The mostly quiet country roads of the sparsely populated Desaru district of Johor state provide the perfect terrain to hold a bike race, as was proved again last Saturday by the successful staging of the Eventure Global 113 Cycle event.
Brian Johnsen (BikeLabz) outsprinted breakaway partner Michael Koreneff (Allied World Kemp Technologies) to win the main Men's Open prize on a roughly rectangular course that took the 400+ competitors on a scenic 119km trip up the eastern coast of Malaysia then back south through a vast swathe of palm plantations. Malaysian track star Jupha Somnet took the Women's Open crown.
Click here to read the full race report.
Rain was the main theme of the day at the 2017 Cycosports Nongsa Challenge in Batam on Sunday, but the downpours didn’t put too much of a damper on the racing, with the scorching Men’s Elite contest only decided on a sprint finish up the hill to the Turi Beach Resort, where Alex Donger (MatadorRacing) pipped Kristjan Snorrason (CyclingTraining.Asia) on the line to take the title.
The win was sweet revenge for Donger who finished second to Snorrason in May’s Tour de Barelang, the other epic race that Cycosports stages annually on the Indonesian island of Batam.
Click on this link to read the rest of the race report. Photos courtesy of Ricky Wihendar/Cycosports.
The 2017 Indofood Ironman 70.3 Bintan saw the eponymous Indonesian island showcase its tropical extremes as blazing blue skies and scorching temperatures in the morning were followed by an intense afternoon storm, but long-distance triathletes are tough nuts and a bit of weather didn’t stop the record 1,200-plus participants from putting on a dazzling show.
Heading the list of athletic excellence were Mike Phillips and Amelia Watkinson who respectively won the Men’s and Women’s Elite crowns in dominating fashion to clinch the US$3,000 top prizes and earn all-important ranking points for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships.
Click on this link to read the full race report.
Flat Spoke Media's Alan Grant also took part in the race in what was his return to long-distance triathlon after a six-year absence. We'll publish his personal reflection in the coming days.
“Why on earth am I putting myself through this again?” I found myself thinking three weeks ago when I was 100km into the Road to Taiwan KOM cycling event, a sportive version of the famous Taiwan KOM Challenge.
The 5km-to-go sign had just appeared when I’d thought (or perhaps was just helplessly hoping) I was only 2km from the finish line at Wuling Pass atop the mighty Mount Hehuan. I’d been there before in November 2015 and the painful memory of that occasion came pouring back into my consciousness from the dark place where it had been safely hidden.
However, in most tough cycling rides or races, pain is only temporary, and sure enough, when 35 minutes later – yes, it took me over half an hour to complete those final 5km, which includes 1km of downhill! – I climbed off my bike at the end of our sport’s longest “hill” climb, the all-over ache was gone, replaced by endorphins flooding my brain as I basked in the glory of accomplishment, my eyes feasting in one of the wonders of the cycling world.
Click on this link to find out why Flat Spoke Media's Alan Grant believes the Taiwan KOM Challenge or its sister sportive events should be on every cyclist's bucket list.
Junaidi Hashim (Team Awano Treknology3) survived a late charge from Anthony Brown (Cannasia) to retain his OCBC Cycle Singapore National Mountain Bike Cross Country Championships in a thrilling race at the Chesnut Nature Park yesterday. Tsalina Phang (Attitudebikes) was crowned the women’s champion after a dominating performance.
Perfect conditions greeted Singapore’s mountain bikers as they flocked to the new Chesnut North venue to race and/or spectate on a cracker of a course carved out by the team at race organisers DirTraction. A rare week of no rain meant the trails were bone dry and the racers took advantage by tearing round the roughly 3km course. The circuit was heavy on single track, some parts fast and flowing, others bits more technical, and the inclusion of a section of the gravity downhill course just after the start/finish line provided thrills and spills throughout the morning.
It was a very good day out for Team Awano with rising stars Riyadh Hakim (third, Men's Elite) and Arfan Faisal (first, Juniors) adding to their mentor's glory.
Click on this link or go to www.secondwindmagazine.com to read the full report, including a post-race interview with Junaidi.
Sitting here at Singapore's Changi Airport en route to Taiwan, the excitement is building as I contemplate my return to the Taroko Gorge, Mt Hehuan and the Wuling pass. I've been lucky enough to be invited by the Taiwan Tourism Board and the Taiwan Cyclist Federation to join a group of journalists on a week-long cycling tour that takes in not just the Road to Taiwan KOM, but also a visit to the famous Sun Moon Lake and a trip to Matsu Island, which lies just off the coast of mainland China.
First up is this Saturday's Road to Taiwan KOM, a sportif version of the annual Taiwan KOM Challenge, which sees some of the world's best cyclists tackle the world's biggest "hill climb" race – think 3,275 metres in a single climb! I took part in the 2015 Taiwan KOM Challenge and to whet my appetite I just re-read my account of that day. Here it is below and look out for lots of posts from what promises to be a fantastic week of cycling.
Click on this link to read "Taiwan KOM Challenge – epic as advertised"
The jam-packed first half of the 2017 Singapore cycling season came to an exciting end yesterday with the fourth edition of the URA CFS Share the Road Criterium.
Race organisers Cycosports opted for a team format for the fourth installment of the monthly crit, and while the record books will show that quartets from Team West Coast Racing, the Specialized Roval Mavericks and the colourfully named Alibaba And His Three Thieves were the winning teams on the day, once again, local cycling itself was the biggest winner.
Despite the 6am start, a sizeable crowd of cyclists and supporters from Singapore’s thriving road-racing community were in attendance and they were rewarded with four thrilling contests.
The URA CFS Share the Road Criterium takes place as part of Car Free Sunday, a government initiative that sees a large swathe of the roads in the central business district closed to motorised traffic.
Go to www.secondwindmagazine.com to read the full race report.
Goh Choon Huat (Terengganu Cycling Team) held off a gutsy challenge from fellow Singaporean Yi Peng Teoh (Specialized Roval Mavericks) and the hard-charging peloton to clinch the 2017 OCBC Cycle Singapore National Road Racing Championships on Sunday.
In the Women’s race, Luo Yiwei (National Training Squad) defended the title she won last year, pipping fellow national team rider Serene Lee (CyclingTraining.Asia) in the sprint.
Torrential rain hit the Seletar North Link circuit about an hour before the prestigious Men’s Open race was due to start, prompting fears the road race would go the same way as the national time trial championships two weeks earlier which had to be cancelled due to a violent thunderstorm.
But while Sunday’s main event was plagued by intermittent heavy rain, the lightning that caused the ITT champs to be called off, stayed far enough away that the racing could continue.
Read the full race report here or at www.secondwindmagazine.com.
For the past nine months Flat Spoke Media has been on hiatus as we concentrated our editorial efforts in a collaboration with Second Wind Magazine. But now it's time to get Flat Spoke Media rolling again so look out for race reports, travel stories and miscellaneous features on the world of cycling. In addition to writing new material, we'll be uploading some of the articles we've published for Second Wind Magazine since August.
May 22, 2017
While Mark Jansen and Jenny Zenker recorded dominant victories in the centrepiece Olympic Distance events last weekend, an amazing edition of the 2017 Bintan Triathlon contained many more headline stories, including a finish-line marriage proposal, a swim-bike-run debut for Indonesia’s top F1 driver and a remarkable triple win for the famous Middleditch family.
Three days of hard racing and family fun at Asia’s No. 1 multisports festival began last Friday afternoon as the competitors and their supporters began to arrive at the tranquil Nirwana Gardens Resort, the festival’s traditional home on the beautiful Indonesian island of Bintan.
Click here to read the full race report. This article also appears in www.bintantriathlon.com.
What we do
Welcome to Flat Spoke Media, which was inspired by its editor-at-large Alan Grant, a man who eats, sleeps and breathes cycling. As such our main aim is to explore and write about all things related to the pedal-powered world.