The MTCM kicks off on Thursday and – through a complex deal involving the purchase of some new mobile phones – I’ve got an approved overseas pass from the wife!
MTCM is a cracking 4 day event in the mountains of Northern Thailand – organised by Thai cycling legend Khun Wisut. Now in it’s fourth year, this year’s race brings a new course which elevates the pain further. All 4 stages now having some serious mountains involved- with the last day being a mountain ITT up to the legendary Doi Suthep temple overlooking Chiang Mai.
This year, ANZA jerseys are rarer than a generous Scotsman. Steven Wong and Bill Olver are guest riding with Team 4T2 and I’ll be riding in the Team Direct Asia.com colours. From Singapore, there’s also strong teams representing Mavericks, 4T2 and Matador.
Due to team policy, I’m riding Open & up against Peter Pouly and the local Singha-Infinite team – fresh from their victory in last weeks UCI 2.2 Tour of Ijen. The few hundred Fabers I’ve done in the last few months are nothing compared to the Chiang Mai peaks and so I’m predicting a serious ass reaming for yours truly.
Chiang Mai is a surprisingly fine place to have a bike race. The food is great, decent coffee culture, good roads and amazingly well stocked bike shops. It’s a regular training destination for the Asian teams and you can easily see why when you get here. (see here for more: http://cyclingtips.com.au/2013/05/cycling-culture-in-chiang-mai-and-beyond/)
Highly recommended for anyone that’s not yet made the pilgrimage.
Assuming hotel wifi holds up then I’ll try and keep this up & deliver daily updates from the back of the peleton.