World Wide Cycling
The Marco Polo Cycling Club participates with an international line up in several races in Malaysia and possibly Indonesia.
The following riders are on the team:
Nathan Dahlberg (New Zealand), president of the club and team captain for the first race. Nathan leaves for Burkina Faso after the Perlis Open.
Tim Vincent (New Zealand), mountainbike specialist (no. 2nd of New Zealand) and a strong rider on the road.
Andy Reid (New Zealand), mountainbike specialist.
Peep Mikli (Estonia), fast sprinter and smart cyclist.
Algis Maasikmets (Estonia), young talent.
Tonton Susanto (Indonesia), superstrong rider, good time trialist and climber.
Photos from the organisation of Perlis Open.
(Report by Tim Vincent)
Oktober 17 160 KM
Oktober 18 40 KM individual Time Trial
Oktober 19 30 KM MTB cross-country (optional)
Oktober 20 50 KM Criterium
Nathan Dahlberg in the field, dragons on the shoulders from the jersey and from the road.
Tonton got in a breakaway of eight riders which was only joined in the last few km by a small group that Nathan and Peep were in. Tonton was tired after working in the break for so long and the hot weather was giving Peep cramps so they didn't do as well as they hoped to in the sprint. They managed 9th and 10th with Nathan 12th. The most common road kill in Malaysia is squashed snakes but during the race the bunch came across a live one, and he was big.
The bunch was treated to a real road-side wildlife show during this stage. The bunch even slowed down to look, as we passed by monkeys, cattle, wild dogs and water buffalo. You should have seen it split like the Red Sea when we came across a big snake sitting in the middle of the road.
Stage 1 Road Race, 160 KM
1 SNORRASON, Kristjan Selle Italia 3:23:30
2 TSEN, Seong Hoong Kuala Lumpur 3:23:36
3 MATNUR, Matnur Indonesia 3:23:41
4 CHTCHEBELINE, Alexei St, Petersbuorg, RUS same
5 DANIEL, Mackey Australia same
6 IIJIMA, Makoto T.C.F Giant Team same
7 MOHAMAD MAHAZIR, Hamad Selangor same
8 MUSAIRI, Musa Kuala Lumpur same
9 TONTON, Susanto Marco Polo same
10 MIKLI, Peep Marco Polo same
12 DAHLBERG, Nathan Marco Polo 3:23:59
27 MAASIKMETS, Algis Marco Polo
53 VINCENT, Tim Marco Polo
55 REID, Andy Marco Polo 3:45:08
The time trial was optional so some of us chose to go training in Thailand instead. Those that did ride must have wished they were training in Thailand. Well except Tonton, who rode strongly to take bronze.
Stage 2 individual Time Trial, 40 KM
SNORRASON, Kristjan Selle Italia 49:45.10
SHAHRULNEEZA, Razali Selangor 52:42.09
3 TONTON, Susanto Marco Polo 54:08.29
4 IJIMA, Makoto T.C.F Giant Team 54:30.41
5 JAMSRAN, Ulzii-Orshikh T.C.F Giant Team 54:30.48
6 THOMPSON, Christopher Australia 54:47.03
7 KAKINUMA, Akira T.C.F Giant Team 55:00.89
8 MUSAIRI, Musa Kuala Lumpur 55:05.23
9 MOMINOV, Khahramon Uzbekistan 55:13.59
10 CHPILEVSKI, Boris St, Petersbuorg, RUS 55:22.39
19 MIKLI, Peep Marco Polo 56:51.02
20 DAHLBERG, Nathan Marco Polo 57:02.58
43 REID, Andy Marco Polo 1:11:45.95
Tonton Susanto with the bronze medal in the Time Trial, his strong ride in the criterium the next day gave him the 2nd place overall.
Four of the Marco Polo team were experienced mountain bikers, but none had mountain bikes with them. I won the mountain bike race last year so decided to go to the race and try to borrow a mountain bike (and Nathan made me feel guilty about not doing the time trial the day before). After much pleading I finally managed to borrow a 13kg city bike with fat tyres and a 16" frame (I am 6'5" tall). A few minutes after I fitted my road pedals I was on the start line and ready. The start was almost as fast as a World Cup and I quickly lost any hope of defending my title as I dropped out of the top ten before the end of the first lap. I kept at it though, climbed back up to third place by the finish.
MTB cross-country, 30 KM
1 SHAHRUM, Abdullah MSN Kelantan 1:51.51
NOR AFFENDY, Rosli Kuala Lumpur 1:54.27
TIM, Vincent Marco Polo 1:55.19
Tim Vincent before the start of the MTB race.
This points criterium was flat-out right from the start. Team Marco Polo had riders in every break, Tonton won a sprint and Peep placed in a few others but it wasn't enough against the strong field of Malaysians, Russians and Australians. Peep finished 6th on points and Tonton 10th.
Stage 3 Criterium, 50 KM
1 IIJIMA, Makoto T.C.F Giant Team 59.39
2 CHPILEVSKI, Boris St, Petersbuorg, RUS
3 TSEN, Seong Hoong Kuala Lumpur
4 KAKINUMA, Akira T.C.F Giant Team
5 LEKAWAT, Jatupoom Chonburi, THA
6 MIKLI, Peep Marco Polo
7 JAMSRAN, Ulzii-Orshikh T.C.F Giant Team
8 SERGUEI, Kirillov St, Petersbuorg, RUS
9 MATNUR, Matnur Indonesia
10 TONTON, Susanto Marco Polo
14 MAASIKMETS, Algis Marco Polo
27 DAHLBERG, Nathan Marco Polo
35 VINCENT, Tim Marco Polo
37 Reid, Andy Marco Polo
In the general classification Tonton Susanto became 2nd behind Kristjan Snorrason from Australia.
Andy Reid working for the team.
Nathan caught a plane to Burkina Faso while the rest of the team drank duty-free vodka to help pass the 14 hour bus ride from Kangar to Kuantan for the start of the Pahang International Cycle Challenge.
Pahang Cycling Challenge
(Report by Tim Vincent)
Pahang International Cycle Challenge Report. The Pahang International Cycle Challenge turned out to be a real adventure, even before it started!! The hotel and food wasn't up to scratch so some of the teams found their own hotels. The organiser found us another hotel, but staying there was a real challenge for a cycling team! Before the start of the first stage, some teams decided, that it was time to cash the money from the year before. They had still not been paid their prize money so they went on strike, sitting on the startline until the organiser 'found' some money.
Stage One, Kuantan - Rabu, 150km
Stage one did get started, an hour or so later, and riders were keen to make up time, some even made attacks in the neutralised section. When the race proper started the bunch stayed together until 70k into the 150km stage. A group of 15 riders broke free including three Marco Polo riders, Peep Mikili, Tonton Susanto and Algus Maasikmets. It was clear the tour winner would come from that breakaway as it rode to a 10 minute lead. The main bunch all but gave up chasing. Peep Mikli and Tonton Susanto, attacked the lead group, and got away with one Russian. They opened another four minutes before the finish. Towards the end the Russian wouldn't work with the two Marco Polo riders so they one-twoed him but couldn't drop him. Knowing it was a tour winning break they decided to save Peep for the finish leaving Tonton to ride the final 10km on the front. Peep won the sprint with a two second gap over the Russian, Tonton was another three seconds back. Yellow on day one for Marco Polo and a 5 min lead in the teams classment!!
Results stage 1 Kuantan - Rabu, 150km
1. Peep Mikli
2. Russian?? (Rusia)
3. Tonton Susanto
Stage Two, Jerantut - Bentong, 137km
Stage two was almost completely different. Both Russian teams were energised and much stronger than the day before. They launched waves of attacks all day, trying to get their team leader away from the two Marco Polo GC riders. They did get one rider away with an Australian but it was no threat to GC and the two stayed away, the Russian taking the stage win. It was chaos again after the stage when the truck drivers and convoy drivers went on strike because they hadn't been paid. Most riders went by bus to the hotel 60km away and several had to wait until dark before their bags and bikes arrived. Some riders planned to travel to the hotel with the trucks so didn't get there until dark.
Results stage Stage Two, Jerantut - Bentong, 137km
4. Peep Mikli
Stage Three, Bentong - Temerloh, 127km.
Stage three, and the Russians were at it again. The gentle rollers on the 127k stage suited Tonton who often chased breaks himself then counter attacked and made the Russian leader chase. Algus Maasikmets launched a counter attack and broke free with a Russian domistique who worked with him until the finish. Algus won the stage and moved to fourth on GC.
Results stage Three, Bentong - Temerloh, 127km.
1. Algis Maasikmets
4. Peep Mikli
Stage Four, Temerloh - Kuantan, 151km.
Stage four started with a 'Russian Team Time Trial'. The whole team, even the team leader, took laps and pulled the bunch at around 50km/hr for the first 10k of the stage. Nobody in the bunch had understood the point of this tactic. Later they said they did it because their manager told them they had to. It was racing as normal until Tonton punctured with 20k to go. The Russians did another team time trial on the front of the bunch but three Marco Polo riders dropped back and worked with Tonton to bring him back to the bunch. The Russians kept it up right to the finish and their sprinter won the stage.
Results stage Four, Temerloh - Kuantan, 151km.
1. Russian Sprinter?? (Rusia)
2. Peep Mikli
Stage Five, Pekan Criterium, 50km.
Stage five was a points criterium that didn't count for the general classment. The two Russian teams controlled the race for their sprinter who won convincingly with Peep second.
Results stage Five, Pekan Criterium, 50km.
2. Peep Mikli
5. Algis Maasikmets
The final General Classment:
1. Peep Mikli (Marco Polo)
2. Russian?? (Russia)
3. Tonton Susanto (Marco Polo)
4. Algus Maasikmets (Marco Polo)
5. ?? (Selangor)
General Team Classification:
1. Marco Polo Cycling Club
2. Russia B