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.

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