The Tour of Friendship R1 2014 continued on Sunday, April 27 with a 120-kilometer flat road stage that took riders from the start line at Nonthaburi Palace Hotel to Woonsen Tah Reo, in Kanchanaburi district. The more than 200 cyclists who began Stage 2 of the race were released from the start line in three separate groups: Group A consisted of riders in the Open, age 50-59, Lady, and Junior categories; Group B consisted of riders in the age 30-39 and age 50-59 categories; and Group C consisted of riders in the age 40-49 category.
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.
Group A rolled off from the start line just after 8 a.m. with Group B and C following at 5-minute intervals. All three groups cycled a distance of approximately 20-kilometers before being released at a rolling start location near Big King Bang Yai Mall (Rolling start location – N 13.859322, E 100.482150). The initial 20-kilometer distance was at a controlled pace, which allowed race marshals and police to safely usher the large peloton along highway roads and out past the Nonthaburi city limits.
Group A experienced the first breakaway attempt of the day at the 30-kilometer mark when a couple of riders managed to open a small gap, causing those at the front of the main group to give a spirited chase that caused a small number of riders at the back to lose contact with the peloton. The gap was eventually closed and the remaining riders in Group A settled in at a comfortable pace as the race progressed into the Nakhon Pathom district, navigating a few high traffic areas and intersection turns without incident. Considering that much of the race is conducted on roads that are not closed to traffic, the smooth progress of the riders in the Tour of Friendship R1 is only made possible by the tireless efforts of organizers to coordinate their official TOF commissaire staff, motorbike marshals and police personnel with local government, highway police, and emergency medical service personnel.
Additional breakaways eventually created a group of 11 riders (152, 134, 138, 146, 140, 117, 123, 130, 108, 126, and 113) who, by the 65 kilometer point of the day’s stage, established a 2-kilometer lead on the main body of Group A.
At the 90-kilometer mark, the pace in Group A quickened in response to moves from individual riders (125, 144, and 104) putting in full efforts in their bids to join the lead group before the quickly approaching finish line. Riders got a good look at the finish line as they passed it prior to making a U-turn on the course and racing back several kilometers along the same road to complete the 120-kilometer stage.
Riders and support crews enjoyed lunch at the finish line location before being transported to Pavilion River Kwai Resort in Kanchanaburi, which will serve as the start location for stages 3, 4, and 5.
Top places in each category for Stage 2:
1. Dave Christenson – Direct Asia
2. Qinglong Zheng – Dare Project
3. Michael Sagermann – Specialized Mavericks
1. Joel Balucos – Excellent Noodle
2. Chris Nyonyintono – Specialized Mavericks
3. Brian Johnsen – Matador
1. Richard Paine – Specialized Mavericks
2. Yiuchung Kwok – Neilpryde
3. Sebastien Pilotte – Neilpryde Men’s Club
1. Anthony Herdrich – Specialized Mavericks
2. Steven J Wong – Anza
3. Martin Brot – Siam Bike Tours
1. Tony Carter – CUORE Master
2. Kichi Ikeda – BM-Racing Japan
3. Tony Aspell – Spiceroads
1. Mao Chino – Neilpryde Men’s Club
2. Yonamine Eri – Forza
3. Aiyana Currie – Anza
1. Iz Ho – ACS International
2. Teo – Bike Labz
3. Ielyas Bin Adnan – D2B Bike Labz
1. Alexander Billan – Excellent Noodle
General Classification after Stage 2:
OPEN – Scherwey Pierre / Direct Asia
30-39 – John Cattrall / GOTP
40-49 – Sebastien Pilotte / Neilpryde Men’s Club
50-59 – Steven J Wong / Anza
MEN MASTER – Tony Carter / CUORE Masters
LADY – Yonamine Eri / Forza
JUNIOR – Teo / Bike Labz
The Tour of Friendship R1 2014 will continue with Monday’s Stage 3, a 100-kilometer course for the Junior, Lady, Men Master, and age 50-59 categories, and a 130-kilometer course for the Open, age 30-39, and age 40-49 categories. Stage 3 will start at Pavilion River Kwai Resort and finish at Lake Heaven Resort, in Kanchanaburi district. Read STAGE 3 report here.