- Inside Triathlon 2007 & 2008 Buyers Guides
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Cavendish is clearly the fastst sprinter - but not necessarily the best - yet. If he can handle the mountains and finish - I reckon there's some Grand Tour points jerseys ahead of him.
How ironic that a man named "Fortunato" crashed on a cobbled corner just 600m from the finish line a few days ago, when he was in a group of 3 and had a good chance of winning the stage. How Unfortunato!
Sean Kelly always refers to the cyclists as "roiders" - is he suggesting that they all take drugs?
Watch a stage of the Giro on Eurosport and count how many times Sean Kelly says "certainly" - if I had RM1 for every time...!
Mmmmmm - not a good start! I was seriously considering 20min run followed by a DNF but after a few minutes I caught the imcyclist gang and then Patsy Yap, so my spirits were lifted. After less than 1km I also came across a bunch of girls walking, and each carrying quite sizeable shoulder bags - very strange!?!?
I took the first few km at a snails pace and as I passed all the back-markers thoughts of a DNF fizzled out. This run had distance markers every km so I could regularly check my pace. I was doing 6:00/km but had lost a couple of mins at the start after chatting with imcyclists. I began to feel good and from 45mins to 1:37 felt quite fast and managed to dip under 6:00/km pace.
By the last few km I was on target for a surprise sub 2:06 and eventually finished in a very pleasing 2:03:15. But acording to a few different sources, including me, the distance was only 20.4 ot 20.5km. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased considering that I've done zero exercise in the last 2 weeks except the NB 15km and a ride up to Genting.
20.4km in 1:03:15 @ 6:03/km (or 2:07:03 pace for 21km)
15km in 1:31:10 = 30s outside PB!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Due to unprecedented popular demand (!) - I am arranging a bit of a farewell get-together/makan for anyone who is interested on Thursday 29th May at 7.30 or 8pm. The venue depends on how many of you are up for it, but it will be halal food and probably somewhere in PJ or Damansara or the outskirts of KL - within reasonable reach for most people. So far I've got about 10 people. This invite is especially for all of you who's number I haven't got in my phone.
Leave a comment if you can come so I can estimate numbers and choose somewhere appropriate. Suggestions for a restaurant are also welcome - not too expensive please!
Don't think of it as just a leaving do - there'll be lots of runners/triathletes so it'll be a rare gathering of this species that's not directly linked to a race!
Guest of Honour - Mr Tey Eng Tiong!!!!!!
Anyone who knows me is welcome!!!
Disclaimer - any public speaking at this event is limited to 10s per person. (this is my get-out clause!)
Part 2 of my hilly weekend was a ride from Genting Sempah R&R to Genting Highlands. Arif, Adeline & I rode a couple of km's up the hill (that took 13 mins!) and waited for another 6 riders, including Sofian, who'd started at HOA.
My main concern was that my HR would exceed my self-imposed max of 90%, or that my elderly bottom bracket would fail under the strain of me pushing a 39x23 gear up 1:10 slopes for 2 hours. As it turned out, my HR stayed under 90% and my BB was OK. (lots of abbreviations there!)
Pitstopped at Gohtong and then the final push - about 8-9km. I was looking forward (?) to the infamous 4.4km to go - a wall-like left-hand switchback corner, followed by unrelenting 10-12% gradients to the top.
I got past 4.4 ok but my front tyre was suspiciously flat and I stopped shortly therafter. My tyre had lost a lot of pressure, but after 3 attempts at remounting I was on my way again and managed to get to 2.2km to go before having to change it.
After 2hours (at less than 10kph!) we made it to the top and had a short rest before Arif & I began the descent. The first 5 minutes was in thick cloud and I was so freezing that my whole arms were trembling. Halfway down my tyre deflated again so we stopped to top it up with CO2. This was 10th (slight exaggeration) suspected internal puncture in the last few months - definitely something wrong with my tyres, rims or rim tape. My rims were almost too hot to touch from braking continuously!
Luckily for me Arif had another CO2 canister so I made it all the way to the top of the "McD's hill". Then my tire began to come off the rim, so my ride promptly turned into a brick session - I ran the last 1km downhill with bike in one hand - shoes in the other. Running over stones on the road is damn painful!
The end result was a very satisfying ride. I finally made it right to the top, 11 years after falling 3km short due to time constraints, and only 2 weeks before I leave the country (I've been targetting that ride for the last 3 years!).
This ride got me so excited about cycling up mountains that I've entered it on www.climbbybike.com - a must view site for cycling fans. Hopefully the climb will be on the site in 2 weeks once the webmasters have okay'd the details (profile, photos, description and Google Earth links).
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Talking of hills, one of my unachieved ambitions from the last 2-3 years is to cycle to Genting Highlands. I rode up there once in '97 with Boon Foo & gang, but only made it to the pagoda near the summit. Now I have to go all the way.
Luckily for me there's a ride up there on Monday morning. Unluckily for me I am 11 years older now and have the same bike with a less-than-suitable 42 x 23 smallest gear!
- World-Class advertising
- Products that aren't really as life-changing as they want you to think
- Crap customer service
Now tell me this. Maxis is a company that sells communication products, and their billing system is so advanced that you can ask them to SMS your outstanding phone charges every day! But when they start charging my missus RM30 every day for calls she disn't make, and she sacrifices her valuable free time to go the Maxis Centre to enquire about the problem, they say she has to come back once she's received her monthly bill!! - what utter bollocks!
This reminds me of when it took me 4 months and at least 4 trips to different Maxis Centres to be refunded my RM300 deposit for a USB modem that was no use to me as there was no signal at my condo. You know - the USB modem that has a really happy cute kid riding his bike really fast (allegedly like the service) in the adverts.
Seems like their wonderful 21st Century communications systems only work when it is in their favour, not the customers.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh now I feel better!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
My "Brusers" team scored the highest number of points out of over 1,200 teams in the velogames.com Fantasy Giro '08 game for Stage 4. WOW! Shame there's no prizes!
Most of my points came from my riders finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 7th on the stage and having the leaders jersey.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The man was stopped after police became suspicious of a large bag he was carrying as he followed women through St Mark's Square.
He has been charged with infringement of privacy. It is a cheeky crime, which could earn this 38-year-old Italian from six months to four years in jail.
A police video shows a man in jeans and hooded top walking behind women.
He is trying to position his black holdall close to their legs.
Police said he was filming through a small hole in the side of the bag.
The officers had become suspicious when they realised he was only following women with short skirts. When they stopped or bent down to pick something up, he was clearly trying to angle the bag behind them.
When the voyeur was finally caught police recovered several DVDs which held more than 3,000 images of women's bottoms.
He confessed to police he had been filming in and around St Mark's Square for nearly two years.
Police have refused to name him but Mario Marina of Venice police said he is married with two young children and has a professional job in the nearby town of Padua.
He might have some explaining to do when he finally gets home.
After a strenuous 10km run in the morning, 3hrs+ driving (with some lovely durian on the way) and not getting into our room until 35mins before the start - I wasn't well prepared for the Sprint. But I didn't worry too much as this was pure fun for me - I had no intention of pushing it.
I did the swim in just under 13mins and was pleased with my navigation. My triceps were pretty sore though, and I became worried that they'd be equally sore the next morning. Arif & Michelle (who's swimming has improved a lot) both beat me out of the water. I ambled through transition, closely followed by Lucas, and even chatted with swim coach Peh (about my tired triceps) before hopping on the bike.
On the bike I was tired, slow, and couldn't cope with the aero-position. I seriously contemplated doing one loop for a DNF. But I persevered and did the second loop and then onto the run/walk. I ran for a while with Adeline, and was overtaken by Karen Siah at the end. She is making a habit of doing that. I finished in 1:14 - 12 mins slower than last year, but I was tired a really took it very easy all the way.
My first conscious thought on the Sunday was when Jackie woke me up and almost gave me a heart attack by saying "is it really 7.3am?". It was still pitch black outside and I felt like sleeping for another 12 hours. I rushed to my watch - it was 3.38am. THANKS SAYANG!!!
Apart from that I slept well and got up on time. 2 x bananas, half a Powerbar, a coffee and some Isostar later, I was ready and arrived just in time to set up, get numbered, greet everyone and head down to the water. I LOVE the pre-race feeling - excitement, anticipation, the effort ahead, the thrill of the battles in the water, the downhills, high-fiving the roadside kids etc...
The swim was mediocre. I was kicked in the face once (not badly) but got settled in and my navigation was ok again. As I do in running, as time went on I began to overtake others, and only managed to recognize Shazly (who tailed me last year too), who I think made it out very close behind me. I finished in 34mins+, 2mins behind my target.
T1 all ok and onto the bike. Feeling much better today until about 500m in when a bum after a bridge launched one of my bottles into space. I turned round to get it and lost 40-50s. Shazly whizzed past me and I hoped to catch him but didn't.
So far I was well organised and had remembered to record my swim exit, bike start and even change my watch to show average speed for the ride. It never made it above 30kph but I did manage to just beat last years time even though the u-turn was 500m further along the road. After the u-turn I managed to spot some of my closest "rivals" - Arif & Michelle. They were close! And too close for comfort! Maybe only 1-3mins behind. With under a km to go I saw Adzim on his run and thought I might catch him - but only if his knee packed-up!!
My lack of cycling training really showed - I should have been able to go faster, especially on my TT bike. Never mind - I saw guys with P3C's and aero helmets still behind me! I managed my HR well and it stayed at around 84-5%, giving me another 5% for the run. But my time was already about 2 hours - my 2:40 target was gone!
Into T2 I remembered to get my feet out of my shoes for a quick run to the rack. I almost ran to where my bike was racked the day before, but managed to gather my senses in time and ended up in the right place.
I began running slowly but eventually picked up a bit and there were no signs of the thigh cramps I had last year. I think I came across Sofian quite early on, and then Shazly on the shot but steep-ish hill after 1km or so. He had a lovely green band down the back of his suit that gave me the impression he'd swam so fast that the algae had to form an aerodynamic pattern!
I was feeling good, running at a reasonable pace I felt I could maintain all the way, and was overtaking a good few competitors. A few passed me, but not many. Last year my run was a total nightmare and took me over an hour. This year I did 56mins - with pitstop - for a 6-800m longer course.
I finished in 2:55+, outside my target but 6mins+ faster than last year with a longer ride and run. I'm happy for Adzim that his knee held up. And well done to the very bubbly Amy, who finished her first triathlon!
More A'Famosa and Bomba run photos here - thanks as always to Ivie, Jaja and Tey.
Watch out for the two guys in black, both with black bands on one arm, who appear between 2:00 and 3:00. The second one is absolutely amazing. See how fast he spins, holding up his whole body whilst upside-down with his arm fully extended...
I found the whole performance highly amusing, especially the way in which the teams interact.
Monday, May 12, 2008
I could be posted to a sewer project similar to the one I've just finished, or I could be on the recently awarded US$1billion Al-Safou Tram system. I really hope it will be the tram project - it will be much more challenging than manholes and pipelines.
I always knew it was unlikely that I'd stay in Malaysia for many years, but I'm still quite sad to be leaving behind the many, many good friends that I've made in the last 1-2 years through cycling, triathlon etc...
As I said to Simon X as I left A'Famosa yesterday, no doubt I'll be planning visits back to Malaysia to co-incide with races!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I kicked off an ambitious 3-event weekend with what looks like will be my final run around this well-used 10km course, on which I did my first ever 10km run in 2006.
The last time I did this route was in last years Power Run. I missed my target by a few minutes and failed to break the hour - so yesterday I was determined to a 59:xx time or better.
I felt ok to start with and felt better as time went on, especially once we hit the long downhill on Duta towards the final couple of km on Parlimen. I reckoned if I got to the Bukit Aman lights in 51:00 I could break 1hr.
As it was I was 30s down so really went for it down past Padang Merbok as I remember the final few '00m round Merdeka Sq taking longer than you might expect. I passed one guy who'd been running just ahead of me for a while, and he latched on to me, but I managed to beat him (I was secretly quite pleased about that!).
I wasn't sure if I'd make it until the final turn onto the field, but managed to dodge the throngs of 7km runners to finish in 59:20 - hooray!
THANKS to Tey and Ah Fook for the photos!
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Last year I did the Oly race in 3:02 but the bike and run routes were short (37km / 8km according to me). Assuming the same route - I want to finish in under 2:40.
My plan is to put a lot of effort into the swim and take it easy on the bike to make sure I have a good run. Last year was my first Olympic tri and I remember really struggling on the run even though it was less than 8km.
I am really looking forward to this weekend as I haven't seen all my tri buddies for a long time - and for the first time ever I have Jackie and Lucas with me!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
The Giro starts this weekend and I'm doing 2 free fantasy games...
My team is -
Rider 1: 10, Paolo BETTINI, QST, #16http://www.nrtoone.com/fantasy/cycling/
Rider 2: 12, Franco PELLIZOTTI, LIQ, #120
Rider 3: 16, Alberto CONTADOR, AST, #34
Rider 4: 16, Riccardo RICCÒ, SDV, #135
Rider 5: 8, Robert FÖRSTER, GST, #50
Rider 6: 8, Alexander EFIMKIN, QST, #44
Rider 7: 8, Vincenzo NIBALI, LIQ, #110
Rider 8: 8, Jose SERPA, SDA, #150
Rider 9: 14, Mark CAVENDISH, THR, #30
My team is -
- Di Luca
Bargain Basement Team:
Full Points Team:BENNATI
Have a go and try to beat me!