How excited was I to get up this morning and head to Indonesia?! Well, so excited I inadvertently turned off my iPhone, which turns off the alarm and as such, I almost missed the taxi… In my feral state I almost considered not picking up the GOAT, but I needed someone to share my pain at the massively fucked up circus that is Bintan Ferry check in on race day, behold the inefficiency:

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Is it plausible that we can miss the ferry and don’t have to race?!!

Actually, we did come pretty close to missing the ferry, it took some elbow work to navigate through the slowly degrading social order that was the ferry terminal departure lounge… Lets just say that if there is a Zombie apocalypse, human kind is rooted (here at least), as the later it got, the more people lost their shit! Lets cast off:

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A strong sense of Deja vu envelops me…

After much queuing and farting (the Goat is already under siege and I haven’t even had a Gel), we arrived at the Assgsana accom, where Goat got straight into the important points of the trip while I hunted down wifi like a junkie that was 2 days overdue for a massive fix:

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“A happy ending is HOW much this year? Strewth… forget it, I’ll just do it myself”

Given I am still in Post 5 Passes recovery mode, it was a VERY line call as to whether or not I just busted out the togs and parked up here to be honest:

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Wait, this isn’t Porters Pass is it?  Hmmm… What are those black things off to the right over the TT course?

As it turns out, sitting on the beach was probably the thing I should have done and with that thought in your head, I shall elaborate why and get to the racing!

The ToB 12km TT Prologue course is pretty straight forward, out and back with only a couple of small bumps, nothing overly exciting, but a good first test. This year it was also ably assisted by pissing rain the whole way, which basically started right at the moment we decided to leave the hotel, handy… and an omen of how the evening would shake out (for me at least). Mandatory “Jolly good chaps, off we go” photo:

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Roberto is genuinely smiling as he is gagging for the suffering… The Goat giggling because someone said ‘Penis’

Arriving at the race HQ and it was now massively raining… I am talking about the kind of pissing down where you are even forced to take your Oakleys off, basically criminal… Not exactly weather that entices a decent warm up:

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Welcome back to Bintan… Monsoon anyone?

Not everyone was disappointed with the rain however:

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Roberto – Genuinely stoked its pissing down on account of it making shit harder…

With a half arsed warm up safely in the bank, it was time to hit the start ramp. As you can see, the start ramp and real time timing system a slight step up in terms of Bling factor from 5 Passes, almost makes you feel PRO. Again, Roberto pumped that he is about to torture himself for 18 minutes:

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“I hope this really hurts”

With Roberto off and smashing it, next up was the Snozzinator, who knows a thing or two about how to do a decent TT, starting so alarmingly fast this was the best me and my iPhone skills could manage as he dropped the hammer off the ramp:

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Gonna take it right into the DANGER ZONE… etc etc…

Then it was my turn… Er… Well, I would basically like to gloss over this, but it may be worth indulging my wallowing in cycling self pity for just a few moments, so buckle up and dive into my nightmare of what was absolutely the worst cycling performance I have ever uncorked. Yes, I know I said that last week at 5 Passes (or was that this week?), but today was truly shit to the point of embarrassing.

We had been told to take it semi easy to work for tomorrow, but I still wanted to put in a semi respectable time without blowing my brains out. I ran a negative split for the first 4km’s to make sure I didn’t blow, but when I wanted to increase the revs there was NOTHING. When I called to the engine room for more warp there was only stone cold silence that if you listened hard maybe began to sound like “Fuck you” coming back at me. No matter what I tried, I just had nothing. I couldn’t even get my heart rate to stay over threshold! Last year doing this same course my average heart rate was 177 and maximum 188, today I couldn’t even manage to get over 172… Basically it has become quite simple:

I have ridden myself into mediocrity

Worse than being physically cooked, mentally I am toast… Which of course doesn’t help as the body is massively happy to do what the mind tells it to. So, after about 7km’s or so I did what would normally be totally unthinkable for me, but is becoming a worrying trend: I gave up. Yip… I sat up, slowed down by 10kmph and coasted back to the finish. Pretty shit really, but I was a bit tired of pissing into the wind/flogging a dead horse. That break off the bike is looking pretty good right now!

On to some tales of people who didn’t roll over though, the boys did a solid job and a quick glance at some results – As a baseline, Pierre-Alain Scherwey (the French Beast as seen in the crazies video) monstered the course in a head scratching winning time of 16.14, which was faster than last year in the dry… Sweet baby hesus. As for the Cannasia action:

  • Snozza – 14th with 17.16
  • Roberto – 25th with 17.39
  • Uncle Pete – 28th with 17.51
  • Goat – 36th with 18.07
  • Shane – 43rd with 18.42
  • Dirty Nomad – 46th with 19.16 after completely giving up in ludicrous fashion

Special mention – The Dutch Hamburglar smashed in a 16.48, which I was surprised with such a slow time, for him. Only to find out that he, er, had a flat tire and a wheel change during his TT. Adding that into the picture pretty much gives Mr Cuppens the ride of the day, but its still a massive result for Pierre, so a massive congrats.

Unlike 5 Passes, there was no hiding from a poor performance here, real time data being smashed up onto the big screen for all to enjoy:

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“Did someone really go over 19 minutes, they must be shit”

It was such a disheartening day that I endorsed the call to have the post stage team meeting in the middle of an intersection in the wet surrounded by mad Indo drivers, I mean, what else could go wrong?

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At least we’re all wearing matching kit… oh wait…

What else could go wrong? Easy really… How about a flat tire (make that a flat Tubular) on the way back to the hotel, meaning a walk to aggravate your shin injury and no race wheel for tomorrow, YES, that ought to do the trick:

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I think at this stage there is only one thing to say: Cunt

So… there we go… A day to test ones love of cycling. Tomorrow will be MUCH harder and the field is looking VERY sharp, so its going to be interesting… All I can do is follow Winnie’s instructions and suck it up:

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Damn right WC

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