinters are not present.

Everybody has been applied to the task. After half a dozen attempts and 40km into the race. I found an opening but was alone. The twisting terrain was perfect breakaway territory and helped the bunch to forget me for a while. From that point my plan was to ride at full gas as far as I could could and then hope that a group would eventually bridge over to give me some respite.

The Plan worked well & after 10km i saw 2 guys coming across to me, following by 4-5 others. The main bunch was out of sight.

I was pleased to see team mate John Tonk was one of the new escapees. It was really no surprise though as John is an obsessional attacker. I jumped on the back of the group when it reached me and looked forward to finally getting some recovery.

Right at this point, I had the misfortune to hit a big hole in the road which messed up my brake levers. My right lever dropped dropped 5cm from the force of impact which immediately compacted the rear brake caliper and disconnected the Di2 plug. I managed to punch the lever back in place whilst riding to get the wheel turning again but the rear derail was still not moving. So I had to stop again for a quick fix.

I looked on disappointed as the break and then main bunch came past – thinking my race was over already.

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I had the bunch at sight after 5 minutes of hard chasing at the end of a long straight. This gave me the motivation to push hard for the  5 more minutes that I needed to catch it. Thanks to my team mates who slowed down the bunch fury. This also had the dual benefit of allowing Johns breakaway to get more time on the main pack whilst I get back to the bunch.

The team controlled the bunch and rode behind to prevent anyone else from getting off the front. John being a descent sprinter we put all our hopes on him bringing home a result.

Somehow I found myself with 1 other local  100m ahead of the bunch. He decided to push on a bit more without my help. Few rolling hills after that we saw a group of 6 coming back on us. This put me in a very comfortable situation as I simply sat on to police the break in order to protect John.

At 60km to go, we heard that the break had a 2:30 gap. My goal then was simply to sit in this middle break and to target a top 10 result. This lasted some 50km in this way. The group was organized enough. I took some turns but it was quite neutral.

In the grind to the finish, our group lost some more members and we were down to 8 escapees. At 15km from finish, bad luck came visiting again when I got a slow puncture in the front wheel. I flagged for support but without success – again I saw my race stopped for a mechanical.

After waiting 2 minutes on the side of the road, I remembered I had the Pitstop foam repair with me. It took 10 second to squirt then I started chasing again.

This time, I knew that I I could not come back to the break as there wasn’t enough distance remaining. However, I still had some good legs and motivation to push on. Therefore, my new ambition was to avoid the catch from the bunch before the finish.
My front wheel lost air again and at 5km to go, I was fully flat again. No choice this time I finished on the bare rim as fast and as safe it could be.
I ended up 30 seconds front of the bunch. Probably in 15th position

Team mate Johns escape eventually got caught by the remainder of my group. John went a second too late on the sprint and managed to grab second place.

Back in the bunch, Brad had a bad crash. He touched a wheel in front of him, lost balance and landed in a canal on the side of the road, losing a substantial amount of skin in the fall. No broken bone, but his bike was beyond saving. Raoul went down the bunch to collect water for the team but die to misfortune wasn’t able to make it back to the team – spending 60km lonely km on his own. Matt, Tony and Simon finishing safe in the bunch.

It was a long day under the heat and humidity of Malaysia. The team worked perfectly together all day long. Despite our misfortune we got some descent results. I’m now looking forward to race the Tour of Bintan in 2 weeks. I have high hopes of a big result for the team!

 

Masters Tour Of Chiang Mai | Stage 4

imageThe massive gold Buddha perched atop Doi Suthep blesses us with another perfect day of racing weather. Apart from Stage 2’s apocalyptic enema, the weather has been consistently cool and in the mid 20’s. We even got a bit of cloud today to make it picture perfect.

The final stage today is a new twist for the race and we have an 11km time trial up the Doi Suthep mountain which is ever present above the city. The climb is a steady 6% the whole way with a nasty kick up at the last 500m. The constant twisting road also makes it hard to figure out your bearings and see what’s coming next.

riders were set off at 30 second intervals with the Open Category up last. A nice way to finish the race, it meant we’d all be done by 9.45.

Due to yesterday’s wheel failure, Rowdie was out first with Don chasing at 30 seconds and Mark a further minute back. Peter Poults Strava KoM sits at 26 minutes but most were saying that anything less than 35 mins was still good (and enough for Strava top 10 until today).

not much that can be written about the day. Simply a case of putting the head down and grinding out whatever is left in the legs.

Pouly bossed the climb as expected with 27 minutes- with the rest of the podium filled with the local pros from CCN and Singha. Rowdie did a great ride to turn in 34.00, Mark in 34.2 and Don sealed his Lanterne Rouge with a disappointingly tired 37.

in other cats, Damien Barrett (no doubt due to his TDA skinsuit!) beasted the climb in 31 minutes to steal the 30s GC. ANZAs Steven Wong’s chest infection finally caught up with him and he took it steady to avoid inflaming his cough further..

The Masters Tour is a gem of a race. Less serious than Bintan, punchier than Friendship and (by all accounts) safer than Matabungkay. Overwhelming feedback was that we’ll all be back next year.

TDA never seriously troubled the podium and we were outclassed by the larger local  pro teams.  But we represented, showed our faces, raced with heart and had fun. A great little warm up for Bintan.

Masters Tour of Chiang Mai | Stage 3

Donald MacDonald

Stage 3 was the unofficial queen stage – 75km with the last 30km going up the biting 9 ramps of the Sameong hills. For Open A, we had the pleasure of a hastily added additional loop following the climb where we’d then descend the switchbacks and climb it from the other side giving us an additional 10km of pain.

the day started easy enough with the 1st 50km being flat and at an easy 40km average. Singha controlled the front and I had a hit off the front early to test the legs. Later we went again through boredom rather than for tactical reasons but Singha snuffed it out. Konstantin Fast was up the road and they were keen for CCN to do some work chasing.

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the pace ramped up when we turned off for the hills. The Sameong loop is really 9 ramps which increase in intensity with the last one being  a 3km beast with some sections at 20%. Rowdie and Mark stuck with the lead group until Pouly and CNN took off on the steeper stuff. I sat 30 seconds back in the next group.

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on the steepest section of the final climb my Bont shoe boa gave out and I ended up with a floppy useless shoe – bit of a hinderance on 20% gradient!

The open group were then onto the extra loop – which consisted of a 3km descent on nasty 20% switchbacks. Mark Scoular earned some plaudits when he managed to pass Takai – Japanese national MTB champion – on the descent. The steepness of the switchbacks proved a problem for braking  and Rowdies front wheel completely buckled and he was lucky not to go down. Even mybulletproof Enve’s deformed under the extreme heat.image

Konstantin held on for the win with CCN taking 2nd and 3rd. Mark was our best placed rider – coming in 7th on a tough day.

My afternoon trip to fix the broken Bont Boa proved costlier than expected. No spare parts meant I “had” to get some new shoes and the wife also picked up a new bike. $1000 trip for what should have been a $20 part!

tomorrow is the mountain ITT. Not the best day to try new shoes but they’ll at least look good in the pictures!

Masters Tour of Chiang Mai | Stage 2

A Faber – the universally agreed measure of vertical ascent for Singaporeans overseas

Stage 2 ramps up the pain figuratively and literally today. The overseas Singaporeans agreed that today’s climb looked like a “3 Faber” and was therefore a bit nasty. The stage was an advertised 102km with the climb hitting us at around 70km. The descent was described as “dangerous” and not to be raced- it would prove decisive later on.

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we started on a busy highway about 30km out of town. Wisut gave orders to the Singha boys to keep the speed down so that we were safe in the traffic. This lasted less than 100m as they attacked from the gun. There was carnage in the peleton as we hit 55km within the first km of the race. By the time the 1st little climb arrived at 20km out, we had an average of 46km/hr. This was achieved whilst navigating trucks and heavy traffic. Dodgy but exhilarating.

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the race split further on that 1st climb and I ended up in a 2nd group. After a 10km hard chase burning matches, we regained contact with the front group of 25. 6 from Open had just gone off the front and as all teams were represented (with Rowdie representing TDA) there was no chase from the remaining Open riders. 30s and Open B also seemed content to sit in and the pace fell to an easy 33.

Up front, we had Pouly, takai, Vincent Ang from Singha, Rowdie TDA, Ben Arnott Mavs and the CCN yellow jersey. They built a 3:30 gap over the dawdling peleton until the foot of the climb at 70km. Around this point, the heavens opened and it was full on monsoon downpour making the roads treacherous. Pouly and CCN attacked at the foot of the climb at a speed described as”like a downhill sprint” and were never seen again.

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the remaining 4 worked up the climb together but things fell apart on the ultra slick and dangerous descent with Singha taking off the front. Rowdie made it down in 5th but took a couple of wrong turns on the run in to the finish and ended up in a small group with Ben and a bridging up Singha/CCN. He took another 7th on the stage.

further back, the descent caused problems in the rain and my legendary crap descending skills caused me a few AG2R brown shorts moments and the loss of maybe 10 miinutes on the group. I’m almost certainly now the Lanterne Rouge of Open! Others were not so luck with Steven Wong taking a tumble (swollen shoulder but ok) and 5-6 others who went off road.

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food and ceremony were again done with startling efficiency and the peleton soft pedaled home for our 2nd day of ~150km round trips. With such a minging day, there was only 1 plausible option for cleaning the bike…

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Tomorrow is the queen stage with mountains a-go-go.

The international travel edition

No long intro  this week as I’m writing from Barcelona Airport and posting from Doha (Packing lite like the international jetsetter I am!) so this week we have the daily updates from the Masters Tour of Chiang Mai from Don, our regular Tri Corner from Martin and an account of their first experience of real mountain biking from Danielle and Luka Cherriman.  The Dark Side was not quite as easy as they thought 🙂

Let’s Be Careful Out There.

Ed.

Tales From The Dark Side – Mountain Biking in Spain

Tales From The Dark Side
Report from Monachil – Sierra Nevada, España
By: Luka & Danielle Cherriman

 After waiting in a queue for over an hour just to see the inside of a church, I was dying to do something more interesting and so I was really excited when mummy said we were going mountain biking tomorrow.

We set off in the car and drove [more like a rally driver down from our village, making me feel sick at every turn – Danielle] to a small mountain village called Monachil in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range just outside of Granada.  We drove around and around looking for a parking space that both mummy and daddy were happy with and got out to find our guide.  We found the bar after what seemed to be an age of walking around in circles, and sat down for a drink; as well as the drink we were given some funny looking tapas, that consisted of slimy mushrooms, some bacon and a loaf of dry bread.  Mummy dived in [just for a change – Danielle] and we sat back disgusted!  Shaun our mountain bike guide finally turned up and we walked across the square to his bike shop.

In the bike shop, which was jam packed with dirty and grimy mountain bikes – so different from our lovely clean road bikes.  We were given four different mountain bikes [lucky because there were four of us! Ed.] and some very smelly and sweaty helmets.  The bikes were loaded into the minivan and off we went.  The bikes had pride of place on the back seat and we were crammed into the front.
DSC05113After we drove up the mountain, we got to our destination – which seemed to be a park in the middle of nowhere. While testing out our bikes Shaun told us we would be cycling uphill, I didn’t think this was going to be a problem, after all, I am a cycling demon!!  I set off keeping up with mummy and ahead of Shaun who at one point told me to wait for Danielle because she wouldn’t like being last.  After about 15 mins I realised that mountain biking wasn’t easy at all because we had to drag a heavy bike up a 5000km hill – OK maybe it was only 5!  I was exhausted, I was out of breath as Danielle zoomed past me and not very happy at all [but my super dad was very sympathetic, which is unusual for him – Ed.].  We reached the top – to see what?  We were still in the middle of nowhere looking at a mountain in the middle of nowhere.  Mummy and Shaun seemed to enjoy the Geography of the area  To me we were in the middle of nowhere!  In case I’m not making it clear we were in the middle of nowhere.

Move over Luka it’s my turn to say something.  We left the view point, now for some downhill.  At first it was really easy, we were on a wide fire trail, but suddenly Shaun turned off the track down a narrow rocky path.  Shaun went first, followed by mum – how hard could it be?  I set off, it was easy for about 30 seconds, but then……   I hit a rock, my nose hit the handlebars  and I thought it had broken.   I tried again, I hit another rock, I slipped off the pedal and it hit me in the shin.  I tried again and went another 30 seconds before hitting another rock – ahhh I hate going downhill.  Dad showed no sympathy and shouted for me to stop messing around (not quite as politely though) and mum rocketed down the hill – she showed no sympathy either.  I got it together and managed my first single track descent – Luka would have said “I owned that downhill”.  I was really pleased with myself.

A little further down, after some more fire trail, it was all going well and  Shaun decided that we could handle some more single track – again I looked down , it was steep, narrow and this time there was a drop off to our left hand side.  No worries….  Luka went down first, showing no fear.  He managed to get down the steep part, no problem, he went round the corner, leaning downslope,  he hit a root and stopped in the wrong place and the next thing I saw he was tumbling down the slope, goodbye Luka I always wanted to be an only child……  Oh wait I’ve got to go down there too….

Hey Danielle – this is my epic fail – “I totally owned that fall”  I was face down in a bed of spiky thorns with a bike on my head.  Mummy and Shaun came to my rescue and removed the bike, I don’t really remember what happened I just fell and ended up with a bike on my head!!

DSC05182The rest of ride was much better, I stayed upright and enjoyed the different downhill sections as we rode back into the village.  Final thoughts I really hope I don’t have to do that again….  But mum and dad says we are going again on Tuesday.

Tri-Corner | 24/10/14

ImageMartin Reynolds | Triathlon Director

It’s the time of the for many triathletes who are both focused on the last few races of the year and planning for 2015.  I have started to compile a list of some selected races that may interest ANZA cycling members.  Most people will have their personal plan of attack and favourites.  For those who would like some steer – feel free to consider:

Newbie? – New to triathlon or considering taking it up? Consider the Metasprint Series starting in February.  Also the Trifactor series is another good introduction

OD? – Fancy pushing it up to Olympic Distance ? Have a look at the Bintan tri In May.  Port Dickson is a popular OD, plus a number of very busy ones in Singapore

Half? – Want to crank the distance up a bit more? Lots of 70.3’s and Challenge Half’s around.  Busselton in May is a great, flat, race with a coolish climate (PB’s virtually guaranteed), if you like it a bit warmer then have a look at Putrajaya in April

Ironman? – Fancy going the whole distance? The only ones that don’t require a flight are Metaman and Ironman Langkawi. A few others (in slightly cooler climates) in Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and lots in Aus/NZ including Melbourne and Bussulton

Euro? – Heading off to Europe next Summer? A few ANZA members are heading out to Nice in France in June.  Also check out Challenge Roth and Ironman Switzerland in July

Rustic? – Do you consider water stations, timing chips and first aid tents a luxury? Check out the Desaru Half, Kenyir lake or the Sungailliat triathlon

Family Friendly? – Do you need to bribe the family with a holiday in order to train? Have a look at Bintan in May, Metaman (also Bintan) In August, Gold Coast in August and Phuket (November and December)

Please note that this is just a selection and not all dates are confirmed so please don’t assume these are accurate or final.

Jan
18        Asia Pacific 70.3, Auckland

Feb
1          Challenge Melbourne

14        Metasprint aquathlon
8          70.3 geelong, Australia
21        Challenge Philippines
22        Challenge Wanaka, NZ

Mar
7          Ironman NZ
8          70.3 subic bay Philippines
15        Metasprint duathlon
22        Ironman Asia Pacific championships, Melbourne

29        Challenge Half Batemans bay
TBC    Tri factor swim
TBC    Singapore urbanathlon
TBC    Abu Dhabi international triathlon
TBC    Kenyir lake international triathlon
TBC    Trifam sprint aquathlon
TBC    Penang international triathlon and duathlon
TBC    Laguna lang co triathlon, Vietnam
TBC    NUS biathlon, singapore

Apr
5          Putrajaya 70.3, Malaysia
12        Ironman Taiwan
19        Metasprint triathlon
25        Challenge Taiwan
TBC    Sungailliat triathlon, Indonesia

May
2          70.3 Busselton
3          Ironman Australia
23-24   Bintan triathlon
TBC    Tri factor swim
TBC    Milo youth triathlon

Jun
7          70.3 japan
14        70.3 cairns
14        Ironman cairns
14        yellow cab challenge Camsur
28        Ironman France, Nice
TBC    Tri factor bike
TBC    Port Dickson triathlon
TBC    Singapore aquathlon

Jul
12        Challenge Roth
29        Ironman Switzerland

Aug
2          70.3 Philippines
23        Ironman japan
TBC    Norseman
TBC    Singapore international triathlon
TBC    Metaman Full, Half and Blitz
TBC    Challenge Gold Coast
TBC    MY Duathlon, Ipoh

Sep
13        70.3 Sunshine Coast
TBC    Tri factor triathlon
TBC    70.3 world championships, USA
TBC    Vietnam international triathlon

TBC      Desaru Half

Oct
10        Kona ironman World Championships
TBC    Singapore duathlon
TBC    Powerman Malaysia
TBC    70.3 Korea

Nov
TBC    70.3 Taiwan
TBC    Laguna Phuket triathlon
TBC    Sarawak international triathlon, Malaysia
14        Ironman langkawi

Dec
TBC    Challenge half Phuket
TBC      Busselton Ironman

Masters Tour of Chiang Mai | Stage 1

Donald MacDonald

I’m sitting on the plane in the seat right above the wing. Worryingly I can’t see the aforementioned wing at all due to the mental driving rain at 5000 feet.Thailand is notimage looking like the land of smiles when we finally get down – it’s cold, windy and absolutely pissing down.

Fortunately the downpour passed by mid afternoon and we managed to get out for a spritly 40km warm up prior to getting our race packs. I’m shocked to note that the Open A field has only 14 registered at sign-in -but it does guarantee me a top 15 place!

Hotel is the usual functional 2 star luxury we’re accustomed to at such things. Does the job nicely but creates a scowl on the unlucky partners faces that have been dragged along.image

Stage 1 consists of 80km with a solid hill halfway though. It’s an easy looking day compared to later in the week but a good chance to sniff out the opposition. In reality, the 15km neutral section turns out to be 30km. The 80-85km race is actually 74! Mai Bin Lai as they say here – it’s pretty laid back and nobody really cares.

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Due to our small peloton, Open A is together with Open B and the 30s. We roll out with ~70 riders and it’s immediately game on. The first 10km has a flurry of attacks which we all get sucked into participating in. Eventually a small group hunting the KoM jersey get away and we settle down to a comfortably swift pace for the rest of the morning.

The KoM appears 5km earlier than expected and I find myself on the front of the peloton most of the way. A desperate need to visit a bathroom signifies that I’ve hit max heart rate 200m from the top and I ease back slowly into the group and sit in for the descent.

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By the 2nd major climb, our group is down to about 30 riders and it stays that way to the bunch sprint. On the open highways, rolling speeds are well in the 50s but it’s super smooth and a nice ride.

Ben Arnott has a serious crack at solo victory with a fine breakaway at 10km out. Only the sign that there’s 5km to go spurns the pack into action and we wind him back in.

CCN win the sprint over Vincent Ang from Singha-infinite. Mark Scoular (TDA) gets 6th and Rowdie Loughlin a well deserved 7th for putting in so much effort throughout. I come in metres later with the rest of the front pack. 43km is the average speed for the day.

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in 50s, Steven Wong takes 3rd and Bill Olver 6th.

thai hospitality has some fried rice and water served up within minutes and the awards are done and dusted swiftly afterwards. A fine kick off to the Tour with all riders safe and in decent positions. Tomorrow looks a tad harder though 😦