Tour of Bintan | Ladies Too

Lizzie Hodges


Lizzie CritFinally escaping from the guarded fences of school, Uncle whisked me to Tanah Merah, where it was distinctly more calm than Facebook had shown it to have been earlier that morning.  Unlike the earlier athletes, with the help of Jeanne at Metasports and Sindo ferries, I was going directly to Tanjung Pinang.  This proved to be a Very Good Idea.  Apart from the temperature ont he ferry being ARCTIC!  Two hrs of ferry ride and 5 minutes of walking took me into the old Dutch Colonial Governors’ building that was race HQ for the crit.

I’m told everyone in the first wave qualified for cat 2 (45 out of top 50 raced…), but the second wave for cat 2 was a bit more crazy, as peoples’ bikes hadn’t made it down from Nirwana on the trucks (Oops!).  Craig’s campaign for the green jersey started well and he emerged from the crit wearing his prize.

All in all it was a good course despite the #fuckoffmassiverooster which appeared during one lap.  The rooster failed to respond to any of my screams but fortunately was #fuckoffmassive enough for everybody to avoid.

Nico with the LadiesKari made a smart decision and decided to hang onto the recently turned pro triathlete Kathryn’s wheel.  As a result she came in 4th.  Lenka unfortunately decided to demonstrate the protective properties of rapha kit by taking a dive towards the end and is willing to demonstrate this through a look where the road rash ends exam at the drinks on the 20th.

As it turned out the most hair raising part of the crit was the bus ride back to Nirwana where we spent two on a rickety bus with no headlights.  So fearful were we that there were dudes standing at the windscreen shining their iPhone screens out to warn oncoming cars of our approach.  All I could think was Bed, remember to shower, bed, zzzz.

bintan lady1

Day 2.

As expected day 2 was long and hot! [Not Hot and wet… That’s nice if you’re with a lady, but it ain’t no good if you’re in the jungle.? Ed.] The women got a special treat of 135km not 150km and Kari beat off her cramping legs to stay with me and the front half of the women’s  peloton, which despite small and frequent mini-attacks, stayed together for most of the stage.  There was a large squad from Project 852, a team from Hong Kong (+852 geddit Ed.) who it turns out are a collection of smaller teams who ride under the same name for bigger stuff.  They were lovely girls and fairly safe to ride with too, unlike a particular girl who wore black and *** kit( but that’s enough of that Ed.)   So we all played very nicely!

The highlight was SJ Hollands riding EIGHTY kelometers with no saddle after her seatpost snapped early in the race.

The guest mav came in first, Serene second, myself 3rd.  Back to Nirwana for naps, showers, more hydrating of various styles, buckets of popcorn and the Saturday night dinner behind the beach.  Craig had secured the Green Jersey for the final day by securing more points, well done Craig.

Tip for the future if you are in Cat 1…  I hear you don’t bother asking PA if he wants water when you are his domestique; the answer is always of course, of course!

Day 3

A good day, with no rain (only before breakfast), but reasonably hot again.

Rick requires some attention because no one could reposition his dislocated shoulder!

SJ got disqualified since apparently her EIGHTY KM without a saddle may have required some moped assistance.  I’m not sure how they allowed her still to place 2nd in the sprint ACE but she was still allowed to race stage 2 but without a GC position.

Back to the racing…  Gotta admit, I was scared coming over those cobbles but pleasantly surprised that the legs  could still take more pain despite my mini TT 😦 (maybe its all in the mind) but as it turns out, dry cobbles are ok!

[Ed.  to prevent wild confusion I need to interject here that Lizzie took a tumble, hence the mini TT, and hence the following comments]

Lizzie and KariKari ended up 2nd GC (well done!) I am enjoying my new skinless shoulder blade (but am impressed my new ANZA top didn’t shred),  Lenka had fun (she’s next to me as I type this so that’s straight out of her mouth) and after being introduced to speeds of 60+kmh by Cherriman in KL Laura’s bike made it to the podium in Bintan.  Next time Laura should be riding it 😉  Ned held onto her 2nd place in Fondo, and significantly closed the gap on the 1st place rider (told to me by beaming hubby!).

Race over, now just to chill out for the party ferries, pooooool time!

Nico’s now doing recovery run laps in the pool in front of us, is this the new Franza training? High cadence drills?

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