The Tour of Friendship R1 2014 continued on Monday, April 28 with a 100-kilometer route for the Junior, Lady, Men Master, and age 50-59 categories, and a 130-kilometer route for the Open, age 30-39, and age 40-49 categories. Stage 3 provided an opportunity for hill climbers to prove their mettle by reaching the peak of the day’s most grueling climb and win the individual award on offer for King of the Mountain (KOM). Stage 3 competitors were separated into three groups for the day’s ride: 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. Group A rolled off from the start line just after 8 a.m. with Group B and C following at 5-minute intervals.
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.
Competitors experienced the first cluster of small rolling hills at the 13-kilometer mark, and a group of Open category riders (106, 145, 110) used the chance to go off the front. Additional riders joined the small group and established a 500 meter gap that fluctuated as the pack encountered more rolling hills over the next 10 kilometers. The small break eventually melded back into Group A as many riders shunted water bottles and took on gel packs in preparation for the King of the Mountain climb, which began at the 39 kilometer point of the course. The climb itself is about an 8% grade and, before it peaked 4 kilometers later, it certainly stretched, and snapped the peloton into several small groups of riders. More than a few of the competitors found it necessary to attack the grade by weaving from one side of the road to the other. A King of the Mountain polka-dot jersey and special trophy were on offer for the first rider in each category to reach the peak.
Once the peak was achieved, riders were rewarded with a 5 kilometer fast and curvy downhill section. Four OPEN category riders (113, 125, 143, and 144) were the first to the bottom of this section, followed by a group of a dozen chasers just 300 meters behind. Amazingly, this small breakaway group managed to stay out ahead of the main pack for the remainder of the day.
At the 85-kilometer point of the course, Junior, Lady, Men Masters, and age 50-59 category riders made a U-turn atop a short rise, while the Open, age 30-39, and age 40-49 category riders continued further up a small mountainside road (where support vehicles were prohibited to follow – only motorbike staff accompanied riders). This small and very scenic mountainside road accounted for the additional 30 kilometers distance completed by these categories.
After a quick U-turn, and several additional small rolling hills, riders made their way back to the finish line at Lake Heaven Resort. At Lake Heaven resort, competitors and support crews enjoyed lunch at a floating restaurant on a lake amidst the area’s beautiful natural surroundings before being transported back to Pavilion River Kwai Resort, in Kanchanaburi district.
Top places in each category for Stage 3:
King of the Mountain (KOM)
Cheung Fu Shiu – Champion System
Aron Akesson – Project 852
Ysmael Gendrano – Excellent Noodle
Steven J Wong – Anza
Tinsley Janes – Spiceroads
Yonamine Eri – Forza
Ielyas Bin Adnan – D2B Bike Labz
Alexander Billan – Excellent Noodle
1. Wu Kin San – Champion System
2. Takei Kyosuke – Forza
3. Nicolas Magnan – Singha-Infinite
1. Chris Nyonyintono – Specialized Mavericks
2. Shohei Ikeda – Project 852
3. Aron Akesson – Project 852
1. Pascal Triebel – Luxembourg
2. Pavol Krizan – CUORE Masters
3. Romeo Camingao – Excellent Noodle
1. Jens Ostergaard – Pak Chong
2. Steven J Wong – Anza
3. Anthony Herdrich – Specialized Mavericks
1. Kichi Ikeda – BM-Racing Japan
2. Tony Aspell – Spiceroads
3. Tinsley Janes – Spiceroads
1. Sarah Doyle – Specialized Mavericks
2. Mao Chino – Neilpryde Men’s Club
3. Tina Haugbro – Rasta Whoppas
1. Ielyas Bin Adnan – D2B Bike Labz
2. Iz Ho – ACS International
3. Teo – Bike Labz
1. Alexander Billan – Excellent Noodle
General Classification after Stage 3:
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 continue with Tuesday’s Stage 4, a 103-kilometer flat road stage course that will take riders from the Pavilion River Kwai Resort to Srinakarin Dam, in Kanchanaburi district, finishing atop the Dam after a short and scenic climb. Read STAGE 4 report here.