Imagine kicking back and relaxing on a tropical beach resort after you have already completed 120kms off furious racing in the tropical heat, dodging Jeepnies and throngs of monkeys lunging for your bananas as you flash by. You can enjoy a freshly made ice-cold mango shakes while admiring the brilliantly clear tropical sunsets.
Cycling races that include resorts as part of the package are on the rise in Asia; races like the Tour of Matabungkay, Tour of Bintan in Indonesia, and the Friendship Tour of Thailand are popular events both offer resort accommodations with picturesque tropical surroundings for riders to unwind after a day of hard racing. This concept is particularly attractive if you wish to bring your family on a tropical vacation and do some stage racing at the same time.
This will be my third time back to race the Tour of Matabungkay for the Mossimo Team and I enjoy every time I come back to race. The atmosphere at this event is second to none and the Baterna brothers never fail to put on a good show. I have written about this Tour a few times, most recently putting out a press release on October 15 that comes with all the course info and profiles plus the full 429 rider start-list. Going by the profiles for the 2013 edition, it looks to be slightly easier than 2012. Check out the 2011 blog entry too. See below for more coverage of this unique event. If you are wanting to see the profiles and the course info, please check my press release in the above link.
A selection of links to previous Tour of Matabungkay coverage
Dave Christensen report on Natures Bakery – riding for Team DirectAsia.com
Bikedan’s account on Endurance Sport/BikeNZ magazine
Top triathlete, Eric Felbabel’s Tour of Matabungkay report
Hong Kong based Damian Barrett, riding for the BlackHawks report
It is hoped that I can do ok despite very little training since the Mongolia Bike Challenge ended with a dislocated shoulder; my shoulder has been very slow to heal but it seems to be more comfortable when holding the handlebars of the bike. However, I am unable to pull hard without some pain. This will be the least amount of training I have done leading up to a major amateur stage race! My race plan is to have fun and go with the flow; at least I will be well rested. This event will be a good way to get back to race fitness ahead of some upcoming China races (October 27th Invitational in Xiamen, and China’s best one day race at Thousand Island Lake on Nov 2nd) and also the Tour de Bintan on Nov 8-10.
I have also opted not to bring my time-trial bike, but go old-style; using one bike and one set of wheels for the entire race. I will use clip-on bars, skin suit and aero-helmet for the time-trial stages. Since I have the PowerTap along with the JouleGPS, I’ll be able to pace myself a lot better at the beginning of the time-trials. I will post my power files in my upcoming Tour of Matabungkay stories for those of you who are interested in knowing my power outputs during racing.
Check out the photos and the photo gallery! Good luck to all those that will be competing over the next four days and five stages. It is truly going to be an unforgettable, not to mention exciting race for this 2013 edition.