So, I am back in Singapore… How do I know this? Well, I was given a wake up call on Wednesday morning when I went to my local Cafe (where I always go), ordering poached eggs NOT runny (as I always do), to be told by cafe girl that because I was ordering poached eggs as part of the Big Breakfast and not on their own that it was not possible to have them well done… I tried really hard for about 5 seconds to not be a total cock ex-pat, but lost that battle and promptly had to give a wikipedia like run through of how to poach an egg… Yes indeed, we are back in the land of process without deviation (or service).
Enough bitching about my first world problems, we have some excellent news before I commence the briefing rant, the Dirty Nomad T Shirts have arrived! Thanks to the iHawk for designing the awesomeness and Ango for logistics/Production and now, modelling:
Extra kudos to Ango taking his first selfie ever in the name of the Dirtiness, chur bro. Speaking of shameless self promotion, we have also been busy in the print media, here is a shot from the latest version of some ghastly local cycling mag, I just made the contents shot:
So famous… But, to be fair not quite as good as the photo of Roberto on the front of the peloton or Snozza actually winning the race at Desaru… hmmm… work to be done on our profile perhaps.
Back into the racing... Yes, right now I would just like to take a few weeks off the bike and chill, but that will have to wait as low and befuckinghold we have THE premier cycling event of the Singapore calendar this weekend:
Tour of Bintan
Yes, nothing whips the Ex-Pat cycling community into such a hysterical state as this race, it’s the one they all fever for and a shit load of new high end kit will have been flying out the doors of bike shops all over Singapore recently just for this 3 day sortie into Indonesia.
First an important point – please do NOT call this race ‘Tour de Bintan’, we are absofuckinglutely not in France people… We’re in Indonesia, a Dirty Nomad Category 2 shithole, the only thing French about this place will be some of the competitors, so it’s important that we set expectations early that referring to it in a French tone instantly grants oneself ‘cock’ status. Like the yellow jersey – if you haven’t earned it, don’t wear it. Yes, I know the race website says otherwise, but lets do our best to keep it real and avoid their tagline of “Now everyone can ride the tour”, WTF, no we can’t FFS… Unless you want to lay on a full cocktail of PED’s! Unlikely.
Rant over and on to the racing! This will be my third Tour OF Bintan and I was pretty certain that after last year I was done, but I’m back for more punishment this year. No bullshit, Cat 1 racing here is hard, it’s full gas, Asian style racing and with 52 riders lining up in Cat 1 this year it’s going to be massively ON I suspect. Each year it seems to be getting more feral in terms of the par and level of racing, so let that serve as a baseline. Format? Well, break it down like a shotgun:
Friday – 12km prologue TT: My nemesis… I would like to say that my TTing is improving, but I’m yet to actually prove that. This opener is tough, hot and probably a bit windy. At 12kms it’s just long enough to cause problems, which I ran into last year going out too fast at the start.
Saturday – 150kms: This is the Queen stage for sure and the one that everyone gets excited about. It’s fucking hard to be frank and I spent 150 of those KM’s last year feeling like robocop was squeezing my balls whilst simultaneously eye gouging me. So much so I never saw the winning move that slipped off the front with maybe 10kms to go… Nice one. Pretty much everyone wants to win this stage, which is why last year the average speed was around 39kph in 30 deg heat for 150km’s. If you can get through without cramping then good job… Here’s what it looks like:
Sunday – 120kms: Thank fuck that this year we have one longer stage as opposed to two shorter stages that were split between morning and late morning, which was awful. This year sees the first time we have just one big stage, which whilst on paper sounds harder, but I suspect it will be better than the two finishes and fucking about in the middle we usually have to manage. Last year on the first part of this stage I got away into a breakaway with the Diesel unit and rode myself into a Lindsey Lohan like state of delirium before we were hunted down by a rampant and robotic Direct Asia team, still to this day one of the most impressive trains I have seen in amateur cycling and gave one an appreciation for what the first night in prison must be like.
What is NOT cool at Bintan, but I am sure we will see a lot of is people (AKA Gimps) racing to defend their 21st place overall on GC like its the difference between Protour glory and never eating again, even though they are 3 mins down. For those already panicking about how to hold on to 19th place, just chill out and do your best to avoid riding like a complete weirdo over the next 3 days.
My plan? Well, I will do my job until my legs/soul/body gives out completely and hopefully it contributes to us seeing some more of this from the Snozzinator:
So then – From 10 degrees in the South Island of NZ in Rivet Racing kit to 32 degrees in Indonesia in Cannasia kit, its going to be quite a weekend and once done, quite an insane 10 days! Stay tuned for daily updates, assuming I avoid monitor lizard assaults and can navigate the weirdness of an overzealous peloton primed for the big Singapore Cycling Prom night!