I think the Haibike Greed feels like it was led astray. It hangs, staring at me in my bike room. I picture it with a disappointed look on its bike face as if it thought it was being purchased by a 'real' mountain biker. This is more bike than I bargained for. . .
This year has marked my return to mountain biking. I started as a mountain biker. It was 1996. Back then I was a hockey player. 'You should get a bike to train on' said my coach. My first real mountain bike was a Parkpre. I loved it and I loved riding for hours, falling into caloric debt and making it home just in time to eat a mountain of food.
Then the upgrades started. The bike got lighter, new forks, new stem...you know how the story goes. Then I felt like, to qualify the costs, I should race my ass off.
I DO race this bike. Last year I took it all the way to Inner Mongolia to cross the grasslands as fast as I could. My legs got me 12th overall. The bike wanted a podium.
The Haibike exemplifies the 'race my ass' off mentality. I'll say this: there are no excuses on this bike. If you are not going fast, you need to train more, or harder. Like the saying goes, 'if it's too loud, you're too old'.
I broke the flex post and TUNE carbon saddle early on. If you buy the Greed I'd swap those out. Other than the saddle, the TUNE components are straight outta' the Black Forest of Germany. They've been outstanding. The Radavist had a great post on TUNE which you can find here: theradavist.com/2015/07/born-in-the-black-forest-at-tune-kevin-sparrow/
Recently I was off to race in Shenzhen, China. Miguel Martinez (Olympic gold medal winner at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and bronze medal winner at the 1996 Summer Olympics) was there as a celebrity rider. The Haibike definitely wanted to chase him...
I've invested and the Haibike is helping me stay motivated to improve. It pushes me to be a better rider. Check it out.
The details. . .
Disclaimer: The great folks at Sky Blue Bikes in Hong Kong offered me a bit of a discount on this bike. If you're in Hong Kong and you think Haibike is for you, please mention this review to the good people there.
The experience of hearing a loud banging on your apartment door while on the trainer isn't enjoyable. Opening the door and seeing that neighbour you've never met who happens to live beside/below/above you red faced is another non-enjoyable thing. What's worse? Having your wife/husband open the door in your place. Not getting training in, or not training at the intensity you would like is also frustrating. What to do? After all there are races coming up...
I pondered these things when I moved back to the heart of Hong Kong. The epicentre of apartment life. On my unofficial survey, Hong Kong also leads the globe in wall thinness...
With the above context in mind I set to research. After living in different countries I had the following criteria in mind: quiet, high resistance, stable, high quality, simple and well designed, quiet. I also wanted to stop shredding tires and use it for my MTB (but was negotiable, via thru axle).
A special thanks to my friends at Sky Blue Bikes for helping me research and learn about a variety of trainers (and managing to get me a Muin from Italy!):
The Muin is heavy (17kg o 34.4lbs). It feels like a trainer I will have and can own for the next 10 years (it's also serviceable!). It has very few things you can damage, bend or break. There are no adjustments, but it is foldable. You don't need adjustments as it has enough resistance to get you to 2,200 watts (claimed) - simply adjust via your gearing.
To calibrate it, remove your rear wheel from your road or mountain bike (thru-axle options are available) ensure you've installed your preferred cassette onto your new Muin. The cassette installs the same as it would on your road or mountain bike, and mount your ride on the Muin via the rear drop-outs. Calibration complete. The Turbo Muin is compatible with both SRAM/Shimano and Campagnolo 9,10,11 speed.
If you want speed and distance 'beamed' directly to your bluetooth device you'll need to buy the optional Misuro Blu Sensor. The sensor will need a few minutes to install and will then broadcast speed and distance, NOT cadence. This wasn't something that I was interested in as my cadence and power is displayed via a Quarq power meter that I use on two of my bikes.
If you use your Smartphone for training the Elite website has a nifty little app to help you determine the best solution for your trainer to beam data. You can find it here: http://configuro.elite-it.com/en.
The only adjustment you may need, relates to width. If your rear spacing is 135 vs. 130mm you will need to use a small alloy washer which inserts between the trainer and your bikes dropout on the non-drive side. Elite provides guidance on the type of frame that will need the washer and ultimately both are compatible.
Now that your bike is mounted you will notice that you don't need a riser block for your front wheel. Provided your pain cave/house of suffering has a level floor, you're set.
Place butt on seat. Go.
Riding the Muin
I've now been riding the Muin for more than a year. I ride my trainer, on average, five days a week. My shortest workout has been 45 minutes. The longest workout I've completed on the Muin has been more than 4 hours. I've sprinted, endured, ridden very high resistance (44 rpms) and very low resistance (130 rpms). The trainer has been used for the most part with my road bike, but I have had no issue mounting my time trial bike with its horizontal dropouts.
It is very quiet. It does make a sound - you can initially hear the fluid moving and your drive train creates some noise. BUT your neighbours will have little to complain about. You can easily watch DVD's or movies and it's unlikely your wife/husband/room mate/cat/dog will be frightened/annoyed. However, there's no accounting for hyper sensitive types.
From a performance perspective you can't fault the Turbo Muin. You get high resistance, low noise, stability and what appears to be long term durability. If you're a HUGE data junky you can get speed and distance beamed straight to your smart phone. If you are a performance minded cyclist you likely already have a power meter.
Opportunities for improvement
I'm happy with the Elite Turbo Muin. I now have a trainer that's robust, quiet, and simple that I'm aiming to keep for years to come.
Team Directasia.com has been climbing a mountain for more than 2 years. Each year takes the team slightly higher. Legs and hearts get stronger, pedaling gets more efficient. Despite improvements, one key win has eluded the team.
For more than 2 years Team Directasia.com has ridden their hearts out with one aim: a win at Brides Pool Road, Hong Kong. The course is home to the National Championships and is revered by many as the toughest Hong Kong has to offer. Sunday, over 90 kilometres and 1500 meters of climbing, clear team tactics, aligned with legs of steel, delivered not only the top step of the podium for the Hong Kong based outfit; the team took second and third as well.
On the road
The Hong Kong Cycling Association let riders know the alarm clocks would have to buzz early (4am!) - the Open Category would start at 6am sharp. 27 riders lined the starting grid in the dark. They stared ahead; the first climb ascended up into the distance.
From the start gun, Team Champion system pushed the tempo hard to catch out any riders with cold legs (which was common at 6am!). Simon Little (Directasia.com) ensured the early attacks were controlled. In support was Rob Lamb (Directasia.com).
The early pace was high. The attacks plenty. Thomas Cheung (Champion System) drove his troops hard and Brad Peppinck (Directasia.com) came forward to keep Directasia at the front of the bunch. The first lap and a half was explosive - numerous riders were dropped.
Mid way through the second lap a small break went away including John Tonks (Directasia.com). It was quickly brought back.
At the end of the second lap the race had been split. 15 riders remained in the front and Brad Peppinck, Hin Chiu, and Chris Taylor (Directasia.com) moved to the front taking up policing efforts and setting the pace for a hard attack from Fred Clatworthy and John Tonks or the snappy legs of Mike Maiers.
After a hard second lap, many tired riders looked for a lap of consolidation. Sensing a slow in the pace Hin Chiu (Directasia.com) burst from the peloton. He was joined by King Long Chau (Champion System) and the two rode away from the group. The peloton let them go. Despite the effort Chiu could be seen smiling on the climbs. The young rider from Hong Kong looked smooth and effortless.
As the peloton crossed the start/finish line entering the fourth lap, the real race of attrition started. Directasia climbers Chris Taylor and Brad Peppinck drove the pace each climb while team Champion System continued to attack. Each time Directasia was able to lift the tempo, reeling them in.
Ahead in the break, Chiu’s infernal pace caused cramps in his breakaway companion and by the start of the fifth lap the Champion System rider was dropped. Behind, Mike Maiers (Directasia.com) attacked the front group in an attempt to bridge across to his team mate. Maiers is known for his quick legs and managed to get a substantial gap. His team mates behind offered no help in brining him back and forced Team Champion System to work to bring him back. They did so by the end of the lap.
As soon as Maiers was back in the frey, Fred Clatworthy (Directasia.com) flexed his quads and lungs. The powerful attack half way through the fifth lap caused the pack to grimace, and Clatworthy was followed by Thomas Cheung (Champion System). The attack created a chase group of seven riders as Clatworthy set a hard tempo on the steep rises. Behind, Directasia set a disruptive tempo leading into the sixth lap.
Ahead, Chiu maintained his advantage alone…and smiling…
On the final lap riders started to fight for the minor places. Chiu was away. Close behind him was Clatworthy charging hard. Behind Clatworthy was a group of five including his team mate John Tonks in a group with Shohei Ikeda (OSSA Janiton).
As Clatworthy gained ground on Chiu, Tonks attacked behind. Clatworthy would catch Chiu and Tonks would gain a gap for third on the podium.
Directasia achieved a monument on Sunday in Hong Kong. The team will continue it’s focus; ‘everything for the team’.
It felt more like the way to a smokey backroom poker game than a laser adjusted bike fitting, but… we are in Hong Kong. It never ceases to amaze me what can be found down alleys, behind fake bag stalls and …. well behind a sliding door, through an empty bar at the back of a pool hall on the 3rd floor of a building in Hong Hom. More pics to come (check our photos page)!
Professional bike fitting is seeing a huge surge in Hong Kong and it was after a few email exchanges that I found myself with an appointment at Life Cycles, meeting with Winston from Friday Bike Fit.
Having worked in Canada at several highly regarded Cycling institutions like Silent Sports in Ontario, Winston found his passion in fitting. That passion has taken him to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing and Colorado. He has spent time with Specialized, Slowtwitch F.I.S.T., SICI (Serotta) and more recently with Retul.
His space in Hong Kong is shared with beautiful custom work from Mosaic, Passioni, Independent Fabrications and more. Condor’s can be found here, as can classic old Pinarello shoes and yellowed books on the Maglia Rosa - all along side laser guided fitting equipment, pressure sensors…and statues of Buddha. Art seems to have met science with a hint of nostalgia.
Winston clearly loves his work;
"I still firmly believe that to be successful and happy in the cycling industry, having passion is paramount. Becoming a bike fitter stems from my passion for cycling. During grade school, while my friends were taking the bus I was chasing them on my bike. The quest for speed grew into competitive cycling which includes racing mountain bikes at a high level, along with other disciplines such as road, cyclocross and the occasional dabs at short distance triathlon.
During off works hours I also helped out at local bike shop and started learning the ins and outs of bicycle retail and customer service. Realizing many customers and riders were misinformed or unaware of how a bike should fit or even how to ride a bike properly. Certainly seeing a need to help these riders, I started my quest of knowledge and dove straight into bike fitting. Spent a long time learning from the best fit schools in the world and working with the top fitters, top teams, and learning how the body functions and eventually gaining the status of bike fit instructor. Currently seeing the need to educate the market about bike fitting in Asia, I teach and consult to many bicycle retailers and consult to bike manufactures while maintaining my private bike fitting practice."
Always happy for a chat. Drop Winston, and Friday Bike fit a line! http://www.fridaybikefit.com
Today Team Directasia.com had a goal: podium in every race on the day. The question was; could they do it?
Across Hong Kong alarms went off, waking riders for an early start. At 4:30am, coffee or Redbull seemed to be the respite of choice for many.
With packed cars they piloted themselves towards Lantau Island. The day ahead held the 2014 Tung Chung Criteriums, hosted by the Hong Kong Cycling Association. Overcast skies awaited on Lantau, but brought with them reasonable temperatures.
Speaking with team riders before the race, it was clear that they hoped their luck on this course would change today. 2013 saw two heavy crashes for team riders, so TDA was focused on keeping the rubber side down to the tarmac in the 2014 edition.
As the riders lined up, the teams luck indeed seemed on track. TDA had 5 riders in the 35-39 age group, and 4 in the 40-44, with all 9 riders in total in the Open.
Deverell Smith, Robert Lamb, and Simon Little, and Bryce Munro and Brad Peppinck looked ready to go on the line.
The team aimed to put a man up the road and should tactic this fail, the next approach was to line out the group, setting up the bunch gallop for Deverell Smith.
From the start the team rode at the front of the bunch - riding with confidence. Rider positioning was key. 3 heavy crashes took riders from other teams as the laps ticked by.
The plan to get a man away in the break didn't work, but coming into the final lap TDA strung out the bunch for Smith. Crowds would see Lamb, then Bryce Munro put in a big effort on the 2.5km course. With 300 metres to go Munro peeled off as a Perry To (Janiton) started his sprint early. Smith showed his experience increasing his pace with haste but keeping his fuse dry. With 200 to go Smith started his sprint. Would he catch and pass To?
In the 35-39 age group TDA would achieve its podium goal: Smith took 2nd by a half bike length on the line followed closely by Brad Peppinck in 3rd. 2 out of 3 ain't bad...
Before the start TDA set their strategy: "We all go from the line and make it hard" said Caputo. Alistair Haigh-Smith, Fred Clatworthy, Paolo Caputo and Mike Maiers readied themselves for the effort.
From the gun TDA pushed the pace hard. The knife of lactic acid sliced deep throughout the race.
Lap after lap saw the TDA laser streak by. Two limpets held their wheels tasting burnt rubber. 1st Mike, Fred Clatworthy 2nd, Paolo Caputo 3rd, Alistair Haigh-Smith 4th.
In the Open Category more than forty men toed the line. Sitting in on the team meeting, the strategy for TDA was simple: "we attack, we attack, we attack". The Open would see Prime (pronounced preem) laps every second lap. Each time points would be awarded for the first group across the line.
The podium was the goal.
The crack of the gun signaled racing. Riders catapulted themselves from the front of the race. The constant attacks making legs groan and faces grimace. Sweat flowed like a leaky faucet from the chins of riders.
Fred Clatworthy was constantly on the front. Haigh-Smith was seen pushing the pace into corners and off the front. New rider Roberto Farresse also pushed for gaps. In the group, Bryce Munro was never far from the front maintaining pace for Maiers and Caputo.
Team Champion System had also fielded a strong team. They hovered near the front of the group. They were active.
As the laps ticked by, many riders dropped out of the race. Caputo and Maiers fought for primes every two laps against team Champion System. It was close.
With one-and-a-half laps to go, Caputo rallied his troops. They raised the pace to ensure the race was controlled. Caputo only needed a high finish on the line to take the race and the top step of the podium. TDA pushed hard but they were swarmed by Champion System riders.
The last lap flashed past in a blur of black and yellow, and blue and orange. The charge for the line and across...
Caputo summarised the results:
"When my team rides strong and hard there isn't much room for others! Today was probably the best display of strength I've seen from our team" said Caputo.
When the results rolled in, Caputo took first, followed by Joy Lai Cheng (CMS), and Wong Tse Chin (Champion System). Mike Maiers would hold on for 6th overall.
As team riders packed their cars to return to their homes they could rest easy. TDA showed off their sponsor colours in every race they entered. A tremendous day on the roads of Tung Chung and a hat tip to the companies that help the team keep racing.
Friday September 26th, Chengdu, Lao Che Mi Cycling Festival Series.
Team DirectAsia.com (TDA) invaded mainland China for the seventh race in the "Chengdu Cycling Festival Series". Mike 'Moisturiser' Maiers, Paolo 'Italian Stallion' Caputo, Matt 'Diesel' Kenfield, and Damian 'The Climbing Leprechaun' Barrett all set off for the teams first race since the Hong Kong National Championships.
Wo men chu Chengdu...
The team arrived together in Chengdu at 10.30pm Friday night. Add transfers, hotel check in's and bike building and riders saw their beds after 1am. Heading into a race in sleep debt is never ideal, but race organisers in Chengdu delivered an efficient event making riders lives almost a luxury. TDA was provided a translator who looked after vans, transport and rider well being. A HUGE thank you to Rachel from the team!
Saturday morning saw riders stirring at 7am. Their short slumber broken by the the smell of fresh roasted coffee wafting from the room of Paolo Caputo. The Italian, not willing to take any chances on espresso, had brought his own supply of the dark brew. Riders had also brought along their own food as the Sichuan breakfast can be a tad spicy!
To the roads...
The course in Chengdu is a purpose built circuit created for the World ITU World Cup Triathlon Series. A pancake flat course with 3 bumps, one after another, in short succession. Not short on help, riders spotted more than 50 people hand sweeping the course, while it was estimated that more than 200 military and local law enforcement representaives were present on the closed circuit. TDA would fight for victory over twenty laps of approximately 5 kilometres. It was going to be fast...
Temperatures were cool leaving damp roads from the previous nights rain. The skies a brooding, moping shade of grey. A mix of pollution and cloud. Contrasting lush green vegetable fields from the surrounding farming areas seemed to glow with life.
Thirty minutes before the start the series Yellow Jersey holder was called to the start line for photos. A hasty interview was conducted as the large inflatable starting arch started to bend and sway in the wind. TDA riders signed in, dropped their bags, checked their machines and posed for photos with local fans. It was time to go.
The field of ninety riders attacked the start. Speeds maintained fifty kilometres per hour as attacks exploded from the peloton. By the end of the first lap legs were burning and tempers had settled to a more resonable forty kilometres per hour. Riders took note of their competitors from behind dark racing glasses trying to anticipate who would push their pedals in anger next.
At the 8 kilometre mark 2 riders burst from the pack. The group would have nothing of it. They were brought back quickly. The simmering peloton was beginning to find it's rhythm and the pace increased with more and more attacks being attempted and violently squashed. Matt Kenfield rode himself into a small break which gained thirty seconds on the group but his companions wouldn't work. Kenfield, unwilling to do the work of 4, sat up.
Damian Barrett saw his opportunity next. Just as Kenfield was coming back to the group, the Irishman counter attacked through the 3 rollers and found 15 seconds between himself and peloton. Once again, his companions refused to work and the effort was quashed.
The dance continued. Nothing found its rhythm.
Just as the pace seemed to settle, riders had given up the chance to get away, Daniel Carruthers (CCN, Velocite Bicycles) put in a hard, sharp attack. The Newzealander put 30 seconds into the peloton. His big frame heaving with the effort, he stayed away alone for 3 laps. The peloton seemed to acknowledge his effort, but seemed unconcered. He was enveloped around the 10th lap.
Next would be Aron Akesson (Bicycles4Humanity) counter attacking after Carruthers was caught. Pushing a monster gear, the Swede held off the peloton gaining a gap of just over thirty-five seconds for almost 3 laps. He was then joined by Kenfield (Directasia.com) and 3 local riders. The group of 5 worked well together. The gap increased to almost sixty seconds at its peak. Akesson had been off the front for almost 6 laps. His companions turns became slower and shorter. With an enormous effort from the series Yellow Jersey the break was brought back into line.
The dance continued. Nothing found its rhythm.
Next to test the legs of the many would be TDA's Paolo Caputo. The Italian seemed focused on shaking things up. He was clearly motivated after finished the second race of the series in second place. He was heavily marked by other teams and riders. If he twitched, they were on him.
Mike Maiers also made efforts and a solid run at a breakaway. The hardy Australian darted across to a small break with dreams of getting away. Riders dribbled across to join and brought the peloton with them.
Barrett refused to say die and again attacked. He came back quickly and it was clear legs in the group were tired. Suddenly a local dog ran in front of the mass of cyclists. Barrett locked up his brakes saving himself from leaving a skin sample on the road. This put Barrett well behind with a small group who would struggle do regain the group.
3 laps to go...
With 3 laps remaining Darren Benson (Bicycles4Humanity) attacked alone. Benson has built a reputation around the Asia peloton as a dangerous rider. With a history of elite racing in Europe, a key role as a rider with the heralded Trek China Racing Squad and time with the CCN Continental Team he can't be left to ride away. In the group, teams looked around at one another. Their eyes asked 'who will bring Benson back'? No one moved. Benson rode out to a 60 second lead with no response from the peloton.
Caputo saw the danger and asked his team to move forward. Matt Kenfield marched to the front. Benson now had 4 companions and the move was a real threat.
Kenfield hammered the pedals alone at the front. His effort wasn't bringing the threat back in time for the finish so Caputo moved to his side. Caputos efforts would delete his name from the top three, the Italian hoping the fresher legs of Mike Maiers could fill his void.
The bell lap.
Caputo and Kenfield strained under the effort but brought back the break. Their heavy legs were caught unaware as Gary Loafman (unattached) countered. Loafman rode away as the peloton watched.
As the pace hit more than fifty kilometres per hour and the group fanned out across the road. Kenfield slipped back with the effort.
Tired legs and minds saw some poor decisions. Riders made crazy maneuvers putting everyone at risk. And then the inevitable. The sound of carbon, skin, aluminium and bone hitting the ground. A massive crash took a whole group of riders to the tarmac.
With all the melee the group came around the final corner to Loafman raising his arms in victory.
A final bunch sprint saw TDA roll across the line with Maiers 7th, Caputo 12th. Kenfield and Barrett rolled across the line with heavy legs from the effort and relief at narrowly missing local wildlife.
Until next time TDA.
200km of fast flowing Mountain bike racing. 3 Stages. 2 Directasia.com riders. 1 Time Trial. Heck, you could run a marathon on the second day if you really wanted to. Inner Mongolia is astoundingly beautiful. You should race the Genghis Khan Mountain Bike Race by Nordicways.com. For photos and details see Team Directasia.com on Facebook or click the link below to Team Directasia.com on Instagram. We’re talking about the Genghis Khan Grasslands Mountain bike race. Getting there can be a challenge but If you make it through you'll end up literally in the middle of a wonderful nowhere. Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia.
It’s amazing. Horses galloped across the road and beside the bus as we drove into Xilinhot. The sky was electric blue. Small chubby clouds lazily sailed across the sky.
To the adventure. Alistair Haigh-Smith and I were there to race. The gun went off and we were flying. Too bad the other guys couldn't come because it was a blast...
Individual Time Trial.
The race started with a 5.8km time trial. The Mongolian National team SMASHED us. They smashed everyone. This was foreshadowing.
The prologue consisted of launching ourselves from the Nadamu Arena into the hard packed double track and sprinting our butts off around a giant grassy paddock. It was made even better by the beautiful sun and cleansing air. Alistair Haigh-Smith (Directasia.com) took our first top 10 with a 12:02.
The 'Ulanbaatar mountain bike armada’ (Mongolian National Team) as they’re called by the race director amazed, and filled the leader board with their names:
1. Baterdene Narankhuu (MGL) 10:39, 2. Bilguunjaral Erdenebat (MGL) 10:40, 3. Mendbayar Ulambayar (MGL) 10:41, 4. Gantumur Batorshikh (MGL) 10:55, 5. Baasankhuu Myagmarsuren (MGL)11:18.
Stage One…Nadamu Arena - Xiwuqi Cultural Square.
That afternoon we lined up for the first stage. 64k's across the rolling grasslands. The sun was scorching…you should see the tan lines. 400 Mountain Bikers toed the line at Nadamu Arena.
The starter yelled GO (the pistol wasn’t working)! Crashes happened almost immediately. Russian pro Ivan Brinko (Specialized) crashed coming out of the Nadamu Arena. Then we aimed our bikes at cresting a sharp little climb at the end of the first kilometre. The climb split the race and Hu Hao (Specialized), Fraser Young (Chiru), Alexey Chaklov, Daniel Carruthers (WTB) and the Ulanbaatar Mountain Bike armada started drilling the pace on the front. The race was reduced to 9 fluorescent bodies jetting across the rolling landscape.
At the 50 kilometre mark Hu Hao's front tire blew out. He held his bike upright but would lose the front of the race. With an act of true sportsmanship, Fraser Young (Chiru) stopped to give Hu a tube to get him rolling again.
Fourteen kilometres later the Mongolian Nationals took 1,2,3. Robert Lamb crossed the line for Team Directasia.com in 12th, Haigh-Smith in 17th but smiling...
Stage Two, 43km, Xiwuqi Cultural Square - Mongolian Yurt City.
A sharp blue sky greeted riders with temperatures hovering in the high 30’s. Sun screen would be key in our 43 kilometer crossing of the grasslands.
Todays stage rolled up and through the main road in Xilinhot towards the grasslands. Many hoped for a sensible pace to warm up the legs and take in the breathtaking landscapes. That sensibility was not available today.
With the sound of the starters gun, the front of the race was a sharp, pointy needle weaving it’s way up the main street. The race would take us over the anaerobic Nadamu climb again which initially split the field on day 1. Coming to the top of the climb the front group was reduced to 6. By kilometer 32 due to mechanicals and general attrition it was down to 4.
Specialized’s Hu Hao wouldn’t be beaten today and attacked the group hard in the final 10 kilometres to take an epic win over Gantumur Batorskikh (Mongolian National Team).
Alistair Haigh-Smith and Robert Lamb (both Directasia.com) crossed the line as a team in 13th and 14th. They worked fantastically well as a unit on the stage.
Stage Three, 96 kilometres, Xiwuqi Cultural Square - Xiwuqi Cultural Square.
13th and 14th seemed like Directasia.com’s lucky numbers in the grasslands. Again today Haigh-Smith and Lamb crossed the line, full throttle in 13th and 14th after 3:34:49 in the saddle.
During the fast stage we were confronted with a herd of cows on the trail, sheep and horses. There was also a bike orientation section (very few trail markings) and we really went ‘cross country’. With the lead group in the distance most of the day we pushed hard but the catch never happened.
Crossing the finish line we were elated. A big stage, 200k’s in 3 days on the Mountain bike and some incredible moments in Inner Mongolia. We’re looking forward to 2015 and coming back with a bigger team!
They say you have to have skin in the game to be successful. Team Directasia.com took this very seriously on Sunday, February 16th making two trips to the medical tent, but putting three riders on the podium.
Early in the day the team took to the road in the 30-34 age group with team riders Rich Smerin, Matthew Kenfield and Robert Lamb taking the line. Right behind them Deverell Smith, Rowdie Loughlin, and Amber Will would sprint off the line in the 35-39 group. Fred Clatworthy would be the lone Directasia.com representative in the 40-44 group (did that hold him back...?).
In the 30-34 age group, the final corner coming into the finish would prove crucial, and after a long hard pull by Matthew Kenfield, Rich Smerin was positioned well into the sprint. Only Dor Ming Chau (Champion Systems) would be faster as Smerin took second place in the 30-34 Age Group. A great result, as Smerin also stood on the podium Saturday during regional track racing in Hong Kong (check out photos on Facebook).
The 35-39 would prove tougher with Amber Will getting taken down hard in the final sprint. Amber was later cleared by the medics and wrapped up in a thick layer of gauze and tape to cover all the road rash... Deverell Smith would push his track weary legs hard to take 3rd place on the podium.
To the 40-44 group, Fred Clatworthy would make it look easy attacking the group to take a solo victory for TDA. Clatworthy would show a normalized power of 371 watts to earn the win and the third podium of the day.
The final race of the day would see the team toe the line in the Open. A 10 lap race featured primes every 2 laps, and saw a fast attacking race on the twisty course.
Fred Clatworthy positioned well early to break away from the field with Kan Koon (Total Sports), Thomas Cheung (Champion System). Simon Chau (Total Sports) also hung on for 2 laps early on but was gapped, and not able to reconnect at the first prime. The Group of three would work hard to stay away but around the 8 lap mark their efforts where doomed and the peloton closed in. They trio were swept up, and the angry peloton pressed on towards the sprint finish. Late in that lap Rob Lamb also hit the deck making another offering of skin to the cycling gods...
On the podium it would be 1. Thomas Cheung (Champion System), 2. Kan Koon (Total Sports), 3. Dor Ming Chau (Champion System), 4. John Tonks, 5. Fred Clatworthy (Directasia.com).
A good weekend of racing for Team Directasia.com. Lots of gauze, road rash and a trio of trophies.