The Tour of Friendship R1 2014 continued on Tuesday, April 29 with a 103-kilometer road stage for all categories. After facing the grueling climbs, distance, and heat of yesterday’s Stage 3, riders were geared up and chomping at the bit to attack the 103 kilometers of flat road that lay between them and the Stage 4 finish line. And attack they did!
There are 8 CATEGORIES of riders competing in Tour of Friendship R1 2014: Open, age 30-39, age 40-49, age 50-59, Men Master, Lady, Junior, and VIP.
An explosive jump from the start line put the peloton quickly down the road, creating two small lead groups out front of the main pack within the first 6 kilometers of the race. When the two small lead groups joined, the breakaway held six riders. The already high speed pace of the day was put into full charge mode by riders at the front of the main group intent to not allow the breakaway to gain any more distance.
Riders at the front of the main pack continued to push until the 10 kilometer mark, but succeeded in reclaiming only one of the riders from the breakaway group, the other five (122, 155, 153, 111, and 137) having ridden out of the sight of the main peloton by the 15 kilometer point.
At 16.2 kilometers the race turned left in order to use beautifully scenic small roads leading towards the day’s final destination, Srinakarin Dam. By the 26 kilometer point the five man breakaway had established a 4-minute time gap on the main group. At the 34.5 kilometer mark, the Specialized Mavericks team placed several riders at the front of the main group and pushed the pace up two long inclines, which effectively snapped the main pack into two large groups with several individuals trailing off the back and struggling through the following support vehicles. By the 45 kilometer point, the fast-paced stage had developed into a 5-man breakaway with a 13 rider pack (including 113, the GC yellow jersey, 143, 103, 140, 144, 134, and 126) more than two kilometers behind, which was trailed by another group of a dozen riders 400 meters behind it.
Eventually, this group of a dozen riders would work their way through the support vehicles and small rolling hills to rejoin the first main pack of 13 riders by the 54 kilometer point of the race. Just after the main pack was rejoined, the course turned left onto a small side road which provided riders with a bit of respite and beautiful countryside scenery as they slowed their pace in order to navigate well-marked road furniture. The 5-rider breakaway would stay away for the entire day, completing a short 3 kilometer climb and arriving first to the sprint finish line atop Srinakarin Dam.
Srinakarin Dam is managed by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand/EGAT, and prior to 2010 the Tour of Friendship R1 was known as the EGAT tour.
At Srinakarin Dam, competitors and support crews ate lunch and enjoyed the area’s beautiful natural surroundings. Some riders opted to cool down with a quick swim in the reservoir lake before being transported back to Pavilion River Kwai Resort, in Kanchanaburi district.
Top places in each category for Stage 4:
1. Mark Cook – Direct Asia
2. James Lowden – Specialized Mavericks
3. Wen Yuan Cao – Dare Project
1. Chris Nyonyintono – Specialized Mavericks
2. Shohei Ikeda – Project 852
3. David Lloyd – MBike Magazine
1. Pavol Krizan – CUORE Masters
2. Pascal Triebel – Luxembourg
3. Sebastien Pilotte – Neilpryde Men’s Club
1. Steven J Wong – Anza
2. Jean-Marc Lacoste – CUORE MAsters
3. Martin Brot – Siam Bike Tours
1. Tony Aspell – Spiceroads
2. Tinsley Janes – Spiceroads
3. Kichi Ikeda – BM-Racing Japan
1. Tina Haugbro – Rasta Whoppas
2. Sarah Doyle – Specialized Mavericks
3. Yonamine Eri – Forza
1. Teo – Bike Labz
2. Ielyas Bin Adnan – D2B Bike Labz
3. Iz Ho – ACS International
1. Alexander Billan – Excellent Noodle
General Classification after Stage 4:
OPEN – Wu Kin San / Champion System
30-39 – Chris Nyonyintono / Specialized Mavericks
40-49 – Pascal Triebel / Luxembourg
50-59 – Steven J Wong / Anza
MEN MASTER – Tony Aspell / Spiceroads
LADY – Tina Haugbro / Rasta Whoppas
JUNIOR – Ielyas Bin Adnan / D2B Bike Labz
The Tour of Friendship R1 2014 will finish on Wednesday’s Stage 5, where the Junior, Lady, Men Master, and age 50-59 categories will complete a 60 kilometer route and the Open, age 30-39, and age 40-49 categories will complete a 90 kilometer route. Read STAGE 5 report here.