This post follows on from Day 1 of the 2011 AMD Tour of East Taiwan.
The 173 km leg of the event was held on Sunday April 17. The route, not to mention the conditions, were quite different. The distance back to Hulien was longer and the rain came down. This resulted in very different outcomes for most of the competitors who had enjoyed success on the previous day.
The day’s route was from northerly along Route 9 departing from Zhi Ben Hot Springs district on Taitung’s outskirts. This was an area heavily affected by Typhoon Morokot early in August 2009. Part of the resort area was swept away, including an entire hotel.
This is the profile for the stage. A key moment in the day was the KOM point at the top of the steepest, most intense climb at the 107km mark. It was only 3km but had the effect of breaking up pelotons that consisted of the main contenders for places in the top order.
Wen-Yen, pictured here, is just about to claim 10th in the RM 15 in yesterday’s stage—he only missed out on 1st place over today’s longer distance by two seconds.
Simon Li of the Orderly-Approve team warms up. A very talented cyclists who came to the sport later in life claimed 3rd in yesterday’s RE 40 division and 29th overall.
Simon was at Saturday evening’s presentations where I caught up with him.
His team-mate, Qi Xian, is ready to go and about to make his way down to the start, visible in the background.
Half an hour before the start, activity and excitement are building.
Some 30km on the way to Hualien the elite level group explodes into view.
Level 1 Elite-level competitor Hu Zhi-Wei (胡哲瑋) of Senter-Merida looks back over his shoulder to see Simon hot on his tail.
Simon is traveling comfortably as he moves to take a turn on the front. Hu Zhi-Wei was 13 th overall, and in a time of 4:37:14:70. Simon finished 57th overall, and 11th in his RE 40 division in a time of 4:37:25.64
Not long after the elite the RM competitors are setting a lively pace.
One of my team, Rambo (Lan Bo) Chou, pushes the pace in a small group that dropped of the back of the main RM 40 peloton. He finished in 5:20
Although the wind is not the problem it was yesterday, it’s still not good to be isolated. Your average speed is going to reduce significantly. The best thing that can happen is to latch on to a passing group.
Earlier in the day the challenge riders headed north.
Nourishment awaits at the first support station. Large pelotons made this a bit of a challenge, but I did not see any mishaps and it all went well apart for the odd dropped bidon.
Then came the rain.
The further north everyone went the more consistent the rain. It threw up a fine sludge that got into everything. Still, the cooler conditions were welcomed by many competitors and probably accounts for the different results compared with yesterday as much as the distance.
Rambo continues to push ahead with his group, minus a few of the earlier participants.
It was easier to be on the front so as to avoid the road spray from the cyclist right in front of you.
Rambo moves up on the inside having caught up with a larger peloton. The nastier the conditions became, the harder he rode.
Up ahead at the finish, things are really miserable. My camera lens is besieged by the rain.
The final 4km were uphill. The hill began really steeply and final places were more or less decided by a 1km section that led to a consistent 3% grade into the finish.
Glenn crosses in RM 50 8th place in a time of 5:11.
Rambo finishes in the same style as he raced, with determination to see it through.
Very good job.
All thoughts are now turned to the great climb that will be the scene for Stage 4 of the National Cycling Club Series on May 1.
“Wuling…bring it on”