Mar 18, 2012
First trip of the season has been a long one away from home.
It’s nearly 3 weeks since I jumped on a flight to my first international race of 2012.
The OCBC Singapore criterium.
It went pretty good for the team, although we missed the break of 6 riders, we managed 8 th and 10 th in the bunch kick. Racing around the Singapore Formula One track was awesome, racing in the pouring rain wasn’t.
Next stop was a direct flight to Taiwan, we stayed there 6 days before the race started and yet again, like in Singapore, the weather was crap. 4 rides out of 6 we got wet.
We did however stay in a nice hotel and on the executive floor, first time that has happened at a bike race. With a coffee shop next door, a Mall over the road and the Outback Steak house on the ground floor we were sorted for a few steady days of bike riding and retail therapy, before the real racing started.
I’ve done the Tour de Taiwan 3 times now, the first year was fantastic weather and I even got myself a stage win. Last year was a little more epic with several mountain top finishes and rain everyday. I won’t lie, I didn’t enjoy last years race. I got a kicking most days.
So to get stage 1 underway in the pouring rain and a cold 10 degrees, it wasn’t looking good. Add to that a crash over the barriers with 300m to go at 40kmph, it wasn’t a great start to my Tour.
My results on the stages were average to say the least, it was a 2.1 UCI this year, which basically means it was a much higher quality field. New boy Ben Grenda ( @bengrenda is on twitter, he needs more followers ) was getting up there on most of the tough sprint stages. My time came on the last stage of the Tour when Ben was leading me out for the big bunch kick, he’s bloody good at positioning himself and getting back to near the front when it gets a little hectic near the final km’s. This time though it wasn’t to be for him or me. 600m to go, some malaysian took Bens front end from underneath him and I was stuck to his rear wheel ready for the kick. After pulling a pretty long dramatic skid I was down to 20th wheel and that was it, chance gone. Ben came off worse and was picking himself of the ground.
All in all, this years Taiwan was a good race for me but not brilliant.
Next up is the first prem Dengie Marsh 1 st April.
DEAN ON TWITTER