Monday, April 22, 2013

Philippines and back to Indonesia

We are back from the Philippines and resting up before our next block of racing. The Singapore Criterium, Tour of Azerbaijan, possibly an Irish race and then the AnPost Ras.

The Philippines was great, the people were friendly, helpful and the scenery stunning - I would definitely come back with or without a bike. The weather is hot from 9am on but not too much of a problem once you adapt.

The race itself - I cover most things in my videos. I was very unfortunate to puncture when I did on Stage 1 - the race had broken to bits and the neutral support had not caught up. That basically killed my GC goals.

As the stages went by, my legs felt better and better. Stage 4, the massive mountain stage was going well - 2hrs in, TPT (the Iranian team) where lighting it up on the second major climb (8km at close to 9%) and Eddie and I were in the front 9 (4 TPT riders!). It was tough, actually really hard, but I it was one of those days when the pain/suffering was enjoyable. The final Philippine rider popped and a gap opened, I bridged, but Eddie was in trouble - my team duties were to stay with Eddie, so I did. The rest of the day was pretty amazing, very hot, steep long climbs and super fast descents. I finished 10th (18th GC) on the stage and helped Eddie to 8th overall (importantly, in the UCI points). 

I was a little apprehensive of how my climbing form was going into the stage, I had never raced a stage like this on the road bike (close to 4,000m of climb across 95km), but afterwards, I was happy with how it felt. Team TPT are basically like the Team Sky of the Asian Circuit - they had possibly their strongest team there (and the final GC shows that) - but I was happy with how I could ride against them. Over the last few weeks, I have slowly adapted to riding in close to 40 celsius each day, got a little leaner and kept the same power - it all adds up.

Tour of Azerbaijan is also going to include a lot of climbing, a really strong lineup and live on Eurosport as far as I know. I can't wait. It is going to be a really really tough test. The team will be Mark, Stephen, Daniel and myself as the Irish riders as well as Kazakh Sergey and Eddie. Our staff is Irish for this one.

Here are a few photos from the last week.

Out for a spin the day before Stage 1

Accommodation for the first few days was very basic, but the view made up for it

Noodles - sometimes there is very very little choice, but this was tasty (not paleo!)

Some traditional huts before one of our evening dinners

Back in Tumpang, Indonesia with Sergey (Singapore will be our first race together)

Lunch and dinner, you are SURE to find, rice, chicken and veg soup

Something different today - Urap - spicy salad with coconut - YUM


Paul Hunter said...

Nice one Ryan, best of luck in the upcoming races.

Ryan Sherlock said...


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