World Wide Cycling

                 Tour de Korea 2003



Marco Polo Cycling Club

The Marco Polo Cycling Team travelled with a strong team to Korea. Last year, Cory Lange from Canada took the leader jersey but could not keep it untill the end of the tour. This year we hope to win the Tour de Korea.


The team has the following riders:

- Kam Po Wong from Hong Kong

- Michael Carter from the USA

- Cory Lange from Canada

- Masahiko Mifune from Japan

- Jamsran Ulzii-Orshikh from Mongolia

- Robin Reid from New Zealand


Team manager is Nathan Dahlberg from New Zealand


Here follows a report from the Tour de Korea 2003, written by Mikkeli Godfree.


Prologue - May 11: Korean Armed Forces Athletic Corps, 1.4 km


Gone in 96 seconds


The Tour de Korea kicked off today with a 1.4 kilometre prologue in the Korean Armed Forces Athletic Corps, an intense drumming performance and a plentiful banquet. The start list boasted an impressive range of nationalities with Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Australia, Iran, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, China and Mongolia all being represented.

The Marco Polo Cycling Team presented. (Photographer: Mikkeli Godfree)  


Whilst all of these teams compete for individual/teams overall and stage honours, the tour is actually a race within a race as there is an additional category for best Korean rider and team. The race takes in just under 800km in six stages, two of which are short circuit races. This format has been chosen as South Korea sees the tour as being instrumental in raising public interest in cycling and promoting health in what seems to be an already active Korean lifestyle.

The Armed Forces Athletic Corps close to the heart of bustling Seoul was a perfect venue. A short technical circuit would ensure that only an explosive and technically-skilled rider would win. A small pinch just before the finish and some questionable surfaces in many of the corners added some other challenging elements to the mix.



The technical course claimed three native victims, one of whom nearly took your reporter with him as he bounced off the road before bringing his body to a bone-breaking halt against a tree.

When the dust had settled, victory had been claimed by Jong Jae Kim (Dong Yang Je Chul). The Korean riders were so keen to win at home and achieved their goal in fine style, Kim winning by 0.33 seconds over Australians and MGZT teammates Brett Aitken, who managed to break his shoe-buckle upon take-off, and Joel Pearson.

These three riders were full three seconds clear of the rest in a race that last all of 96 seconds. With five riders in the top 12, Team MGZT's success was particularly significant as it was the Melbourne-based team's debut race, and gave them a clear lead in the teams classification.



1 Jong Jae Kim (Kor) Dong Yand Je Chul      1:36.73 (52.1km/h)

2 Brett Aitken (Aus) Team MGZT              0:00.33

3 Joel Pearson (Aus) Team MGZT              0:00.71

4 Mamyrov Bakhtiyar (Kaz) Orbea Exte-Ondo   0:03.85

5 Paul Redenbach (Aus) Giant Asia           0:04.01

6 Myung Hyun Lee (Kor) Kang Jin Gun Chung   0:05.10

7 Peter Milostic (Aus) Team MGZT            0:05.16

8 Glen Chadwick (Aus) Giant Asia            0:05.46

9 Dae Han Park (Kor) Kyung Kyoon            0:05.68

10 Yurly Yuda (Kaz) Kazakhstan              0:05.81

11 Pete Cottam (Aus) Team MGZT              0:05.88

12 Domenic Gatto (Aus) Team MGZT            0:05.92

13 Sergey Tretyakov (Kaz) Kazakhstan        0:05.95

14 Kuan Hua Lai (Chi) Chinese Taipei        0:05.96

15 Seok Kyu Suh (Kor) Seoul City            0:05.99



Stage 1 - May 12: Seoul - Chun Chon, 157km


The Tour of Korea began in earnest today with the first road stage from Seoul to Chun Chon. The 157km stage would take in some decent climbs in the last third of the race, some spectacular scenery and provide some fierce racing.

With the race start in Olympic Park the race proceeded to snake through the hectic Monday morning streets of Seoul. The locals turned out in force to wish the international field the best of luck. The riders headed out toward some pretty serious-looking hills and as soon as the control was lifted the race lit up. Before many teams realised what was happening, the winning break had gone. Starting off with two riders, it swelled to nine with seven teams being represented, including two each from Marco Polo and the Kazakhstan teams. Before the KOM at 74km the break had managed to steal two minutes on the main group from which Team MGZT tried in vain to escape, being heavily marked as the leading team.

With no team taking initiative at the front of the field, the gap blew out to over three mnutes. Realising their error, MGZT put the whole team on the front as the two serious climbs of the day loomed. The race screamed through valleys, through cuttings and seemed to avoid the extremely large peaks on each side as it brought the break back to just overtwo minutes. Unable to avoid the climbs any longer, the peloton headed for the sky with the race splintering immediately.


Rolling hills... (Photographer: Mikkeli Godfree)  


From the convoy we were offered some amazing sights. As we ascended through rice paddies the views became more and more spectacular. It was possibly something the riders were not able to take in as many around us were too busy swinging themselves forward grabbing anything they could on nearby team, medical and even official cars! The view was even better at the top but we were quickly distracted by having to dodge a disfigured bike lying in the right-hand lane while the rider decided to relieve himself rather than remove the bike from the road as we skidded past at 80kph.

As the race hit the steep undulations on the way into Chun Chon, the lead group had been whittled down to three: Glen Chadwick (Giant Asia), Kam Po Wong and Michael Carter (both Marco Polo) while a chasing group of 20 seemed unable to bring them back, the gap still over two minutes. With two riders each from Giant Asia and Marco Polo in the chasing group, there was little co-operation in closing this gap. Chris Carr and Paul Redenbach from Giant Asia were covering superbly as the race swept into the streets of Chun Chon.

Into the last 3km, Brett Aitken (Team MGZT) attacked, closely followed by Redenbach, Carr and Cory Lange (Marco Polo). Meanwhile, up the road the Marco Polo duo were busy working over their breakaway companion, Chadwick. By the finish, Kam Po Wong had taken the victory thanks to some great work by Carter. Aitken took the sprint for fourth over Redenbach, Carr and Lange breaking a Marco Polo - Giant Asia clean sweep at 1min54. Another thirty seconds down, what was left of the main group of (14 riders) came in.

Such a great ride by both Marco Polo and Giant Asia put them in a strong position on general classification with Wong taking the jersey by three seconds over Chadwick with only 11 seconds to Carter.


Stage winner and new tour leader Kam Po Wong. (Photographer: Mikkeli Godfree)  



1 Kam Po Wong (HKg) Marco Polo               3.59.01

2 Glen Chadwick (Aus) Giant Asia

3 Michael Carter (USA) Marco Polo

4 Brett Aitken (Aus) Team MGZT                  1.54

5 Paul Redenbach (Aus) Giant Asia

6 Chriso Carr (Aus) Giant Asia

7 Cory Lange  (Can) Marco Polo

8 Pak Seong Bak (Kor) Seoul City                2.26

9 Vadim Kravchenko (Kaz) Kazakhstan             2.37

10 Domenic Gatto (Aus) Team MGZT

11 Young Dong Kim (Kor) Yang Yang Gun Chung

12 Kuei Hsiang Pen (Tpe) Chinese Taipei

13 Peter Milostic (Aus) Team MGZT

14 Mamrov Bakhtiyar (Kaz) Orbea Exte-Ondo

15 Orshikh Jasran Ulzii  (Mon) Marco Polo


Overall Classification after stage 1


1 Kam Po Wong (HKg) Marco Polo

2 Glen Chadwick (Aus) Giant Asia                0.03.21

3 Michael Carter (USA) Marco Polo               0.11.30

4 Brett Aitken (Aus) Team MGZT                  1.58.08

5 Paul Redenbach (Aus) Giant Asia               2.01.76

6 Chriso Carr (Aus) Giant Asia                  2.03.81

7 Cory Lange  (Can) Marco Polo                  2.04.79

8 Pak Seong Bak (Kor) Seoul City                2.36.68

9 Mamrov Bakhtiyar (Kaz) Orbea Exte-Ondo        2.44.60

10 Peter Milostic (Aus) Team MGZT               2.45.91

11 Domenic Gatto (Aus) Team MGZT                2.46.67

12 Sergey Tretyakov (Kaz) Kazakhstan            2.46.70

13 Yurly Plyukhin (Uzb) Uzbekistan              2.46.83

14 Vadim Kravchenko (Kaz) Kazakhstan            2.47.00

15 Vladimir Bushanskiy (Kaz) Kazakhstan         2.47.46


Stage 2 May 13: Chun Chon Criterium


After a day of field obliterating climbing the Tour de Korea stayed put for the day with a Criterium in the centre of Chun Chon. A completely different set of players came out of the woodwork, the fast Korean finishers keen to show their talents.


Kam Po in the yellow leader jersey. (Photographer: Mikkeli Godfree)  



A spectacular day welcomed the riders as they rode the short distance from their lake-side resort accommodation for a 72km criterium comprising 30 laps of a 2.4km course. The inner-city course was far from plain sailing however, as a short, steep climb out of Chun Chon would keep the riders honest.


The attacks came from the gun, the first from Joel Pearson (Team MGZT) who was left to hang for two laps before being joined by another two riders. They held their lead for the next three laps before they were hauled back in and Chris Carr (Giant Asia) duly provided the counter-attack. His was followed by many more unsuccessful attacks in the first hour before the decisive break was made.


This consisted of three riders from Kazakhstan, Mamyrov, Tupzenko (both Orbea Exte-Ondo) and Yuda (Kazakhstan national team). They were joined by Sung (Uijeongbu City) as they tore away from the chasing field. Realising this was the move of the day, Cho and Bak (both Seoul City) decided to cross the gap before it became unassailable. They rode flat-out for two laps and latched on to make it an even Korea/Kazakhstan split with two riders each from Orbea Exte-Ondo and Seoul City.


This break worked perfectly as behind Marco Polo set about defending their recently-acquired yellow jersey on the shoulders of Kam Po Wong, closely followed by the Giant Asia boys who held second overall with Glen Chadwick. The two leading teams controlled the race perfectly in a strong display of great team riding. Neither seemed to have any designs on the win and just held the break at a safe distance.


Coming into the final lap the break still had over twenty seconds and was looking unbeatable. With two teams having two riders each, the pace stayed high. As they lined up for the final sprint, the last two riders to join the break, Ho Sung Cho and Seong Pek Bak (both Seoul City), took a fantastic clean sweep as they went 1-2 all arms held aloft. Indeed, the finish saw a crowd-pleasing Korean 1-2-3, Kazakhstan 4-5-6 as they screamed over the line. Only 18seconds in arrears Brett Aitken took best-of-the-rest line honours with relative ease.


The race run and won with no significant change in the general classification, the riders retired to their beds to rest up for the next stage. Wednesday's 3rd stage would be a day of hell, taking in 200km and thousands of metres of climbing as the race tracks its way to the East Sea coast. Stay tuned for some serious GC changes...


Stage 2

1. Ho Sung Cho         (Seoul City)       1:36.19

2. Seoung Pek Bak           (Seoul City)             1:36.19

3. Min Sik Sung       (Uijeongbu City)       1:36.19

4. Bakhtiyar Mamyrov      (Orbea Exte-Ondo)        1:36.19

5. Yuriy Yuda        (Kazakhstan)            1:36.19

6. Danis Tupzenko          (Orbea Exte-Ondo)        1:36.19

7. Brett Aitken            (Team MGZT)             1:36.37

8. Hyon Gu Lee         (Kyung Ryoon)            1:36.37

9. Dae Yong Choi       (Kowaco)                1:36.37

10. Sergey Lavrenenko      (Kazakhstan)            1:36.37

11. Sung Chan Choi      (Kowaco)                1:36.37

12. Peter Milostic      (Team MGZT)             1:36.37

13. Seok Kyu Suh         (Seoul City)       1:36.37

14. Yoon Ho Ju          (Yang Yang Gun Chung)      1:36.37

15. Dong Young Kim       (Yang Yang Gun Chung)      1:36.37


Overall Classification after stage 2

1. Kam Po Wong        (Marco Polo)            

2. Glen Chadwick          (Giant Asia)@      0:03.21s

3. Michael Carter            (Marco Polo)      0:11.30s

4. Brett Aitken            (Team MGZT)       1:58.08

5. Paul Redenbach         (Giant Asia)      2:01.76

6. Chriso Carr        (Giant Asia)      2:03.81

7. Cory Lange             (Marco Polo)      2:04.79

8. Pak Seong Bak         (Seoul City)      2:36.68

9. Bakhtiyar, Mamrov       (Orbea Exte-Ondo)      2:44.60

10. Peter Milostic      (Team MGZT)       2:45.91

11. Domenic Gatto       (Team MGZT)       2:46.67

12. Sergey Tretyakov      (Kazakhstan)      2:46.70    

13. Yurly Plyukhin      (Uzbekistan)      2:46. 83

14. Vadim Kravchenko      (Kazakhstan)      2:47.00

15. Vladimir Bushanskiy      (Kazakhstan)      2:47.46


Stage 3 May 14 - Chun Chon to Kang Leung


This 200km stage, which on the course-profile looked like a roller-coaster from hell,  was always going to be instrumental in the Tour de Korea. There was a mass sigh of relief however when the stage was shortened by 20km in the interests of safety. This was decided after the final descent was deemed too dangerous to race down with visibility at about 2.5metres.


This was hard to believe however as the conditions in Chun Chon were perfect with a slight breeze and clear(ish) skies. Despite the shortening of the stage, the race would still be gruelling, with a great deal of climbing which would take the riders up to over 1000m above see-level. Not only this, with the final descent being cut from the race, the stage would comprise a mountain-top finish to spice things up a bit.


The Marco Polo Cycling Team leading the peloton to defend the yellow jersey. (Photographer: Mikkeli Godfree)  



A few decent rises in the first 70km saw many loose contact with the main bunch but there would be no significant moves until the first KOM at 84km. Which saw a break go and the field shatter behind. Although there was much action in between the KOM sprints, the race would be decided on the long climb up to the second at 117km.


This KOM climb, won by Chadwick (Giant Asia) over Carter (Marco Polo) set the scene for a show-down between Giant Asia and Marco Polo. In the front group, Giant Asia were dominating with Chris Carr, Ghader Mizibani and Glen Chawick (2nd on the GC only 3 secs down on Wong). They were accompanied by Tretyahov (Kazakhstan), Baigudinov (Orbea Exte-Ondo), Carter (Marco Polo) and Aitken (Team MGZT). Behind the leaders, what was left of the field (about 30 riders) were being lead by the two Marco Polo riders, including the yellow jersey as they tried to limit the damage Giant Asia were dealing out.


However, with Carr and Mizibani completely burying themselves into the block headwind before the final two climbs, Wong could do little but watch the time-gap go out to one minute, and then to two. With the Giant Asia riders doing the job for Chadwick, Tretyahov, Baigudinov, Carter and Aitken were given a free ride as they waited for the expected fireworks on the final two climbs. Similarly behind, Marco Polo were receiving no help from the main group, Wong working extremely hard to keep himself in GC contention.


As Mizibani tired, Carr (who had been dropped on previous climb, only to chase back on and go straight to the front) took over most of the workload at the front, the time-gap to the yellow jersey stretching out to over two minutes. Then, the proverbial hit the fan. With two climbs in the last 15km, Chadwick was always going to fire the race up. His opportunity came as from absolutely nowhere, came an unbelievably thick and cold fog. The now-GC leader on the road, attacked hard, Carter and Aitken the only ones able to respond as they set off after him.


However, the fog closed in further and Chadwick was out of sight and on a mission. Aitken and Carter chased through the fog which by the start of the final climb offered no more than five metres visibility. By the finish, Chadwick had soloed out to a minute over the chasing duo. As these two approached the line, Aitken finished off a fine day of hill-climbing to take Carter in the sprint for second - these two filling up third and second on GC respectively. Behind, Wong could only manage 14th, just over 4mins down. Chadwick had taken the yellow jersey with relative ease whilst Wong had dropped to 5th. A different Marco Polo rider was now threatening Chadwick though, as thanks to his great ride on Stage 1, Carter sat poised, only 1:14 off the race lead.


The stage finish looked more like the end of an alpine stage of 'Le Tour' than one in Korea as riders circled around deliriously looking for their team cars in the fog. It had been a stage of epic proportions which had seen the Giant Asia team strengthen their grip on the race. With two road stages (one with another 1000m-high climb) and a short circuit race remaining, the Tour de Korea is far from over.


Michael Carter completely finished after the hard 3rd stage. (Photographer: Mikkeli Godfree)  


Stage 3 result (180.5km)

1. Glen Chadwick          (Giant Asia)             4:56:27

2. Brett Aitken            (Team MGZT)       at 1:00

3. Michael Carter            (Marco Polo)            

4. Sergey Tretyakov      (Kazakhstan)                      1:57

5. Chris Carr        (Giant Asia)

6. Kairat Baigudinov      (Orbea Exte-Ondo)       

7. Ghader Mizibani      (Giant Asia)                 2:18

8. Paul Redenbach         (Giant Asia)                 4:01

9. Kuan Hua Lai         (Chinese Taipei)       

10. Seok Kyu Suh         (Seoul City)

11. Vladimir Bushanskiy      (Kazakhstan)     

12. Bakhtiyar Mamrov      (Orbea Exte-Ondo)

13. Vadim Kravchenko      (Kazakhstan)     

14. Kam Po Wong        (Marco Polo)

15. Seong Pek Bak           (Seoul City)            all same time.


General Classification after Stage 3

1. Glen Chadwick          (Giant Asia)             10:33:31

2. Michael Carter            (Marco Polo)             at 1:14

3. Brett Aitken            (Team MGZT)           2:58

4. Chris Carr        (Giant Asia)                 4:07

5. Kam Po Wong        (Marco Polo)                 4:07

6. Sergei Tretyakov      (Kazakhstan)                      4:50

7. Kairat Baigudinov       (Orbea Exte-Ondo)            4:54

8. Ghader Mizibani      (Giant Asia)                 5:17

9. Paul Redenbach         (Giant Asia)                 6:09

10. Seoung Pek Bak      (Seoul City)                 6:20

11. Bakhtiyar Mamrov      (Orbea Exte-Ondo)            6:34

12. Domenic Gatto       (Team MGZT)           6:54

13. Vadim Kravchenko      (Kazakhstan)                      6:54

14. Vladimir Bushanskiy      (Kazakhstan)                      6:55

15. Sergei Lavrenenko      (Kazakhstan)                      6:55



Stage 4 May 15: Kang Leung to Yang Yang


As this stage followed the most feared of the tour, it was seen as a bit of a rest-day by many. The race would track its way along the coast road from Kang Leung up to within 20km of the DMZ, then back to Yang Yang along flat roads. It was a curious setting, the riders flying along the coast road, only 50km of 3metre-high razor-wire and hundreds of machine-gun toting army personnel separating them from the beach. There certainly wouldn't be any Nth Korean spectators lining the course today, on a day when the riders couldn't help but be aware of a the tense situation they were riding through.


Back to the race...Curiously, those who had laboured their way through the third stage would face another challenge. This was due to the race organisers calling on a special rule they had made which gave them the power to reinstate riders who had not even completed two thirds of the previous day's stage. Indeed, there would be some fresh sprinters legs in the bunch to make the race interesting.


However, these riders never got a chance to see the front as, from the gun, the pace was fast and the race spread all over the road. As the race hit the coast (and a solid North-Easterly side-head wind) Marco Polo rider Cory Lange somehow managed to ride away from a bunch that was strung out in the gutter. He was joined for several minutes by another rider but he couldn't keep the pace and Lange continued alone.


As the race settled down, Lange continued to ride strongly, amazingly gaining a minute lead over the main bunch before a group of six riders bridged across. When they came together, this group worked hard to gain a lead of over four minutes to the main bunch by the mid-way point in the race. By this point, the break found that two of its members were dead-wood as Peter Milostic (Team MGZT) and Mark Roland (Giant Asia) decided it was no longer in their interests to gain more time. Similarly, in the main group, Giant Asia had decided to control the race as they put themselves and two other mercenaries on the front.


The race turned back on itself and headed back to Yang Yang and the side-tail wind saw the last 30km fly by very quickly. As the break held over 3:30 into the last 20km its success was looking likely. However, with the Stage 3 criterium winner in tow, the win was never guaranteed to be between Milostic and Roland. As the break hit the headed into the last 20km, the Stage 2 winner, Cho, attacked with Roland covering.


Cho, rumoured to have been 4th in the Olympic Points Score, looked super-strong as he and Roland worked to gain over a minute over the chasers. With 2km to go, Roland played his card and attacked the feared sprinter. However, Cho didn't give Roland an inch and it would come down to a sprint. As the two lined up, Roland hit out with 300m to go in an attempt to surprise Cho. The Aussie pulled his foot though, and Cho sailed down the packed main street of Yang Yang to his second win in three days. Behind, Lange finished a strong 3rd after initiating the winning break.


Cory Lange and Kam Po Wong talk about the race. (Photographer: Mikkeli Godfree)  


With a 30km climb in the first 30km of Stage 5, the race is still wide open with two stages to go.


Stage 4 Kang Leung to Yang Yang 147km

1. Ho Sung Cho         (Seoul City)             3:31:04

2. Mark Roland            (Giant Asia)       at  0:04

3. Cory Lange       (Marco Polo)            1:15

4. Pete Milostic          (Team MGZT)      1:27

5. Sergey Lavrenenko      (Kazakhstan)                

6. Kahkraman Mominov      (Uzbekistan)                 1:37

7. Byung Chul Kim          (Kowaco)         

8. Go Seob Sim         (Kang Jin Gun Chung)    3:55

9. Chul Min Kim         (Uijeongbu City)     

10. Brett Aitken            (Team MGZT)

11. Masahiko Mifune      (Marco Polo)

12. Hyon Gu Lee         (Kyung Ryoon)

13. Artem Shlingov      (Uzbekistan)

14. Sea Hwan Soh         (Gapyeong Gun Chung)

15. Sung Chan Choi      (Kowaco)


General Classification after Stage 4

1. Glen Chadwick          (Giant Asia)                14:08:30

2. Michael Carter            (Marco Polo)             at 1:14

3. Brett Aitken            (Team MGZT)           2:58

4. Chris Carr        (Giant Asia)                 4:07

5. Kam Po Wong        (Marco Polo)                 4:07

6 Sergei Lavrenenko      (Kazakhstan)                      4:27

7. Sergei Tretyakov      (Kazakhstan)                      4:50

8. Kairat Baigudinov       (Orbea Exte-Ondo)            4:54

9. Ghader Mizibani      (Giant Asia)                 5:17

10. Paul Redenbach      (Giant Asia)                 6:09

11. Seoung Pek Bak      (Seoul City)                 6:20

12. Bakhtiyar Mamrov      (Orbea Exte-Ondo)            6:34

13. Domenic Gatto       (Team MGZT)           6:54

14. Vadim Kravchenko      (Kazakhstan)                      6:54

15. Vladimir Bushanskiy      (Kazakhstan)                      6:55


Stage 5 May 16: Yang Yang to Yang Yang


With a 30km climb from the start, Stage 5 was always going to be interesting. Most riders were warmed up for the start, anticipating another fast start. They were not disappointed as from the first kilometre, the raced headed upwards, into some of the most beautiful mountain areas South Korea has to offer.


The scenery was the last thing on the riders' minds though as a group of 11 moved away in the first 10km. This lead was short-lived however and the bunch reeled them back in only to see the Iranian Giant Asia climbing specialist, Mizabani, charge up the road with no-one able to respond. Mizibani soon established a healthy lead as the road snaked up to 1000m above sea-level. The climb was spectacular, winding back on itself, all able to monitor Mizibani's progress as he motored on, switch-backs ahead.


With 100km of flat and windy riding between this first KOM and the finish, there was little chance of a climber taking the victory and on the hairy descent, a front group of 17 established itself. Behind, the race convoy was a mess. In the first kilometre of the descent we all came screeching around a corner sideways in an attempt to dodge the Giant Asia team car which stopped in the middle of the road to pull Chris Carr from down an embankment. The fourth place GC rider had over-cooked it and had opted for a heart-stopping off-road landing rather than a skin-ripping on-road one. Shaken and stirred he remounted and finished over 23 mins down, slipping to 27th place on  GC, his only consolation was the knowledge that he had played a major role in securing the GC lead for Chadwick.


With Carr out of the picture, the front group set about making the race. The group contained all the other GC contenders but still up for grabs was the stage win and the most interesting battle for the team prize. With only two Giant Asia riders in the front group, the three Marco Polo riders (Lange, Carter and Wong) pushed the pace in the hope of taking the team classification. Similarly, with four riders, the Kazakhs offered their assistance as they consolidated their third-placing. This work pushed the leaders to over 4mins up the road from a chasing group of 11 which had formed on the first descent.


With 30km to go, the race left the hills and headed back down the coast, following the same route as the previous day. A headwind buffeted the riders around and ensured there were no attacks until they entered the last 10km. The riders became frisky and with the Kazakhs, Marco Polo and Seoul City all having at least three riders, the other riders in the break were at a disadvantage.


Sure enough, with 4km remaining, the previous race leader, Wong (Marco Polo) went clear with Suh (Seoul City). The break chased and held the two at 150m. With 2km to go, Aitken (Team MGZT) tried to break the elastic but was marked heavily by the Kazakhs. The counter attack came from Bushanskiy (Kazakhstan) and he quickly started to ride across to Wong and Suh. With 1200m to go, Aitken attacked again and this time looked to have the gap as he pursued the front three.


By the line, Wong had sealed his second stage victory, this time over Suh with Bushanskiy as Lavrenenko (Kazakhstan) followed his team mate in to take fourth. However, before the presentation, the result would change dramatically with Suh being disqualified for hanging onto a team car on the first climb. This gave the Kazakhs second and third on the podium with Wong making amends for losing his yellow jersey as he took the stage and moved up into fourth place on GC.


Chadwick, meanwhile, maintained his healthy lead in the GC, and will head into tomorrow's criterium with a 1min 15sec buffer over Carter and a 2min 58sec lead over Aitken.


Stage 5 Result 135km

1. Kam Po Wong        (Marco Polo)             3:21:13

2. Vladmir Bushanskiy      (Kazakhstan)                  at  0:05

3. Sergey Lavrenenko      (Kazakhstan)                       0:10

4. Glen Chadwick          (Giant Asia)            

5. Seoung Pek Bak           (Seoul City)

6. Kuan Hua Lai         (Chinese Taipei)

7. Vadim Kravchenko      (Kasakhstan)

8. Kairat Baigudinov      (Orbea Exte-Ondo)

9. Yuriy Plyukhin          (Uzbekistan)

10. Bakhtiyar Mamyrov      (Orbea Exte-Ondo)

11. Ghader Mizbani      (Giant Asia)

12. Sergey Tretyakov      (Kazakhstan)

13. Cory Lange       (Marco Polo)

14. Michael Carter      (Marco Polo)

15. Brett Aitken            (Team MGZT)


General Classification after Stage 5

1. Glen Chadwick          (Giant Asia)                17:29:53

2. Michael Carter            (Marco Polo)             at 1:14

3. Brett Aitken            (Team MGZT)           2:58

4. Kam Po Wong        (Marco Polo)                3:47

5. Sergei Lavrenenko      (Kazakhstan)                      4:23

6. Sergei Tretyakov      (Kazakhstan)                      4:50

7. Kairat Baigudinov       (Orbea Exte-Ondo)            4:54

8. Ghader Mizibani      (Giant Asia)                 5:17

9. Seoung Pek Bak           (Seoul City)                 6:20

10. Bakhtiyar Mamrov      (Orbea Exte-Ondo)            6:34

11. Vladimir Bushanskiy      (Kazakhstan)                      6:44

12. Vadim Kravchenko      (Kazakhstan)                      6:54

13. Yuriy Plyukjhin      (Uzbekistan)                      8:13

14. Paul Redenbach      (Giant Asia)                 9:47

15. Domenic Gatto       (Team MGZT)          10:32


Stage 6 May 17: Yang Yang Circuit Race


An 80km circuit race would bring the Tour de Korea to a close, the small town of Yang Yang playing host to the race for the third day in a row. The townspeople were intrigued and excited as the old and young came out in their hundreds to stand and sit with large groups of school kids (yes, school on Saturday). The race circuit would start in the main street before heading out, over the river, into an industrial area and back as it made 20, 4km laps.


The Marco Polo Cycling Team gets ready to race. (Photographer: Mikkeli Godfree)  



With Chadwick (Giant Asia) 1min14sec up on Carter (Marco Polo) in the GC, the race was still up for grabs in theory, but it would take a miracle for Marco Polo to turn the tables. Try they would, however, and after two easy laps, the boys in blue fired the race up with some relentless attacking. Behind, Giant Asia showed their class as they marked every move. With a slight on-shore breeze drifting into Yang Yang, the bridge-crossing saw some hard, in-the-gutter racing, the fatigue showing in many sets of legs. Taking advantage of this, Marco Polo riders Cory Lange and Robin Rein attacked tirelessly, but each time were followed by a Giant Asia rider, either Chris Carr or Paul Redenbach.


New Zealander Robin Reid attacked many times. (Photographer: Mikkeli Godfree)  


Despite these attacks, nothing seemed to stick and with 4 laps remaining the whole group decided to rest up for the finish. This relaxed pace was short-lived though as Giant Asia took control with the help of Team MGZT, the former wanting to keep their yellow jersey safe, and the latter wanting to set up the finish for fast-man Brett Aitken.


Over the next few laps, these two teams wound it up with an exceptional amount of work being done by Chris Carr who seemed to be making amends for his crash and GC plummet on the previous day. Working with Carr at the front were teammates Redenbach and Mizbani (their team down to four) and the Team MGZT duo of Gatto and Milostic.


Coming into the final lap the pace was hot and any thoughts of a break were put to rest. The bunch screamed into the final corner with twenty year-old Joel Pearson leading MGZT teammate Aitken into the final 350metres. Behind them was Cho, winner of stages 2 and 4. Realising the threat, Aitken backed off Pearson to tempt Cho around but the savvy Korean was having none of it. With 250metres remaining, Aitken hit out as Cho drew alongside. The stroke-for-stroke drag race to the line was finally won by the Korean who showed his class by taking his third victory in five days. Aitken came in a close second, disappointed not to have taken a stage win, but content with his strong 3rd place on GC.


Behind the leading duo, Pearson showed great strength to hold onto third after leading into the last corner. This meant that Team MGZT had mirrored their prologue performance, with Aitken and Pearson taking 2nd and 3rd respectively.


Behind, Chadwick rolled over line, content that his Tour victory had been sealed thanks to his seamless riding and strong team. Not only that, but Giant Asia had also secured the win in the Team Classification, beating Marco Polo and the Kazakhstan team with relative ease.


The 2003 Tour de Korea has now come to an end. It had taken in some spectacular scenery, incredible racing, fantastic food, and had been warmly welcomed at every turn. It must be said that the passion that the Korean Cycling Federation for promoting their sport is extremely strong and this is evident in how they run their races. Until next year...


Stage 6 Results in Brief

80km (45.88km avg)


1. Ho Sung Cho         (Seoul City)             1:44:37

2. Brett Aitken            (Team MGZT)       st.

3. Joel Pearson           (Team MGZT)       st.


General Classification after Stage 5

1. Glen Chadwick          (Giant Asia)                17:29:53

2. Michael Carter            (Marco Polo)             at 1:14

3. Brett Aitken            (Team MGZT)           2:52

4. Kam Po Wong        (Marco Polo)                 3:47

5. Sergei Lavrenenko      (Kazakhstan)                      4:23

6. Sergei Tretyakov      (Kazakhstan)                      4:50

7. Kairat Baigudinov       (Orbea Exte-Ondo)            4:54

8. Ghader Mizibani      (Giant Asia)                 5:17

9. Seoung Pek Bak           (Seoul City)                 6:20

10. Bakhtiyar Mamrov      (Orbea Exte-Ondo)            6:34

11. Vladimir Bushanskiy      (Kazakhstan)                      6:44

12. Vadim Kravchenko      (Kazakhstan)                      6:54

13. Yuriy Plyukjhin      (Uzbekistan)                      8:13

14. Paul Redenbach      (Giant Asia)                 9:47

15. Domenic Gatto       (Team MGZT)          10:32

















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