Atchafalaya Swamp

Friday, February 13, 2009

LDTL Stage 5 - The Curve to Genting (Mat Salo's favorite sport!)

This is my third live LDTL event, the previous two a couple of years back. I'm not often home in Malaysia so I was lucky as hell that Stage 5 today started at my front door - literally!

The Petaling Jaya to Genting Stage kicked-off right between Ikano Power Center and The Curve, in front of co-sponsor's VW Malaysia's spiffy showroom to be exact. So all I did was to get on my hand-made Santa Cruz Superlight, a full-suspension mountain bike with my trusty D300 and 18-200 VR II lens slung across my shoulder, my pack of Dunhill's and headed off to The Curve to witness the start.

Did I tell you back in '04, at almost 45 years of age, I borrowed a RM 10,000 road bike and entered a UCI-sanctioned 100 km race in Perak? I finished fourth in my age category, barely missing the podium. But I was at least an hour behind the leader's though! I think there's hardly a sport greater than cycling, imagine day-in day-out going flat out for hundreds of kilometers a day until the end of the tour. The Tour De France, of course is the greatest of all - covering 3000 km in three weeks. How can anyone possibly do it? Doping? Naaah...

Yesterday's Malacca to Bangi Stage Winner - young upstart Samai of Indonesia who clocked an average of 42.08 km/hr for the 221 km run - that's faster than most non-rempits's kapcai I gather.

Wishing Anuar Manan of Team Malaysia well...

Lim Yew Meng and Indonesia's Samai, pros for Le Tua Cycling Team

Stretch 'em, dudes...

Samai acknowledging the crowd when called to the podium to "encore" yesterday's performance with teammate Jeremy Yates of New Zealand.

One of my all-time favorite Iranian cyclists - Ghader Misbani. He's done this since the inception, always posting impressive results.

Le Tua's Razif Salleh, nursing some stitches and abrasions from recent crashes.

Don't look let the "toy boy" look fool you. This Jap is a serious contender!

And they're off!

South African's Nolan Hoffman, yesterday's Malacca to Bangi Green Jersey holder checkin' out his rear...

Yanks Euser and Duggan of Team Garmin Slipstream (in blue, flanked by Team China) discussing whether they can ever be the next Lance Armstrong.

Made a new friend today, canine lover, TheStar's columnist, wheelchair activist, and get this - merangkap MBPJ councillor Anthony T who came as a VIP guest.

Anthony T demonstrating to me the workings of MBPJ's "mobility van". Thanks, bro'.

Columbian Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez, today's eventual Genting's conquistador!