World Wide Cycling

                 East Java 2005



Marco Polo Cycling Club

Schedule East Java Tour 2005


1 Monday 27th June Surabaya - Lamongan 177 km

2 Tuesday 28th June Lamongan - Madion 165 km

3 Wednesday 29th June Madion - Batu 160.2 km

4 Thursday 30th June Pasuruan - Jember 173km

5 Friday 1st july Jember - Sidoarjo 193.5 km

Total 868,7 km


Riders on the Marco Polo Cycling Team :


Nathan Dahlberg, New Zealand

Robin Reid, New Zealand

Eddy Hollands, Australia

Rhys Pollock, Australia

Jamsran Ulzii-Orshikh, Mongolia


Report by Nathan Dahlberg

Photos by Rhys Pollock and Puspita


Surabaya , 3 to 6 million people - no one knows, second biggest city on the island of Java the most densely populated island on Earth. That is our base camp for the Tour of East Java another new 5 day stage race on the Indonesian and UCI calendar. Eddy Hollands and I (Nathan Dahlberg) had already previous experience in Indonesia but for Rhys Pollock, Robin Reid and Jamsran Ulzii-Orshikh (Oggi) this was an all new country and very different race conditions than most countries with steep large mountains to be climbed in stifling heat and humidity. With 2 Mountain finishes in 5 days of racing and 2 of the other days being short criteriums this was not an opportunist or strong mans tour but rather one for the super climber. From the start the Giant Asia team were the guys to beat with Iranian super climber Mizibani and his cohort Ahat obviously the strongest mountain men of the race.


Marco Polo Cycling Team riders, Rhys Pollock, Jamsran Ulzii-Orshikh and Nathan Dahlberg with Indonesian staff.


Stage 1


With that in mind we launched aggressively into the first stage, flat over 197 kms with the idea of taking time where we could. After numerous attacks Oggi broke away with a handful of riders and spent 160kms pulling furiously. But with Giants Irish rider Paul Griffin playing the Giant watch dog and his break away companions tiring the maximum lead of 4minutes was reduced to just 20 seconds by the chasing Giant riders.

Oggi still finished second behind Griffin in the sprint but the effort was to tell in the second day which climbed a 1300 meter pass before a twisting descent into Batu during the final 15kms.


Jamsran Ulzii-Orshikh at the podium with his second place behind Paul Griffin.


Stage 2


Again at the start there were numerous attacks and this time it was Robin Reid playing watchdog over Mizibani and Polygons Kazak rider Yevgeniy Yakolev as they rode away to a 7 minute lead.

The real hot humid conditions made the race feel like riding through glue and after160kms as the climb was beginning the lead collapsed except for Mizbani who had ridden off to a 2 minute lead alone!! The climb suited our team though, 30kms long in 2 sections and a grade of only about 7 per cent. Eddy and Rob, who had rejoined us after taking a quick 'comfort' stop set great tempo up the first 10kms and than in the rolling middle portions Rhys and I took over and suddenly Mizbani reappeared just in front of us completely blown. As the second harder part of the climb started Rob set a wicked tempo again and I disappeared out the back with Mizbani. Eventually on the upper portions of the climb Ahat launched away solo and despite crashing on the downhill managed to hold of Chris Bradford of Wismilak and Rhys by a handful of seconds , with Robin and Eddy close behind.

Oggi came in with me after suffering bad cramp some 7 minutes behind , but Mizbani was there as well so one climber less.


Rhys Pollock at the podium with a third place next to stage winner Ahat Kazemi and Chris Bradford.


Stage 3 criterium


The following day was a 56km crit on an L shaped circuit and really the final chance for us to take time from the climbers before the Mt Bromo mountain finish the following day. Rob and I started attacking from the word go and after several laps a break formed up with the majority of the better teams involved including both Poloygon Kazaks, Casino Philippine riders, Wismilaks Samai , Malaysian National team riders and both Robin and myself.


Robin Reid suffering in the Indonesian heat in the Tour of East Java 2005.


With both Robin and Kazak Yakolev riding for the jersey. The lead got up to almost 50 seconds however Giant finally managed to rally a chase behind which reduced the lead to just 15 seconds by the finish which saw Samai easily waste us all in the sprint and Robin getting 4th which meant missing the time bonus and Yellow jersey which now went to Yakolev. However the first 10 places overall were all in seconds still awaiting the following days " big "climb.


Stage 4 Mount Bromo - monster Volcano


Mt Bromo , this is hard to describe as I've never seen a climb like it. Rising 2300 meters out of the sea someone had hung a road straight up this monster Volcano. When I looked at Yakolev's back wheel and saw a 32 sprocket on there (he had previously trained up Mt Bromo) I was more than happy that I was no longer in GC contention. If one took the hardest Tour de France Mtn and added another 700 meters of climbing at the end in just 5kms it would be something like Mt Bromo.


Mount Bromo, brutal monster Vulcano climb. If one took the hardest Tour de France Mtn and added another 700 meters of climbing at the end in just 5kms it would be something like Mt Bromo.


Again we attacked from the start and again Oggi got away , this time getting a 12 minute lead which seemed pretty substantial with just 30kms to go of a 136kms stage. Behind Constant attacks saw another group with Eddy and Robin go but also Yakolev and Ahat!!

Behind the peloton crawled along, everyone to scared to put an effort in as the lower slopes of the climb were beginning. For most riders it was now 2 hours of all out suffering on the 23/25 and 27 sprockets if they had them. However Mizbani showed his true talent riding out of the peloton and past everyone in the race to win by minutes alone from Ahat and a surprising Paul Griffin who finished third. Robin also did a great ride to finish 5th and Eddy was 10th to put them into 3rd and 7th overall. With gaps of minutes between just about everyone the GC seemed over. There was one reward for the effort of getting up to the top as the torrid crowded atmosphere of the plains below had been replaced by clean mountain air and a surreal volcanic landscape above the clouds.


Stage 5


We still had plans to attack on the last day but with an almost circular circuit and only 34kms long the final criterium was more a circus than a race with a 48km hour average - Samai of Wismilak again won easily. It was a little disappointing for us all after the hard battles the days before but credit must go to the Giant guys who dominated us pretty much through out. On our side it was also a very satisfactory performance as we are basically a road race team with no specialists either for the mountains or criteriums and this was very much a specialist race. Also we were practically the only ones who challenged the lead (although the Poloygon Kazaks also did their best) which made it extra difficult but left us with second in teams and 3rd overall individual GC.

As for Tour of East Java , they are already planning for next year and the dreaded Mt Bromo will be back!!!!  


Robin Reid at the podium with his 3rd place on GC in the Tour of East Java 2005.





Home ] Up ]