Reports 2009-11



Bride's Pool Road RR, 12th November 2011
 
In the 60km Elite road race, Mark Cook takes 2nd place behind a very inform John Tonk's. Both brokeaway in the first lap and built up a commanding lead over the rest of the field, and with the gap at 2 minutes going into the last lap, they were never going to be caught. 
 
In the Elite B race, Tom Croagh, put in a great performance and took 5th place in his first outing in a Colossi jersey.
 
Thanks TJ for the support and update.


Tour of Matabunkay, October 22-23rd 2011

 
Colin in action on the final stage of the Tour of Matabunkay.

You can read Colin's reports from this race on his excellent blog, including his musings here. Or, you can read the below written by Damian.

Back in May, T.J. got in touch to see if there was any interest in getting a team together to race a 3 day/4 stage race in Matabungkay in the Philippines with a view to sending over a strong enough group to contest the TTT event and potentially win the overall G.C. Both he and Mark Cook had done the race the year before with the Franzia Wine team and so Colossi joined forces with a number of foreign riders from Singapore, Japan and a couple of guys from their local team to see what we could do.

The race opened with a 90k road stage on the morning of the 1st day, followed by a 30k TTT in the afternoon. The 2nd day had a longer 120k road stage and left everything open to be decided with the final day’s 40k ITT. The 2 road stages both had long steady climbs with fast non technical decents in the middle of each stage and every stage ended with a 3k drag up a hill to the finish. Based on this, we knew that if we could keep Colin in contention over the road stages, the 2 time trials would play to his strengths and we would have a shot at GC.

I flew in with Mark, Colin & Colin’s family on the flight from HK on Thursday morning where we were picked up and driven down to Matabungkay. The drive down proved interesting. Myself and Mark shared a car with Rob Gitelis who had been drafted in by Team Mossimo along with Daniel Carruthers and Lee Rogers who both myself and Mark had ridden against in the past. Mossimo had won the last 2 editions of the Tour of Matabungkay, both GC & team classification, and had decided to boost their line up. With the revelation that Rob had spent 10 years riding as a pro for Once & Motorola we knew we’d have a fight on our hands!

After checking into the hotel, we assembled our bikes and decided to do a short spin to get the blood flowing in the legs and reccie some of the course while we waited for the others to arrive. On expecting the finish line, we found that the final kick could suit myself or Mark and that the ITT had a steady climb at around the 25k mark that would mean conserving energy. But the road surface was good and the weather had improved. We got back to the hotel for dinner and met up with TJ & Nellie and the riders from Singapore (Jeff, Dave & Matt), Japan (Keith) & the Philippines (Pin-pin & Tiboy).

Stage 1

It was an early start for the 1st stage with a 7am start. There 1st 18k of the stage was neutralised which took us over the finish line hill, through a couple of small towns and past some road construction before the racing got underway at the foot of the climb. Almost immediately there were attacks. I saw Daniel Carruthers go and wasn’t really expecting anything when Mark went after him. However once he caught him, Mark attacked and took a small group including Colin, Matt & Lee Rogers up the road with a couple of local riders. Knowing that if they got away, I dug deep to catch myself on the back however when I managed to get across Colin, Lee and one of the riders I knew from Singapore but riding for a local team had created a gap. With the main peloton already behind us, myself, Mark & Matt started working together to see if we could join the leaders, especially before the downhill where we knew they could be out of sight. Our 3 passengers were less than willing to do any work on the climb and 2 of them even launched individual attacks which got them nowhere. 

Our group didn’t catch the leaders before the u-turn at the top and stayed together on the descent. Conscious of how little front work they’d done on the climb, we made sure they took turns on the front when the course levelled out after the downhill. We also tried to attack a couple of times but with each one being closed down we decided to see what we could do at the finish. Mark told me not to take any more pulls for the last 5k and when we hit the bottom of the climb sat

about setting a high enough pace to discourage anyone from shooting off. Having ridden the climb the day before I knew it was a little bit far out to launch too far from the finish. I waited till the road flattened a little and jumped away from the group and managed to stay clear until the finish to get 4th. Colin had claimed 2nd, about 8 seconds behind Lee and with Matt & Mark coming in behind me, we had 4 riders in the top 8 places and were well placed for the team GC placings ahead of the TTT.

Stage 2

For the 30k Team Time Trial we decided to adopt the same approach that had worked so well in the Colossi effort the weekend before but with Mark taking up Erich’s role of 2nd wheel and with an unexpected bonus in the shape of Matt who proved to be a real dark horse on the 1st stage. Colin had warned us that 2 stages in one day would be a serious test of fitness & recovery and he wasn’t wrong. The course was an out and back of 12.5k with a couple of rolling hills and some nasty cross winds and the same climb finish. Colin started fast and within a couple of k we were down to 5 riders but only needing 3 to finish we were still ok. Mark joined in the pulls pretty early on and kept the pace high. I was struggling to find a rhythm and when Matt joined in before the turn around I knew I was suffering. After the u-turn I let Pin-Pin in front of me and took up the final spot to see how long I could hang in for. Unfortunately with 5k still left to go, the gap started to open and I was gone. Matt looked behind but I told him to carry on and leave me to limp to the finish. Matt made it to the bottom of the hill before dropping off and so we were down to our final 3 riders. However the guys had enough to power on to the finish and took the win with Mossimo about 40 seconds down in 2nd place. The win was enough to get Colin into yellow and with 4 riders in the top 6 we strengthened our position in the team category.

Stage 3

There was a slightly later start for the 3rd stage of the race on the 2nd day which gave the riders some well needed additional rest, however this meant we were going to be in for a hot day in the saddle for the 120k or so. I wasn’t feeling the best when I woke up, but hoped that the 50k or so before the climb would be enough to get me settled. Colin was wearing a slightly modified yellow jersey, as the organisers seemed to have banked on a smaller rider leading the standings at that stage. We knew with Lee about 30 seconds down on Colin, the onus would be on him and the Mossimo team to try to shake things up. Our tactics would be to watch the main contenders until the climb and then set a high enough pace to split the pack. The stage started with the same 18k neutralised section as the day before. After the gun, the pace went up but the team worked well to maintain a high enough pace to discourage attacks as we waited for the real racing to begin at the start of the climb. We had some early drama though as we approached when I heard some commotion in the peloton behid me. There were calls of “go-go-go” and some people mentioning yellow. Lee rode up to me to let me know Colin had punctured and that they wouldn’t be taking advantage of the situation. In a truly classy move he even sprinted 100m up the road to admonish a couple of riders who had gone off. I stayed up front to keep the pace down and keep an eye out for when Colin had rejoined. He got a new wheel from neutral service and got back on with help from the team and we waited for the climb. Once it started, Lee attacked. Here we go I thought. Colin, Mark & Matt went with him but my heart rate was having issues with the pace. Having been unable to keep pace I settled down into a steadier climb. Along with Pin-pin and Keith, I also had quite a few of the Mossimo guys on my wheel. In the 2nd part of the climb we started picking up a couple of guys who had dropped off the lead group but also shed 1 or 2 of our pack. We caught up with Matt towards the top which was a relief for me as I knew we could do with his descending skills on the way down. Once again, we were

left to do the work on the front and had to keep the pace up to discourage attacks off the front, Matt & Pin-pin working well to keep the guys from Mossimo in check. Once we hit the final climb the pre-arranged aggrement that the group would ride together for the same time went out the window with a couple of attacks. However we managed to bring these back and our group came in together. Colin got another 2nd place, just behind Lee who had repeated his Stage 1 attack on the final climb. Mark lost a little time having suffered a bit working for Colin in the 1st group but still moved up to 3rd in GC. I slipped down to 7th and Matt was into 8th overall. This left us in a good place ahead of the final stage, a 41k individual time trial. Colin was just under 30 seconds ahead of Lee. Mark had a slightly larger gap over 4th place and both myself and Matt were within 30-40 seconds away from 5th.

Stage 4

I was feeling a little better at the start of the final day. I’d had a better night’s sleep and knew I only had to put my body through 40 more kilometres. My goal for the day was to obviously try not to get passed by the couple of guys behind me but to try and make up the time to move up a place or 2. With only 30 second gaps between each rider I knew that it would be easy enough to gauge how you were doing but was slightly worried about being passed too early by the guys behind. The course was the same as the TTT but the additional 10k included a steady climb which had to be negotiated from both sides at the 25k mark. Having had issues with my heart rate shooting up on the previous 2 stages, I opted to go out steadily and ease myself into it. However this meant that before the 1st u-turn at 12k I’d already been passed by the 1st 4 guys. I also knew that Matt was flying (on what was his 1st ever ITT!) and that I would struggle to post a better time than him. Colin seemed to have lost a bit of time to Lee at this stage and I was hoping that Lee had gone out too quickly and would soon begin to suffer. Mark seemed to have got the better of 4th place, passing him before the u-turn. I was happy with my pacing, I managed to keep the 4th placed rider in my sights on the 2nd 10k and on the climb at the 25k mark began to reel him in. I passed him on the climb shortly after the u-turn and noticed that 5th & 6th placed seemed to be over a minute back despite doing a very good impression of a 2 man TT team. Upfront Colin had already passed Lee and so was on for the win and Matt was still motoring away. Into the last 5k and I was still ok. I hit the climb at the end with enough left to dig deep and came out of the saddle for the final few hundred meters to the line. Jeff spotted a piece of paper on Colin’s bar with the words “Suffer for Bean” written on it. Bean is Colin’s 14 month old son and Colin had wanted to share the podium with him. He certainly had suffered on the stage but still had enough in the tank to individually thank each member of the team for helping him to the win.

We all headed back to the hotel to pack and have a couple of well earned beers to celebrate. The Franzia table at the awards presentation after the lunch re-affirmed the team’s efforts. On top of taking 4 out of the top 5 places in the ITT, we had also confirmed our overall team place, 3 in the final 5 on GC and various age group awards including Dave who took 1st place in the 50’s category and Keith who bagged 2nd in the 40’s. A great team effort which couldn’t have been done without TJ or Nellie who looked after all the logistics of the trip allowing the riders to concentrate on the riding. They were there for motivation, support, tactics, and lots and lots of water (along with the other Franzia volunteers) on the course which meant the team didn’t need to worry about anything. The race itself was incredibly well run with everything being thought of and a really nice venue to boot. It was my 2nd race in the Philippines and the level of interest in the sport is probably the highest I’ve seen in Asia. From the roadside support from the locals who come out to cheer you on to the amount of sponsors & teams to compete against, it is a brilliant location to come to. I’ll definitely be back again!


HKCA TTT, 16th October 2011




Colossi driving the pace

Having missed the previous HKCA TTT, there was a mixture of anticipation and dread. Coming a week before the TT heavy Tour of Matabungkay, I thought it would be ideal preparation for the race, however knowing the strength of some of the time trialists in the team and our previous outing in the same event, I knew it was going to be a fast 7 laps/56k and that the team would have to work well together to make sure we all made it to the finish together.

The weather preceding the event had been pretty awful meaning that training sessions were limited to the indoor trainer, however things brightened up on Saturday and the forecast for Sunday was fine.

Myself, Colin & Ed met up in Happy Valley and drove over together bright and early on Sunday morning. An 8 o’clock start meant that we had plenty of time to get over there, meet up with Erich, Paulo & Matt, get suited up in the new Colossi skin suits and get a bit of a warm up. Colossi were up 2nd from the end, 1 place in front of Champion Systems. However with many of their team racing in Mongolia that weekend, they didn’t have their 1st choice team and we were confident of a result.

We had settled on a slightly different approach to TTT tactics over email in the week leading up to the race. We would look to use Colin & Erich for most of the race and then bring others in later on as they tired and the rest of us could contribute without blowing ourselves up. My roll on the team was to stay at 3rd wheel and slot in behind them when they’d taken their pull and to keep an eye on the guys behind to make sure we didn’t lose anyone.

Colin started out on front and took the 1st 2 and a half laps by himself to set the pace and keep things smooth. Unfortunately we suffered an early setback with Paulo dropping off and leaving us down to 5 men. Erich began joining in with rotations as the team settled into a nice pace and steadily started passing the teams who’d gone off in front of us.

At the end of the 5th lap a call went out for the rest of the team to start joining in. Wisely, Colin overruled this, knowing that with a head wind heading down to Sunny Bay we would be better off starting on the back leg. The team worked well together and we managed to hang in and push on for the final lap and came in with a time of 1hr 16 mins (44.1kph average).

First time on the top step in Open Class!

We were pretty sure we’d managed to pip Champ Systems but were unsure about how well the Neil Pryde team had done. We hadn’t managed to catch them and they seemed to be keeping pace with us during the race. Fortunately it didn’t take too long for unofficial word that we’d managed to do enough to claim the win to be confirmed and we were able to celebrate Colossi’s 1st win in not only the team time trial but also in an open class race.

Ed's strava data for any tech geeks is here: http://app.strava.com/rides/1989314



Tung Chung Crit, 4th September 2011


Today saw the Hong Kong Cycling Association season 2011/2012 kick off with a criterium in Tung Chung. The turn out was pretty good for a fast and furious morning's racing in surprisingly reasonable conditions for Summer in Hong Kong.
First up was Paulo B in Elite B, who made life hard for himself by breaking his shifter so that he only had a 51x12 to get him out of the turns and around the course. This didn't seem to hold him back too much on this flat course though, as he made the crucial break and narrowly missed out on the win by half a bike length, (image above) having led out the sprint. Check out the full youtube here.

Next up was Nora in the ladies, riding her first road race, but fresh from a virtual sweep of the HK island QOM's on Strava, a serious contender. Nora scored a great podium in the ladies, solo'ing in for 3rd.

Things didn't go so well in the 40s, where Jon Adair was nudged off course going into the sprint and was put out of contention.

Colossi's biggest representation was the 30's, where Colin R, Dave M, Aron and Ed were mixing it up. Racing Force and Champ Sys were the other strong teams, and while our tactic was to try and keep it fast to set Colin up for a solo break, the other teams were on him like a rash, and we were unable to keep it from being a sprint. Dave was up there in 4th place, whilst Ed was a couple of places further back, Colin having sat up and Aron in the bunch.

Garoid entertained us all with a bike for each occasion racing small wheel and mountain bike category leaving just the Open to round off a surprisingly well organised morning by the HKCA.

Going into the Open our tactic had been to try and force a split and again try to set up Colin. Whilst we didn't exactly achieve this, Dave picked up a 2nd place on the second points sprint, after which Ed managed to jump across to a mini break to contest the 4th sprint, picking up a 3rd. Given there were 5sprints over 10 laps this wasn't enough to pick up an overall placing for either Dave or Ed, but it was good to be in the mix. 

A fun morning out and nice to see to some fresh faces wearing the jersey!
















HKCA National RR Champs, June 19th 2011
With the national squad in attendance, and seven laps of Brides Pool to tackle (105km / 14 times up and down the hill), this was never going to be easy. The weather was almost perfect. Roads were a bit damp to start and there was the odd sprinkle of rain (which seemed to cause a horrible looking crash later in the race) but it was nothing like last year's torrential rain and thankfully it wasn't too hot either.

The initial pace was no problem. The national squad and Champ Sys etc were sacrificing riders who were doing a lot of work, which made it relatively easy behind (in a very relative sense). I felt good on the climbs, certainly for the first few climbs. However every climb was done slightly faster than the previous one and every time you did a u-turn, the front group had lost a few more riders. The sixth time up and I was doing a steady 450-500W the whole way. On the 7th time up, Choi Ki Ho hit the front and blew the race apart. I went from feeling great to empty legs within about 500m. I knew I hadn't done the miles you need for a race like this. I had the speed for a TT or to last for 90 mins (which I did) but I didn't have the endurance to keep doing those climbs at 500W for 3 hours.

I blew near the top, the 7th time up and nearly got off the bike. Instead I decided to cruise the second half of the race just to finish. I had no enthusiasm to race though and so didn't join the main chase that unhooked at the same time as me. Matt must've got unhooked just before I did as I could see on the turns that he was a few minutes back. Initially he rode with a couple of other guys (or maybe they sat on his wheel) but eventually he was solo, a 3-4 minutes behind me. 

I got home in just under 3 hours. Don't know the result but I'm fairly sure I was 14th or 15th on the road, maybe a couple of places higher in the Open race as technically the U23's were riding a different race. Matt came in one place down, maybe 15th or so. He was delighted (deservedly so) with a good placing. I was a bit frustrated but then I knew I hadn't done the miles. I was probably more frustrated that I never got to do the TT last week.

Now the real training starts...

cheers
Colin

HKCA Crit Science Park, June 5th 2011

Dave McInstosh wins the 30-39 in fine style. More to follow we hope!



HKCA TTT, May 29th 2011




What looked on paper to be our strongest team yet didn't turn out quite as hoped on a fast hot day in Tung Chung. With Colin Robertson on-form fresh from his win in Zhuhai, and Matt Kenfield showing strongly in local races, the team was bolstered by TTT stalwarts Eric, Dane, Ed & Glen, with Jon Adair & Aron making their first appearances in the Colossi jersey. Team tactics were to try and save some legs for the later part of the race and stay together. Alas, 3 laps in, we were down to our minimum of 4 riders, with Colin leading the charge with Eric, but Ed & Dane pretty much just trying to hold on! 4 laps in we posted our fasted split in the club's TTT history, with a 10 min. 30 lap, well up on the 11.05s we'd been posting typically, and hitting a blazing 60kph on the return straight. However, being caught & passed by Champion Systems was a huge moral sinker, and we lost the ball for the last two laps of the 7 laps, with some tired legs posting 11.40's. Sadly these last two laps cost us dear and we finished in 4th place, despite posting what we think is a club record of 1hr18 for 56km at a solid 43.5kph. Time to rethink the tactics for next time...


Glen raises the flag...


Erich leads a turn


Colin leads Ed



Erich brings home the final four.



Zhuhai RR, China, May 2011


Damian, Stefan (temporary team member) and Colin teamed up with Colossi China to enter the Zhuhai road race on 15 May 2011. Our hopes weren’t super high because, as well as it being a tough race, Damian was fresh back from Tour of Friendship, it was Steffen’s first race in Asia and Colin had been on a baby-induced break from racing for 6 months. None of us had done the race before so our ever dedicated team manager, Laz, explained the course beforehand. Basically you ride 10km to the start of a 25km circuit which you do three times. That circuit is along a highway next to the sea so its fairly flat but has strong winds. After 85km you turn inland and after a few more km’s you start the 4km final climb. The climb sounded horrible with steep sections, grinding drags and even some descents to break up your rhythm. The competition was mixed but there were a couple of strong looking teams with a previous winner and also a Chinese state team there. Not sure how many starters there were in A Grade, maybe around 80.

The weather was damp but it wasn’t really raining and the race started a bit downcast like the weather. Nothing much happened for a couple of km’s until the first few attacks started. Gradually the pace picked up, with all team members getting in breaks or covering. After 5km, Colin got in a break that contained the previous winner who we’d identified as a key threat but the break never really got working properly despite a tailwind propelling it along at 50kph. Around 10km Colin attacked to try to reform a better break but no-one came across to him. Having learned lessons in the past about sitting up, Colin decided to plug on and see who caught him.


As soon as Colin turned at 20km into a teething headwind, he regretted not bringing his aerowheels. The idea, which sounded good the day before, was to use the race as training and sit in the pack, maybe having a go on the climb. He definitely wanted to avoid getting in a long hard break given his perceived lack of race form – hence his race wheels stayed at home. Mistake.

By 20km, Colin had a 2 minute lead and the rest of the Colossi team were covering any breaks trying to get away. Around that time, a pair from the state team popped off the front in pursuit of Colin. Various people tried to cross to them but the Colossi’s were covering manfully. By halfway, Colin had a 2 minute lead over the pursuing pair and a 3 minute lead over the peloton. Colin was definitely losing his mind trying to keep his average speed above 40kph and his back was starting to hurt from spending too much time crouched low over his bars to duck the headwinds.


By around 60km, Colin was fearing the worst. The pair were catching slowing, now around 1min 30 secs back and Colin was starting to struggle. The peloton were also starting to move a bit, being around 2 mins 30 secs back. With over 30km to go, Colin didn’t fancy his chances. During the last slog into the wind, after 70km, another break formed from the peloton and Damian had to do a pile of work to pull it back. And as a result by the final turn, with 10km to go, the peloton were out of the race being 4 minutes back. However Colin was starting to wonder how he was going to out climb the chasing pair as they were a little over a minute back with 10km to go.

At the bottom of the climb, Colin had a minute, maybe slightly less, and as he climbed past groups of spectators he could hear them cheering on the chasing pair behind. The climb was brutal and Colin was slowing quickly. He was also starting to cramp and had to stay seated and pray he got to the finish. With 1km to go, he was sure he was about to be caught as he was now crawling up the steep sections, suffering really badly, barely avoiding the cramp. Somehow he got to the finish first and actually discovered that the pair behind must have cracked at least as badly as the gap turned out to be bigger than expected. In fact Colin had time to lay down and receive emergency cramp treatment from spectators before getting up to see the pair struggle across the line together. Damian came home near the front of the main pack for a top 10 and Stefan also finished around the middle of the main group. A great team effort from Colossi and especially big thanks due to Damian for his tireless work and to Laz for his tireless team support.


Colin’s stats: average speed 39kph, average power 310 watts, 130 minutes of solo suffering

Colin’s learnings: bring your aero wheels, don’t attack solo, having 2 beers at the finish masks most of the pain for a good few hours...

Report by Damian Barrett, Images from http://www.qqride.com/bbs/viewthread.php?tid=10018&extra=&page=1




TOUR OF HONG KONG 2011, May 2011

We had three riders tasking part Mark Cook John Cantwell and Paulo Biazotti.

Saturday Hill Climb.

John Cantwell shaved over 1 minute off of last years time and he was very pleased with his performance. Paulo did a good ride, clocking 9;47;249, well within his target time of 10 minutes. Mark was disappointed with his time of 8:51:138, as he was climbing well in the build up to the event. Perhaps, it was the absence of a warm up as the police presence in a van near the start line made it impossible for riders to go down the hill and have a decent warm up,or was it the 4:45 a.m. phone call from the team helper.  Club Rollers might be an idea.

Saturday Criterium
Paulo.Biazotti  was watching Tonks and after the first sprint, he managed to get away in the break with John. However, coming out of one of the corners, he followed the same line as John and unfortunately clipped his pedal off the kerb and dropped his chain. He was unable to get it back on before the chasing pack passed and unfortunately ended up in a following 6 man group, chasing all night to get back on, which they failed to do. A disappointing night for Paolo. Mark missed the 4 man break, containing Tonks, Wong Kam Po, Kwok Ho Ting and a Chinese rider from Racing Force. Mark did a lot of chasing, but very little help from other teams, was forthcoming. With Tonks, driving the lead group, the gap began to grow each lap, initially from 24 seconds to over 90 seconds, the last time I clocked it. The bunch sprint was won by Adam with Mark 5th.


Sunday Criterium 
We were on the road at 7:05 a.m. Jonnie had a good nights sleep,
with Nellie providing breakfast. Mark slept well and his legs were feeling good., no disturbing phone calls from the team helper. Paulo was tired and not his usual chirpy self, but by the time he arrived at the disembarkation point, all was well.

The weather was not looking great and the road was wet and slippery in places. By the time the flag dropped at 9:10 a,m, the drizzle had stopped and the weather conditions began to improve.  A noticeable absence at the start line was Lewis Fellas. The first lap was uneventful. As they passed the start finish line, Jonny was tucked in nicely in the bunch and looked comfortable. Tragedy struck Paulo on the 2nd lap, as he went around a corner, his back wheel slid on white road markings and down he went. He was up in a flash and chased like hell to get back on, which he managed to do. Mark looked extremely comfortable in the pack.  Members of the SCAA team, were seen at the front setting a steady pace for their mate, Kwok HO Ting wearing the yellow jersey sitting comfortably in the pack.

The first sprint, after 3 laps,  was taken by the yellow jersey, with Mike Miers 2nd and Mark was fourth. Time bonuses were awarded to the first three across the line. For the next few laps, attempts were made by a few riders to get away, but none of the main contenders managed to get away, though a few riders went off the back.

With some aggressive riding, the main bunch was split, with 8 riders going away. Tonks, Benson and Cheung all of  Champion Systems, Clayworth and Cheung of  Racing Force, Kwok Ho Ting and Wong Kam Po, both riding with different club colors, but as the race unfolded, it was obvious they were riding together and Mark Cook.  As they rode on the road way opposite the start finish line, Mike Mires could be seen trying to bridge the gap on his own, but the pace at the head of the bunch was lifted and he failed to make it across, spending the rest of the day in a 6 man group chasing.  Paulo was also in this group. It was not his day as later he was brought down and this time, his shifter was damaged and that put an end to his race.

With 4 laps to go, Mark launched an attack and got a gap on his rivals.  He was chased by John Tonks, who after a considerable effort managed to hook on. Both riders rode together. Behind, things were unfolding. The yellow jersey was definitely suffering and he was  sitting on the wheel of Daren Benson, who was sitting on Wong Kam Po and doing a fantastic blocking game for his team mate up the road.  Clayworth and Cheung, both of Racing Force were dislodged from the group.  Cheung had been lying third overall in GC at the start of the day. Clayworth was definitely the stronger of the two and on the flyover was pulling away on his team mate when he got instructions to wait for Cheung.  Lucky for Cheung that he did, as he dropped to 5th in G. C., managing the last podium placing and only beat Mark by 20 seconds.

Up the road, Mark and John Tonks rode together and managed to stay away for over 2 laps. On the 3rd last lap, Wong Kam Po, could be seen putting in a big effort with the yellow jersey siting on.  Mark and John realizing that they were going to be caught, called it a day and saved some energy.

The 2nd last lap and last lap, the 5 riders stayed together, despite a few attempts by the respective world champions to get away. 500 meters from the finish, the yellow jersey was at the front,  followed by Wong kam Po, Benson, Tonks and Cook.  At the line, it was Wong Kam Po, by half a wheel from Daren Benson, Kwok was third, with John Tonks 4th and Mark Cook 5th. Daren Benson was close to taking the stage and causing an upset. If he had come off the wheel of Wong a fraction earlier, perhaps, he could have taken it.


Jonnie and Paulo sitting comfortably in the bunch.

Mark is leader on the road, with Tonks in pursuit. 



The catch by Tonks.


Tonks has a chat with Mark.

The sprint for the line.
 
 


TOUR OF FRIENDSHIP 2011.


4 Colossi riders joined up with our great friends from the Philippines and rode under the colors of Franzia Wine, one of the top Executive Teams in Philippine cycling. The team sponsor being Lucio Cochanco.


Matthew  Kenfield at the start of the 1st stage, ITT Tour of Friendship 2011. 

This was Matt's first stage race and he accredited himself well. On the 3rd stage, he got away in a major break and finished 10th overall on the stage. On the remaining two stages, he was involved in all the major moves at the front and managed to get  away in every break. Very aggressive riding from a new boy to the sport and we can expect some good things from him in the future.



Presentation after 4th stage.  Mark Cook 2nd and Damian Barrett 3rd. Damian was riding with a Singaporean team.

On the 3rd stage, Mark and Damian got away at a very early stage and rode well together. for over 120 km. They opened up a gap of over 3 minutes on the chasing bunch and maintained it to the end. In recognition of the work that Mark did in the break, Damian in true sportsman fashion, did not contest the final sprint.  

On the 4th stage they both got away together again but on this occasion they were accompanied by the Thai rider, who took the stage with Mark 2nd and Damian 3rd.


Mark Cook, with the great Raymond See, manager of Team  Franzia Wine, Philippines.

Apart from the success of Mark, Pinpin Yu, the local Franzia boy was 3rd in the first stage and again he showed his top sprinting form, in the final stage by taking 3rd place. Pinpin is one of the top Executive racers in the Philippines and is one to be feared when it comes to a bunch sprint. He accredited himself well in this international event and narrowly missed out on taking 1st place on the final stage, sprinting with a broken spoke did not help his cause.

The beautiful Mae The Fox, who hails from lovely Cebu, was 5th in the final stage. This was her first major stage race.

Keith Powell, from Japan, riding with Team Franzia Wine also got onto the podium on 3 occasions and finished 4th in GC in the 40-49 age group.


Mae the Fox with one of the main men behind Team Franzia Wine Tiboy Reyes.

,
Glen Pendry after a hard day in the saddle.


Glen taking some tips from Mark on how to get away and stay away.



Mark Cook on the podium after being presented with the race leaders Green Jersey in the 30-39 age group at Tour of Friendship 2011. Also present are the other age category winners, including Tony Aspell from Isle of Man, 2nd from left.



Matt & Mark chat at the evening meal


CIRCUITO DELL' ARCOBALENO Gran Fondo, Ostuni, Italy, 13th March 2011

This Gran Fondo of 136kms, (4 x 36kms loop) is the very same circuit held for the 1976 Road World Championship in Ostuni, Italy won by Freddy Maertens ahead of Moser. My hometown is around 30mins away, so these are the roads where I grew u

p when i was cycling competitively from the age of 10 till 16. This year was the 8th edition of this GF, and it is the first in calendar and most important on the CIRCUITO DELL' ARCOBALENO, a prestigious calendar event of best 10 races in the South Italy for GF running from March till August. 

A bit of history: knowing I had some work to do in Italy around mid March, I checked the all new GF calendar to see if I got chance to kill two birds with one stone, so I did find by chance this race was falling exactly on the Sunday 13th since i was going to go see my parents on that weekend for my work to start on the Monday. Bingo! I knew I was going to sign this up and take my bike with me- I was the happiest man.

From what I discovered from the organizer's website last January, apparently they are now in advanced stage to bid for the 2016 Pro Road World Championship on the same circuit. I though I had enough excuses to sign up for the race, and called the organisers who were really helpful signed me up releasing a 1 year UCI License for only 7Euro. My team was COLOSSI!
 The biggest motivation for me to sign up for this race was to surprise my dad. I need to spend a few lines for you readers to understand the real meaning of this race that was for me and him: Together with my trainer, he was the most supportive person during my early cycling teenage spell. My dad was always with me for all the races I did every Sunday during those six years, traveling all over South Italy (and far North too), driving me and my old team mates around, visiting every Sunday a different beautiful Italian city or town holding the race. These were the days that I remember the most as being closer to him, spending time traveling and sharing the same passion for cycling (although he was not a pure cyclist).

My last race in Italy was 20 years ago in 1990, during my last year as Allievi. As a sprinter myself, that year I came 14th in the Italian National Point Race Track.  I stopped racing, hanging the 'booth to the nail', and I really did not race a road bike for over 20 years, not until I re-connected with the sport since I moved to beautiful Clearwater Bay last year and got hit again by my old passion again. Let's put the blame on the woods and amazing country parks road that make you feel want to ride a bicycle. And for me riding a bicycle means races. I dont know any other way!

After I was lucky enough to join the great Colossi team and even managed to get some podium finishes, my dad knew about my 'rebirth', so he goes all proud of my modest achievements (well the biggest one was to go back on the bike itself at my age!) he was telling very proudly to all his friends that Paolo is now racing again in HK and bringing home small trophies. Reason why he was going like that, you have to know is because most of the nicest trophies I won are still displayed in my parents home on top of cupboards, wardrobes, etc...about 70 of them in marble, silver, the best ones are still there after 20 years...so he always looks at these big cups over his head and never forgotten them! So there I thought: I will not tell him anything I have signed up for the GF, and this will be a surprise for him when he comes pick me up at the airport: you should have seen his face!  



I landed at Brindisi Airport on Fri prior race and, was carrying two huge bags, one obviously bigger carrying the bike: he looked at me he goes: wow you're full of stuff!. I told him: what are you doing this Sunday. Nothing special why? I went: TAKE ME TO THE RACE! He could not believe I showed up with the bike and was going back to race beating the old roads like the old time! It was an incredible emotional moment that we could not contain: we were again connected with the same energy, altough he obviously had a slower response as counting 20 years he's not 50 anymore!  My bro was there too and he did help me to sign up and stuff, basically the only person who did not know I was going to arrive in Italy with the bike were my parents. Truly beautiful moment that we will all remember for ever. Then there was the race on Sunday:

I got there without the best of training form I could achieve, part of the reason is that is hard anyway to reach fairly good conditions for a 4 hour race, since I actually never get that 4 hours resistance in racing pace in my legs in HK. But i did not care and I though I could have some chances to defend myself, because that was the 1st race of 2011 in calendar, so as winters in Italy are not as mild and dry as in HK, I expected other riders to be in a 'raw' sort of form. Actually that was also the case, but the biggest mistake was a very bad start since I was well at the back of the bunch without realizing it!



500 riders at start. 500. I never raced with so many cyclists. We cycled for a non official start through the streets of Ostuni until we reached the start/finish line maybe 2 kms away: it was there that I heard the MC going like this on the microphone: ' You are wonderful today, thanks for the attendance and have a great race. You are 500 today! I was shocked as I could not see 500 riders around me. They were already gone! By the time i clicked both cleats and finally got going, as we were all leaving the town behind at an immediate fast pace of over 50km/s hour, all I could see was a long snake peloton line fairly thin with an immediate selection, going up and down the short and steeps hills and could not see where the head of the bunch was! The line was probably long a good 300 meters so I could not realize how far back I was and had to really push hard with small gears in the cold to make sure I got at the front or in some brake, as in fact many small group of riders were already forming, some cooperating, some other just not.

It was such a hard race with cold and strong winds, I cooked myself in the first lap and spent almost all the whole first 36 km lap chasing and finally reaching the head of the bunch. The hardest part was a super strong head wind along the straight and longest part of course- you can see it attached in the Strava data link http://app.strava.com/rides/356109

I managed to stay at the front in a group of about 30 riders for the 2nd lap that was a continue breakaway tries, with so many teams having several riders. Then at the begin of the 3rd lap I lost contact with the head of bunch on a hill and tried to chase with a group of 8 riders. I could feel the legs started not to respond well as I was struggling even on the flat. I could not keep up anymore, so I abandoned these 8 riders who were determined to chase the leaders (they never made it anyway), and decided to continue finish up slowly on my own until I could. What happened next is that at the end of 3rd lap, at the start of 1.5 km steep climb of 7% average and 13% peak that brings you to the finish line, I had the worst leg cramps biting my tights ever. I have never experienced such heavy cramps. A horse bite. I literally had to stop, put my legs on the guardrail trying to stretch, actually it was so painful that I was so discoordinated did not know how to respond to that. I waited for a car to pull me up, but there were none. So I got a bit better, and very very slowly climbed that steep hill as my dad and bro were stationed at the top to cheer me up. As soon as I reached them, I throw myself on the floor in incredible pain and went that's it for me guys. I could only barely stand. Once back at the car, I still could not bend my legs to remove the socks, the cramps were coming back each time I tried: painful sh*t!  

I spent Sunday afternoon lying on the sofa watching Tirreno Adriatico where Pros were pulling an incredible fast stage and, while still in pain I was asking to myself: is all this really worth it? I did not find an answer to that, and I probably never will, it's just one of those things,... you may call it passion, freedom, whatever you like. Followed by two weeks absolute rest, also because I had work and frequent travels within Italy, I am finally back and keeping on enjoying my rides in beautiful Clearwater bay and around. Stay safe...

see you on the road,

Paolo




HKCA Science Park Crit, 6th March 2011

Missing a number of riders for the day In the open category, Matt and T.J. finished well in the lead bunch. During the course of the 2nd lap, Paolo Biazotti (BRA ), punctured out whilst mixing it with the best HK has to offer.

Matt Kenfield in the Elite B category had a great race, finishing 12th, while Paolo Biazotti (BRA) finished 11th. Both did a bit too much work at the front, in the early stages of the race and did not have enough left at the end for the sprint. Both were given the same time and were just 2 seconds off the winner. Two strong riders with podium finishes on the horizon!

In the over 40 ‘s category, Adriano put in his best performance so far this season. He finished in the main group and was just 6 sec off the race winner. Adriano was delighted with his performance as were all his fans! T.J. came 2nd in the over 50’s category, out-sprinted again by Lee Hing Lin. Justin Choo rode well in the age category finishing with the lead group but just out of the prizes.



HKCA Bride's Pool RR 27th Feb 2011

A mixed day out on this one- Paolo Caputo & Damian put in solid performances in the Open category,with Damian finishing in the 2nd group on the road, while Paolo finished a few seconds adrift. Matt Kenfield had his first experience of the Bride Pool road course and found it tough, while Richard Smerin had a mechanical problem and Ed crashed out on his way to the race pick up! 

In the age category, Adriano put in a very good performance, while T.J. clinched the over 50’s category in a sprint finish. Tony Pringle finished 7th in the over 40’s category and new recruit to Buffalo’s /Colossi, Paolo Biazotti (BRZ) put in a good performance.



NZ RR, 21st Feb 2011

Mark Cook took 8th in a strong field, containing a number of Kiwi professionals, in Christchurch, NZ on Sunday 21st Feb. The following day, 2 hours after Mark had departed for Hong Kong, the Christchruch earth quake struck. Thankfully , his wife and kids and family all survived the quake.



HKCA TTT Champs, 30th Jan 2011



Going into this race, expectations had been slightly lowered from last year's excellent debut in this race (where we scored 3rd) by news that our star TT rider Colin R would not be available to motorpace at a steady 45kph. Follow up 'sorry, not available' answers also came back from the likes of Damien and Paulo, meaning our strength in depth was being reduced- just as HKCA changed the rules from 5 to start with 3 to finish, to 7-9 riders to start with 4 to finish. Luckily, Rich Smerin & new signing Dane 'Antti' Sizko were available to step in alongside TTT regulars Erich, Ed & TJ. Stalwarts Jonny & Glen completed the picture, though both knew that their goal was to hang on, rather than contribute on what was to be a very cold morning in Tung Chung. 


Erich & Rich get aero

Starting at a strong tempo, this pace was soon too much for Jonny & Glen, who lost touch after the first lap of the 7 lap 56km course, leaving the team down to 5 riders with the race only just begun. Despite having very little practice in a last minute team formation, the boys up front were, however, working well and forging a good rhythm. Paying the price of Erich's speed, after 4 laps in we also lost TJ, meaning the core of Erich, Dane, Rich & Ed had no back up for punctures or cramps, as they started to chip away at those lap times, upping the pace over the remaining laps. Shorter spells and maximum efforts were taking it's toll on the lactic levels, and the smoothness of the team, but everyone dug in as the 4 remaining riders cranked it up for the last lap- Colossi's fastest lap of the race. Blood in our throats, we knew we'd caught a lot of teams, but the crucial team we knew we had to beat (ChampSys) had gone off earlier, and the strong looking SCAA were behind us, so it was difficult to gauge if we were faster or not. 



The good news came in that we were the fastest on the road in our wave of teams, but sadly we were 15 seconds down on Champ Sys- a margin Mr Robertson might easily have provided!!! Still, given the circumstances, 2nd place is an excellent result for the team, with Rich & Dane proving themselves as worthy additions to any TTT line up next time out.


L>R: Dane, Jonny, Ed, TJ, Glen, Rich & Erich on the podium with Ed's new bike in foreground.

1st     ChampSys 1.21.50 tbc
2nd    Colossi.cc 1.22.05 tbc
3rd     SCAA 1.23.00 tbc

Thanks to Laz & Nelly for providing race support. More photos on Jonny's Facebook page & Erich's Garmin data here.

Report by Ed



Tour of South China Sea, 8th December 2010


Timo gets the power down


Tommy makes it look easy

Timo & Mike represent with solid finishes in Hong Kong's Premiere Road Race. Timo 36th, Mike 59th. 

Laz reports from the team car:

"The Tour of South China Sea is THE race in the Hong Kong racing calendar. It has traditionally been an UCI multi-day stage race, starting from HK, travelling through Gaungdong, and finishing on the famous circuit of Coloane island in Macau. Unfortunately, due to some unknown reasons, the race this year was reduced to a single day race in HK. Furthermore, the race was short, at 80KM, on a very technical course (with 2 steep climbs and 1 long down hill) and with a field consisting of National Teams (HK, Japan), Conti Teams from Europe (KTM, ChampSys Switzerland), Chinese teams (PLA, HKSSI), it was guaranteed to be fast and furious.
 
Our team of 6 consisted of Timo (former European Motor-pacing champion on track), Antti (originally from Finland), Tommy (from Jan's SZ team), Chris Hon (import from SCAA) and our own Mike M (who is on super form) and Erich F (the iron-strongman). Our team manager was TJ and with me as the support vehicle driver. The aim of the team was to have Mike and Timo finish as high as possible.
 
The race, in true HK fashion, started 25 minutes behind. Interestingly the reason, as we found out by eye-dropping into the race organisers' channel with our radio, was that a lady in flip flops riding a folding bike refused to be picked up by the sag wagon after paying $$ for the pre-race corporate challenge. Anyways, as soon as the race started, we heard over the radio 2 riders have attacked the field within the very first climb. Although that was eventually neutralised by the main field, it has done the damage. The race was travelling over 30km/h up the climbs and over 70 down. As we follow the line of team car, we could see riders poping out the back of the bunch. More attacks followed in the next few laps, which dragged the race even faster. Even our team cars struggled to keep up with the field in the downhill section. The decisive break came when a 19 men breakaway established itself in around lap 6. The main group lost any interest to chase as all the main teams have one or two of their riders in the break.
 
As our team car sped past the main group to get to the break, it was clear to us the gap was huge, almost 3 minutes. Unfortunately, none of our guys were in the break, but Timo did get into a 4 men chase group. The chase group got as close as 20 seconds from the break, but despite my past effort to use the car to Timo's advantage, the break was simply too big and too fast. Timo eventually finished with the chase group. Mike M stayed comfortably with the main bunch. Erich and Chris did well keeping with the bunch in the early laps. Antti was unfortunate with a mechanic problem and had to pull out. A special mention must go to Tommy who did exceptionally well keeping with the main bunch until around lap 5-6. Apparently he had no problem staying with the group up the hills (as he weighs less than his bike!) but cannot go downhill as fast as the others. I think some beef pies and MacDonald's are in order....
 
I would just like to thank all the riders in our team. You guys have put in great effort and have made us pround. Special thank you have to go to those who traveled from abroad. A big thank you to TJ and Nellie who have basically organised everything. Thanks to Glyn and Thji for supporting on the race day.
 
I had lots of fun driving in circles for 2 hours, hopefully I will be riding next year instead."
 
Laz


Erich reports on a tough day out at the top:
 
"I really enjoyed the race today, despite being dropped quite early and not being able to finish it ;-( 
I knew i was not in top shape (after achilles' problem and not serious training for the past 2 months...) 
but i thought it would be ok...i was wrong as the course was definitely too challenging for a 88kg guy like me that has not done hills rep for a long time... 
on the 3rd lap (out of 8), i lost 20 meters on the main pack after the 1st climb...then it became 50m, 100m... I knew it was the moment to go flat out for 2min to catch up (the downhill was close and i could come back)...we were 4 riders being dropped, but unfortunately for me, they were all 'dead' and no one took a turn and we got dropped. 
Still, I kept riding as it is a good training (which allowed many photographers to get some clean nice shots since i was alone ;-) some exposure, maybe...) 
and i finally got lapped with 2 laps to go / 1 for the 1st guys....grrrr

I remember Colin declined the offer a few weeks ago, but i know he clocked a pretty fast time yesterday at the 'non-official' SIR Peak TT (new record i guess 18'xx). S
till, I felt bad today as i was clearly not up for the competition and he should have been there...it is good experience still, but in the future i believe that our top colossi riders should have the right to take a spot at any time (colin would have finished top 15 easily), not necessarily on a first-come first-served basis
(i also did not think i would be that bad today i must admit, or i should have declined myself before). S
orry about that! T
imo (our team leader from germany) did really great (i believe top10? or close) 
and Mike did really good staying in the furious pack! and finishing well 
for the rest of us, tommy was really impressive, I think he got dropped on the 5th lap, or got a mechanical...? anti got a chain problem on the 2nd lap, chris and i both got dropped pretty soon ;-(
but it was a really well organized race, and a great experience being there and racing with these REALLY fast guys (japan, ozzies, national teams...). T
hanks again to our support crew: TJ, Laurence, Clint, Glyn, Nellie. W
ell done to all. A
 few videos at the finish here:
 

and full results here:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/tour-of-south-china-sea-1-2/results (the link says it all...)

</embed></object>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oyv83izrRgk
 


Shenzhen International Bike Festival, 4th December 2010

Mike M shows some form going into the Tour of South China with a solid 6th place.

An excellent showing in the Open race from some of the usual candidates (Damian Barrett, Michael Maiers, T.J.Carey, Ed Cluer, Fred Clatworthy) was thwarted by some untimely punctures to just about the whole team except for Mike, who found some legs to finish 6th. Plenty of colossi jerseys at the front and some spirited riding all round.

Garoid, who also raced in the B Cat was the wheel hero of the day gaving his front wheel to Lewis Fellis and back wheel to Ed. Lee Yuet Fong affectionately known as "Ah Fong" finished the race in the bunch. This was his first ever race at this distance and first race in China. This was also Yau Wa & Lo Lai Man's first ever race at this distance and first race in China. However, they punctured. Fung Chi Chung was unlucky not to finish the race, but gave JY his back wheel to TJ so that he could finish.



Damian leading the Colossi charge in Shenzhen.


Ed does Shenzhen Bay meets Paris Roubaix


Colossi mixing it through the start finish.


Mike M gets interviewed by some school children working for the Shenzhen Daily!




Armstrong Motor Group Festival of Cycling, Christchurch, NZ, 4th December 2010

Mark Cook takes 10th place overall in the 80km Road Race and 2nd in the 17-34 age category.  Mark was boxed in contesting the final sprint won by Ben Longworth in a time of 2:00.58 with Mark one second behind. A great result for Mark. Results on the following link.  http://results.nz.eventdirector.net/List.asp?EventID=3950&RaceID=HR80 & a video here 



HKCA Fei Ngo Shan Hillclimb, 28th November 2011



The podium says it all- 
Well done guys, great performance!

Open Category:

2nd   Colin  
3rd    
Damian  ,    



Macau 62km Road Race, 
27th November 2010
 
Antti a solid 6th. T.J. not far behind in 8th.






HKCA Tung Chung Crit, 
21st November 2010

Paulo hits the podium in Tung Chung! 

In the 30-39 Cat,  Paulo took 3rd,  Mike 4th, Colin 6th and  Damian 7th.  In the  40-49 Cat,  Fred Clatworthy finished 5th   T.J. was 1st in over 50 Cat. Elite B Antti 6th.  In the open points race, Mike got up in the 3rd sprint to take 4th place.  Paolo finished 11th in the final sprint for the line, with Mike 15th. Up well was the the new guy on the block Fred Clatworthy with Damian, T.J. & Colin finishing in the same main group.  Our first female rider Anne Knecht took part in the ladies race and she put in a credible performance. All in all, a good day at the races.      
  





Singapore National Time Trial Championships, 
36km,
 November 2010 



Colin 'The Destroyer' Robertson takes 1st place with a new course record of 47 mins.

Damian 'The Skinny' Barrett takes  2nd in the Senior A's (30-39) in a time of 52mins. 



HKCA Bride's Pool RR, 
23rd October 2010

Damian 'Latte' Barrett comes in 8th in Sunday's race at Bride Pool road. A good performance on his first attempt at this difficult course. 

"A combination of weddings, triathlons and overseas races meant that we only had 3 (myself, Colin and Paulo) sign up for race in Bride’s Pool. Or at least that’s what I thought before the race, after it I was thinking the course might have played a part in why people might have looked for alternatives!

Coming 1 week after the Tour de Bintan, I knew this was either going to go one of two ways. Either I’d be hitting it race fit or would be knackered after my exploits in Indonesia and would struggle big time. Got back to Hong Kong late Monday night and woke on Tuesday to find I couldn’t get out of bed for the regular peak repeats and the cold I’d managed to shift the week before was back again. Colin succumbed to Bintan flu on Sat meaning it was just going to be the Bride Pool virgins racing.

Another issue was the Typhoon warnings which had been in place all week. Typhoon Magi had finished with the Philippines and was making a move towards Hong Kong. The level 1 was raised to a 3 on the Thursday and scheduled to hit on Saturday. Luckily by Friday the winds had started to die down and by the Saturday afternoon the sun was shining in full force.

Arrived at Bride’s Pool at 6am, had a quick warm up and met up with Paulo while queuing to pick up the race numbers. Without Laz around to do all his unsung helping and the early start of the Open race, we actually cut it quite close to missing the start. We were still pining numbers to our jerseys when one of the organizers came over and told us to get to the start sharpish.

The race started at a blistering pace, straight into a long decent with speeds hitting the high 60’s. Just to make things even more interesting, there were a pack of stray dogs at the bottom of the hill who regularly would wander out into the road. It wasn’t quite how I’d imagined learning the Cantonese for Dog!

On the 2nd lap, a group of 5 got away. I went to chase and got caught in no man’s land. Bit by bit I managed to claw my way up to them or so I thought as just as I made contact with them they kicked again and I was out the back. Luckily enough I was able to recover by the time the chasing pack caught up with me and jumped on. The bad news was that the chasing pack had managed to shed about 7 of the starters including Paulo and so I was the only Colossi rider left.

We managed to catch up with the 1st group and then it was the turn of the teams with a couple of riders (Champion Systems, Racing Force &SCAA) to send 1 or two riders up the road while the others could then sit up and wait for the others to do the chasing. This was the pattern for the next 2 laps as I counted down the k’s till the finish.

On the final lap, with the pack down to 9, 2 riders got away. It didn’t look like we were going to catch them before the line so the remaining riders were all eyeing each other up. Not being the best sprinter in the world, I decided I’d have to go for it on the final climb before the decent to the finish. Unfortunately I was unable to get away (a dropped chain going from small ring to big coming over the hill didn’t help matters) and was passed by the pack about 100m from the line to finish 8th.

Still, twas a good morning out and a useful experience."

Report by Damian



Tour of Matabungkay, Philippines, 
22nd to 24th October 2010


Mark Cook of Colossi riding with Team Franzia (California Red) takes 3rd place on 110km stage 1, (just pipped in a sprint finish, after riding at the head of the breakaway for the last 30km) 10th on 90km 2nd stage and 8th in the individual 40km ITT.  An outstanding performance.


Stage 1

We had an early start at 8:00 a.m.  The weather was damp and not so hot.   After a 5km neutral start, the flag was lowered and the racing began immediately.  There were constant attacks and Mark was up at the front of the action along with team mates Pinpin, Jimmy Cadean  and Keith Powell. T.J. was sitting further back in the bunch minding himself. No one was allowed to get away.  40km into the race, the riders took a left turn and they were faced with a 16km long climb. A lot of action was expected on the climb. Those at the front kept the pace steady and T.J. was able to hang on for about 8km, but eventually his lack of fitness told and he dropped off the pace.  Mark found the pace relatively easy and was able to stay at the head of affairs.  Pin pin tried an attack but his move was countered by one of the other strong teams. A group of 4 were allowed to escape on the climb.  Close to the summit of the climb, Mark received a time check, the lead group had a gap of over 1 minute. He attacked, taking  most of the bunch by surprise, apart from three vigilant riders. Hitting speeds of up to 60km on the decent, they managed to real in the breakaway within a short period of time.  When they caught the lead group, the others sat up. Mark fearing that they would be caught by the chasing pack of 30 riders, pressed on bringing 4 with him.  Leian Cruze (winner of final stage of the over 30 age category in the Tour of Friendship 2009) Romereo Camingao,  Danny Sena  and Ronie Nacario.   Leian  and Ronie worked with Mark to stay away.  With 5km to go Leian and Danny dropped off the pace, leaving Mark to drive on.  Getting some help from Ronie Narcario, he pressed on to the finish.  With 2.5km to go to the finish line, they hit the final climb. Mark set the pace at the front.  With 500 meters to go, the road leveled out. Mark was still leading out.  With 200meters to go the sprint began and Romereo Camingao who had sat on for the final 30km came by and took the stage victory.  Mark finished 3rd getting the same time as the winner.  At the end, the breakaway group had a 26 second gap on the 4th and 5th finishers, Danny Sena and Leian Cruz. The main bunch came in with Keith Powell ( another Tour of Friendship veteran ) safely tucked away having ridden a great race to stay with the pace up the climb.

 
Mark in the chasing group on the climb.(No55) 


Stage2

A 5:00 a.m. morning call. Breakfast in the room. Outside it was pouring. Thankfully, by 7:00 a.m., the official start time, it was easing off.  The race left the official start area at about 7:15 a.m. and  it had stopped raining, but the roads were wet.   After the neutral zone,  the racing began. Mark ,Pin Pin, Jimmie Cadean, T.J. stayed up to the front.  After the first climb, Keith made his way to the front also.  Speeds in excess of 50km per hour were reached in the early part of the race. Again there were constant attacks, but no one managed to get away, too many fresh legs in the bunch.  

Mark and Pin pin were observed to the front of the bunch chatting and organizing things.  About 30km into the race, it happened. T.J. was positioned about 20th in the lead group when he heard the sound of metal. He braked heavily and as he came to a stop, he observed two riders on the ground in front of him, one wearing a Franzia jersey, with two bikes on top of him. To his left, there was the sound of heavy  breaking, shouts and riders hitting the deck.   A group of other riders had fallen. As he dismounted to render assistance to his team mate, the riders at the front, who had escaped the carnage, attacked. Those further down the bunch were caught up in the crash.    Pin pin was in a terrible state, going in and out of consciousness. Other team mates stopped to render assistance. Coach was quickly on the scene and took control. The bikes were lifted off Pin pin and he was made as comfortable as possible. Tiboy rang for an ambulance.  Other Franzia riders, who had stopped to check on their team mate, including Philip Go, Bennise Caw and others.

The race was now split into two main groups, those who had been at the head of affairs, when the crash occurred  and who managed to avoided the carnage, which included some of the main overall contenders and at least 3 Franzia riders,  Mark, Jimmie and Keith and those who had been  caught up in the carnage and managed to get back on their bikes, which included Leian Cruz, one of the main overall contenders. The race for T.J. and Tiboy was over, as after rendering assisting at the scene, they managed to get into a small group, which had no hope of catching the two main bunches. 

In the main group, on the first lap, there were a number of attacks and Mark covered them, not wanting to let any of the main contenders get away.  At the feed station on the climb, a group of 6 attacked, which included Chris Aldison, riding for a new team on the block”Livestrong”, and they managed to get a gap.  Mark gave chase but none of the other teams would assist in the chase.  Keith went to the front and rode for up to 15 minutes trying to bring back the lead group.  Despite his best efforts, no one would assist in the chase.  Mark came in 10th overall with Keith in 28th place.


Start of TTT.  Getting ready.

Stage3

The TTT was due to start at 3:45  p.m., so after lunch, T.J had a rest, while Mark took a quick massage from the team masseur.  The gear was wet following the mornings stage. Raymond See, the team manager came around to check on our situation and provided a fresh team kit to Mark.  At 1:30 p.m. it hit.  In the space of 30 minutes, T.J. was sitting on the toilet bowl 6 times. Nellie provided emodium and it seemed to do the trick.  It was looking like the team could be down to 6 riders for the TTT. Pin pin was out, as he had just returned from hospital and he had received numerous stitches, his tooth was missing and he had suffered memory loss, so he was in no position to get back on his bike.  The team assembled at the start line and while waiting at the start line, T.J. had to rush into the bushes 3 times before the off time. The team letf the start gates at around 3: 50 p.m.. Things were looking good, Jimmie led off and did a massive pull at the front, with everyone sitting in well behind. Everyone did their turn and with a hill looming, T.J. went to the front to do his turn. As he reached the top, it looked as if he was suffering and Jimme came bye and took over. At the top, T.J blew up.  Legs went, stomack erupted. The team were down to 6 men with only 8km gone.  T.J. could not hold on and began to fall away. Dennis Caw punctured 50meters further on, the team  were down to 5 men with 22km still to go.  Bennis had the presence of mind to pedal back to T.J. and shout for his front wheel.  Following a change of wheels, Bennis got on his bike and rode his heart out. Up the road, Mark and Jimmie were waiting, a decision having been made not to proceed without Bennis. Once Bennis joined them, they rode together rejoining the other team members up the road. The team settled down into a good riding formation.  On the way to the finish line, one riders was dislodged from the group, so the team managed to finish with the 5 compulsory riders.  

Stage 4

Mark rode his road bike to put in a very good performance against the main contenders, all of whom were on state of the art TT Bikes finishing 8th in a time of 1:03:23 

Mark hits 60km per hour on the down hill.

Raymond, Margie, Mark, Danny Seno and Lucio, the man behind Team Franzia. 



8/10/2010
Colossi fills 1st, 3rd and 4th spot in the 3M category at Science Park!
 


10/09/2010
Colossi fills 2/3rds of the podium in Macau! Lewis gets our first win of the season.





Shenzhen Red Bull Cup, 24 July 2010

A Grade, 72km (12 laps)

The plan was a simple one. To use the depth of the team members racing to get our strongest rider into the race-winning breakaway. There were a couple of things working against this. First was the prize money on offer. Second was the extreme weather, which was to ensure hot competition for everyone! Add to the mix a course that had a few rough surfaces and ‘dirty’ corners and you have a recipe for excitement.



From the start, all of the team was working hard to control the racing. The early breaks needed to be neutralised and it was AJ who did a sterling effort  to keep these in check while Laz tried to cover a break or two. Previous experience showed that once the first sprint had passed it was likely that a race-winning break could get away. With this plan in mind, Colin and Ed sat out the sprint and worked to force that break after the first sprint as the field started to splinter. With Ed leading the pack out of the U-turn the tactic paid off as Colin managed to jump away solo only rise of the course while everyone else (including Ed) was on the limit.



Things were looking good with Colin in what looked like the race defining break and Ed & AJ sitting tight covering any moves from the main field. 
Following the bunch was a couple of smaller groups, one led by Glen flying the flag. 



That said, conditions were much hotter than expected and the late start with 25mins sat on the start line was taking it's toll on the riders. Not even a shortened race (12 down to 10 laps) or the presence of the two ‘bottle-boys’ (TJ and Jonny watching things unfold on the bridge) was going to make it much easier. 



Each time the leaders and the bunch passed by, TJ would call out the number of seconds gap to our guys. Colin would need to know if the pack was catching the lead group, and our riders in the pack would need to know how if the break was going to be successful. 



As the laps counted down, the heat was taking its toll. Laz had dropped back and eventually dropped out, having done a good job for the team in the early laps. AJ was struggling to hold the pack and admitted that he had gone ‘too hard, too soon’ when he finally slipped off the main pack. The small group with Glen was still chugging along, but wasn’t going to be a threat. Only Colin and Ed were still up in the action.




With less than two laps to go, the unexpected happened. The lead group passed the ‘bottle boys’ and it was now one lone rider, 30 seconds up on a group of two chasing, with the main peloton 45 seconds back. The fourth rider in the front group had gone. When the pack passed there was only the Colossi jersey of Ed to be seen. Colin had stopped, but there was no knowing what had caused it. Did the few spots of bad road cause a puncture or a crash?



The results, and the answers to the questions of ‘what happened’ were soon to be known. Ed crossed the line alone, about 45 seconds off the main peloton, having cramped in both legs with less than a km to go, and with AJ not far behind. Glen was further back, but as he crossed the finish line, there was a smile on his face as he was happy in the knowledge that he had finished his first taste of racing both in China and for Colossi. Colin looked slightly shell shocked having succumbed to the heat and the extraordinary effort he made to make the break happen but he had broken down on the road verging on heat exhaustion. The extreme heat & humidity 
had taken their casualties and it showed.
 

Although the results weren't as we had hoped, there were still some positives. There was some great teamwork to see through the pre-race tactics and AJ & Glen both showed themselves as excellent new team members.

B Grade, 42km (7 laps)



A small number of riders for the club (only TJ and Jonny) meant that there would be no hugely tactical race. The shorter distance (reduced to 5 laps) also left less time for strategic plans. It was going to be a simple case of staying in the front bunch, then working hard for home on the last lap.

From the start it was a fast pace. TJ positioned himself near the front and Jonny found himself mid field. The first lap was fast and furious with riders jockeying for position. Learning fast, Jonny managed to handle the lot and stayed well up in the pack.  By the end of the first lap TJ had managed to stay up front, but despite being strong up the climb Jonny was slipping with each slow corner and consequent acceleration out.

TJ  used his experience to remain well positioned in the group for the whole race, despite not being 100% healthy and also giving a few years to the lead riders. When it came to the final lap he was still there, but lost out in the final sprint, coming in 12th. Jonny managed to complete the ride with a small group and crossed the line back in about 30th place.



A huge thanks to Nellie for photos & support, and Jan & Laz for helping us to get in the race. 

Some more photos from Uncle Leung here: 

Report by Jonny & Ed




Hong Kong Championship Road Race, 27th June 2010

Report by the Mad Marsupial

It wasn’t looking good when all of Saturday was covered by a ‘Thunderstorm Warning' from the Hong Kong Observatory. This had caused the cancellation of many events including the championship individual time trial. There was talk about not racing at the road event, but many of us were hoping on an improved forecast in the morning and Laz was sending emails to keep us updated.

Cue the 4am alarm and the 4.30am team van from my end of Hong Kong to the rather remote (well, let’s just say “close to mainland China”) Brides Pool Road course. Roads are wet, but it isn’t raining much or at all. The event might not be so bad. Another good sign is the number of guys all waiting with their bikes at the team tent. Roberto, Lewis, Ed, Mike, Colin and Adriano are all ready to race. Laz wasn’t racing, but he was ready to play water boy and generally keep everything easy for the guys on the bikes.

The plan was for the guys to work and try to protect Colin and keep him up the front. I keep hearing about the lack of ‘work ethic’ of some of the teams, so the aim is to use our numbers to change that. I’m starting in the back with the ‘here for the experience’ group (now down to 2 due to no-shows). My plan is to find a small group the right pace for me and try to survive as many laps as I can before being lapped – which is going to happen, it’s just a matter how soon. It hits 6am and it looks like the mass start isn’t going to be so massive. We are not ready to go until 6.15 and the rain has become steady. The organisers decide to shorten the race by one lap of the course (15km of road, two 180deg turns), so we are now doing 7 instead of 8 – 105km instead of 120. Lapped riders must pull out.

We’re off. A big bunch stays together for the first couple of km, before the first slight descent thins it out a bit. Roads are very wet, so it is a case of experience and balls leading the way. Next 3-4 km are rolling country, so the top end of the field accelerate and build a gap. I find myself in that nice group I was hoping for. I do some work, I sit back, I try not to get too much grit in my teeth from the wheel spray. My group is thinned down to about 10 riders on the larger descent before the turn. You can just see the nervous riding – tension in the arms and bodies, twitchy movements on bikes. I find a bit of room and hope no one (including me!) slides out. We take the turn together and work out towards the climb.

Here’s where it gets hard for the fat man – climbing with the group. I’m with them for the first steep part, then stay on comfortably on the flatter section. The second rise is too much though and I fall off the back. Crap! At least that feral dog trotting up the centre of the road ignores me. I pass the start/finish line in a group of one, but I’m hoping to catch a few lads on the second half of the course and the descent/climb there.

Although there was some ‘puckering’, I manage not to drop the bike on a big sweeping corner (Garmin says 58km/h and I’m glad I didn’t know that at the time) and I realise that I’m not far from the second turn when the lead motorbike flies past on the other side of the road. One guy has made a break for it and has a big gap on the next riders. The pack has about 15 guys in it, including Colin, Mike, Ed, Roberto and Lewis. Go Boys! Through the turn I am still riding solo, but the groups are thinning out and I’m only 10-15 seconds back on the riders I started with and I have a good ride to the start/finish line. I’m somewhat surprised to see cattle grazing by the road and I hope that none of them decide to walk across at any stage!

Coming up to the end of my first lap I get a big cheer from Laz who is standing by the team esky. One lap down, but things are getting bad. The rain is hammering down. Visibility is not great – glasses on, glasses off, glasses foggy, glasses half down so you can look over the top – arrrrgh! The wind and speed on the descents is hammering the droplets into your face. The water is thick in places as it sheets across the road. The racing line is often close to the centre line of the road where the gutter is full. My shoes are saturated already, but are worse after I misjudge the depth of one area and pretty much ‘walk on water’ as I pedal through.C

At the next turn I see that the leader is still out and there is a second breakaway of two (Darren and a guy from Champion Systems). I’m still riding solo and I have a feeling that I’m never going to catch anyone. As I pass the start/finish area it is clear that plenty of people are pulling out. I think Adriano was out by now after not having much fun on the descents and deciding that he preferred to stay in one piece. The rain is not letting up and the deep puddles are getting deeper and the racing line is looking really strange in places. I’m climbing and the fast pack of the elite juniors heads past heading the other way – but they are practically on my side of the road. I’m a bit surprised by how fast some riders are descending, but it doesn’t all go well for them as there is a mix up between faster and slower riders, a squeal of brakes, a slide of wheels and some rather choice Cantonese swear words (luckily I can’t translate them all, so your innocent eyes are spared!).

I hit the big puddle again and although I’m only half a metre from the centreline I’m sure that my feet are completely underwater – that has got to be 20cm or more – and that slows me down for a couple of seconds. The juniors don’t seem to be having fun and I can’t imagine what the small wheel bike guys are making of it. At least they are only doing 3 laps! I survive my second lap, so I’m 30km into the race. However, judging by the ridiculous speed I last saw the leaders doing down hill I know that the lead riders are going to catch me soon, so I’m hoping to finish lap 3 before that happens. 2.5 laps – there goes the lead motorcycle. Bugger it. The one guy is still out there in his one-man break. Then 30secs further back are the same two guys, then another 15 back to a group of 5 with Colin in it. The next few riders are in dribs and drabs, but it good to see that Mike, Ed, Roberto and Lewis seem to still be in the top 15.

I approach the start/finish and pull out. It’s still raining hard and there are plenty of people hiding in tents who have decided to call it a day or who were lapped sooner than I was. After 5(?) laps Colin turns up at the tent. He’s pulled out and says that there is no need to kill yourself for a race you cannot win. Conditions are getting worse, the lead guys are taking way too many risks, the group of 5 he was with were not willing to do any work and riders have started to go down. We still have 4 guys on the course, but back in the top 15-20 or so. Colin then lightens up the moment by telling us about the last time he passed the big puddle near the first turn.

 
[Yes, we were under the yellow]

A couple of juniors are about to be overtaken and are staying over to the side of the course because the lead motorbike has passed them. These are the really small kids – probably 15-16 years old, but the Chinese lads can look about 10-12. Colin sees them ride into the puddle, about mid way across the lane. They get deeper and deeper until they actually start to disappear. The water is about 60cm deep! By the time the fast men are passing, the kids have lost all forward momentum and one just falls sideways with a splash and is completely underwater. The adults all laugh as they pass. This might have been what prompted Colin to withdraw, or it could have been the fact he was half way into the on coming lane at the time.

The race ends with the solo break away winning (he’s just ‘retired’ from the national team…) and with our 4 remaining guys back in the top 20. No results yet as everything was wet and we all ran home. Lots of fun, but might have been better in the dry (or without the carbon rims that some guys were racing).

 

 
Some nice race action video here.. http://static.ak.fbcdn.net/rsrc.php/z4OG5/hash/7qkbs3nb.swf?v=1499314440769&ev=0 
to show to your kids what Cycling could be. Many thanks to Laz for his support and organization.
 
Open Men
11th Roberto Veneziani
12th Mike Maiers
14th Ed Cluer
16th Lewis Fellas
DNF Colin Robertson
DNF Jonny Cantwell
DNF Adriand Vences
 

 

Tung Chung HKCA Criterium, 6th June 2010

A really good day of racing yesterday. As usual, we were competitive at all the age group category. Despite the unfortunate crash, Justin showed some really good form. He chased down every attempt to break away. In fact he was in the process of catching the wheel of an attempted breakaway when he came down. Colin, needless to say, always has the legs to ride away on his own. His effort in the Open race was impressive. Colin, I promise you I will give you a bit more help in the next race! Tony also showed some good form by winning the bunch sprint for third in the 4M; TJ, Mr Consistency, came second in the 5M. I heard the rumor on the street that TJ rode behind Colin (who was suppose to be in a solo breakaway) for a few laps, then sprinted pass his "domestic" at the line! Garoid turned up with 2 bikes and made a point by riding his small wheel in the Open race. Jonny and Adriano had fun and got their first taste of racing in the open grade.
Laz
30's
Colin 1st
Laz 4th

40s
Tony 3rd 
Garoid 25th  
Adrian 27th

50s
TJ 2nd

Open
Colin 5th
Laz 35th




Macau Criterium, 9th May 2010



A 30 lap / 50km points race with sprints every 5 laps made for some lively racing today in Macau. Ed was good enough to win the first 4 sprints quite convincingly with some good lead outs from Laz and support work from TJ. With the points race in the bag we almost managed to set Laz up for the 5th sprint but got pipped by a local CMS rider. Going into the final sprint Ed and Laz did a little too much work pulling back an errant solo breakaway (the other teams had decided by then it was our responsibility) meaning the legs weren't quite so fresh for the final sprint. Heading into the final bend Laz was on first wheel ready for one last lead out, but faded early leaving Ed to go for it. The winning margin on the first few sprints suggested going from this distance wouldn't be a problem but the locals were a little bit more savvy this time and despite topping out at 60kph managed to latch onto Ed's wheel with a Champ Sys rider sneaking past with 10m to the line. A slightly disappointing end to what was otherwise a very near perfect team performance in setting up and executing sprints but good to step onto the top step of the podium for the points.


Laz leads Ed with TJ just behind.


Ed on the top step.
 
Nellie & TJ's full gallery here

Report by Ed
 


Tour of Friendship 2010, May 2010

Team Colossi decided not to travel to Thailand. T.J. braved the unknown and the red shirts and joined up with Team Franzia from the Philippines and participated in the over 50's category.

Team Franzia pulled off a great win on the 2nd stage, with Cesar Lobramonte, ex coach to the Philippine national team taking stage honors, with Ike another Philippine rider taking 2nd place, Mark from Singapore in 3rd and T.J,. in 4th just 2 seconds off the pace.
   
T.J with Cesar, better known as Coach after the prize ceremony.


Stage 3
Another win for Team Franzia, with Cesar taking the sprint, Ike 4th and T.J .6th. 
 
Stage 4. Mountain Stage.
Team Franzia  take  2nd and 4th on stage. Cesar 2nd with T.J. 4th.


Stage 5.
Team Franzia take 5th(Cesar) and 6th(T.J.) on stage.

T.J.takes 4th overall on GC. Cesar took 2nd on GC.



HKCA Bride's Pool Road TTT, 25th April 2010
 
 
This race is likely to be the toughest local race I have done for a long time. TT is not really my thing, as you will read below, but nevertheless, it was a really enjoyable race:

 

A 60k TTT, 4 laps along the up and down Bride’s Pool Road, the Colossi team, consisting of Erich, Ed, TJ, Roberto and myself, was tipped as one of the favourites by the locals on the HKCI forum. No pressure guys! Our plan was to stick together on the first couple of laps and then push hard on the final two laps. This plan, however, proved to be flawed very quickly. First, Erich’s bike was swinging almost uncontrollably on the first decent. Was it the effect of the cross wind on those deep rimmed wheels, or was it because of something mechanical? We still didn’t quite know, but whatever it was, it caused Erich to slow down on every decent. The rest of us would ride at “normal” pace on the flat and waited for Erich to come back at us. On the following accent, TJ, who came off a hard week racing in Taiwan, lost contact with the rest of the team, then Roberto followed soon. We were already down to 3 when crossing the start and finish line for the first time. This was not a good start!

 

Battling against the odd, Ed and Erich stood up and took charge. Ed did majority of the work going up hill setting a good tempo and Erich pulled us along on the flat. Being the weakest TT rider in the team, a lot of pressure was on me to not drop off the back and let my team down (My excuse for being the weakest was that I had a hard week training, so my legs were not as good as it should be, and I hate TT!). Ed and Erich worked hard to protect, encourage, shout at, pull, and scream at... me to maintain contact. I had to dig deep, this I mean DEEP to stay with the team. The hardest lap was the last. With the finishing line in sight, Erich pushed along the flat; we reached speed up to 51-52km/h on some sections. Ed basically attacked the last climb. My legs were well past the pain threshold trying to follow these guys but my head told me that I could never live it down if I give up now. The only thing I could do was closing my eyes and kept pedalling. The end couldn’t have come soon enough. The last lap was our quickest lap: a sub 23 minute.

 

We put in a mighty effort given the situation, I was happy merely just finishing. Our official timer, Nellie, confirmed that we were 2nd, around 2 minutes down from ChampionSystem and about 1 minute up on Racing Force. A big thank you goes to Ed and Erich for putting in all the hard work. TJ and Roberto were disappointed about their performance, but there is always next time. We were 3rd in the last TC TTT, 2nd this time, so we are moving in the right direction, just don’t count me in the next race!

 

Report by Laz



The team in action- photo courtesy of Au Wing Chan's facebook album


Nellie's Picassa photos are here: 

 

Official Result:

 

1./ Champion Systems 1.32.57

2./ Colossi 1.35.26
3./ Racing Force 1.37.09
4./ SCAA 1.38.44
5./ Vigor 1.39.10
 

 
HKCA Science Park Crit, 18th April, 2010
 
 

In the absence of all the big guns as they were across the strait racing in the Tour of East Taiwan, the HKCA Science Park Crit was proved to be an unpredictable affair with lesser known riders ready to prove themselves.

 

Masters 3M & 4M

 

Tony, Roberto, Adriano and myself lined up in this race in which the two age groups were combined. The pre-race strategy was simple: stay upright, as the track was super greasy after a downpour only minutes before the start, and get in a break. With this in mind, Roberto and Tony worked together attacking the field as soon as the flag dropped, dragging up the pace of the race and trimming down the peleton. They did successfully create gaps on several occasions, but were quickly closed down by rival teams. After another Roberto’s attack caught by the field at the beginning of the second lap, I attacked, hard. Sitting on the tip of my saddle, shifting up a few gears at the back, keeping my head down, I worked my legs towards an approx 5 seconds gap after one lap, 10 seconds after 2 laps….. Back in the peleton, rival teams were chasing. But Roberto and Tony worked hard in spoiling every little attempt by sitting at the front and slowing down the pace. At one point of the race, possibly in lap 4, the peleton was so close to me that I could hear Roberto shouting “go faster Laz, suck it up” (or something to that effect). With this encouragement, I managed to find something in my legs and maintained the 10 seconds gap crossing the finish line. After the tiresome work by Roberto, he still sprinted to a 2nd place in his age group! Tony just missed a podium spot coming 6th and Adriano finished safely in the bunch.

 

A big thank you goes to Roberto, Tony and Adriano for their work in the peleton. My solo win was only possible with the great work of the team.

 

Open

 

Tony and myself started in the Open point race with little expectation apart from using it as an interval training exercise. Similar to most Open races, the start was messy and filled with silly crashes. We hung low in the beginning of the race, but once the race settled after a few laps, we worked up towards the front of the peleton and positioned ourselves for the first sprint. With Tony on my wheel coming down the straight, I paddled as hard as I can. Glancing my computer for a brief moment, it showed 55km/h, then 56km/h, then 57km/h. With 100m to go, Tony sprinted past me hard towards the line, but just got passed by a well timed jump from a Vigor rider on the line. Nevertheless, it was points in the bag for Colossi.

 

After catching my breath, I was ready to stir things up a little. The SCAA boys also had the same idea. They started sending their riders up in breaks. Once one got caught, another would go, thus keeping the pressure on the main field. Seeing that as an opportunity, I attacked together with a SCAA and a Racing Force rider. The peleton, not known that this was the race decisive break, did not respond. The three of us worked well together to grow the gap to as much as 25-30 seconds and grabbed all the points on the 4th sprint.

 

With the final sprint to go, the peleton was on panic mode and it chased hard, hoping to shut us down. They got as close as 100-150m, but never made contact. 2 riders from X-speed and Vigor bridged and they helped in maintaining the gap. Coming down the final straight with 400m to go, I went all out for an attack, hoping the “cat and mouse” game between the remaining breakaway companions would slow them down. This, however, turned out not to be. Three of them sprinted past me with 50m left and I crossed the line in 4th.

 

With the points me and Tony gathered, we managed to make the podium on the 4th and 5th spot respectively. I am sure we will make it onto higher steps of the podium at the next race.

 

Report by Laz

 

 

Roberto leads Tony.

 

Roberto's race report is up on his blog here http://runbackby7.blogspot.com/2010/04/criterium-race-report.html

 

More photos here: http://www.fotop.net/lamhing/20100418 & http://ecfoto.net/Annaho/photo_sharing/LSFYDmJkN0qD7TGYT0G.mg


 

Tour of East Taiwan 17-18th April 2010

Colossi.cc's first proper team trip abroad a success, with Colin scoring 2nd place in the Elites, and TJ winning the 50's.

Meeting up in Taipei's Songshan station there was a definate sense of trepidation about this event, with none of us knowing the full details of what to expect and only Garoid having ridden the Sportive version of the race. A long train ride up to Hualien later and we made it to the race hotel where CMS's Kenji briefed us on who to look out for on the start sheet. Some familiar names, including Lee Rogers from Japan, and a full strength John Tonks led Champion Systems team, as well as some less familiar locals promised a very competitive Elite field for Colin, Ed, Erich & Jason. Greg, Garoid and TJ had no idea of what the Age Group races would hold.

Stage 1

Setting off the next morning for Saturday's 130km stage from Hualien to Taidong there was some nervous tension in the Elite peleton as we waited for the flag to drop from the neutralised zone and for the racing to start. We were then treated to 20km of full pace attack after attack, 40kph up hill, 55kph on the flats before the first serious climb of the day where the fireworks really happened. A group of 5 got off the front with Colin comfortably (at a mere 400+ watts) staying with the front group. Ed yo-yoed off the back of Colin's group but was back on as soon as the descent happened. Behind this was carnage as many got caught out by the fierce pace. Erich was dropped on the climb but put in a great TT effort to rejoin the bunch 20km later. Jason paid for his skiiing holiday the week before and rode the rest of the course in a small group behind the main field. Meanwhile back in the bunch, more attacks went in off the front until Colin and Tonks managed to make one stick, bridging across to the group who got away on the climb with a good 50km to go. This was to be the race defining move, the impetus now taken out of the main peleton. Colin suffered the misfortune of a broken rear mech cable, restricting him to 2 gears. No problem on the flats for a monster like Colin who can just keep it in 53x12 but on the final 300m sprint of 1in10 he was unable to turn the gear and finished 7th place- the last of the breakaway but still in contention for the race overall. Local rider Liu Hai Ming (Equinox) won the stage. Further back, Erich had a good solo effort off the front with 5km to go but was caught on the final climb. Ed was happy to finish upright after half a dozen riders wiped out in front of him on the turn into the climb. Jason worked hard off the back riding in a small group but lost a solid chunk of time. Testament to the pace of the Elite race and the abililty of Colin to get off the front was Ed's 42kph average speed after the neutralised zone through to the finish. Phew!

In the age groupers, TJ was the star of the show in the over 50's and broke away with some riders from another category to take the yellow jersey. Greg rode a good race to get 4th in the 40's and Garoid rounded off the numbers a few minutes down having lost contact on the main climb.

The evening saw Colin cut his timing chip from the bike and pack his bags to catch the early train until the generosity of some other HK based teams meant he was on the road again with new cables and shifters ready to fight another day. The fact one of his fork drop outs had unbonded from the carbon didn't seem to phase the Scottish warrior! The rest of us caught a massage and an early night.

Stage 2 start. Photo courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/?tid=1397544309793&sk=messages#!/album.php?aid=165123&id=789203639&page=6

Stage 2

Sunday was a new dawn and promised to be the harder of the two stages with 170km of rolling terrain in the reverse direction, made even harder by solid rainfall greeting the riders for the first 100km. 50+kph on wet carbon rims in a nervous peleton with riders regularly moving across the field to collect bottles from support vans is not an activity for those of a nervous disposition. One rider was seen on the tarmac with a rolled tub, lucky not to be run over by the Elite field. The madness continued as Erich suffered a flat tire after 80km and was left high and dry by race support, waiting 40 minutes by the road side before another caravan came through and offered him a spare tube, his race now over. Back at the front of the pack the pace was high with Champion Systems controlling the race and Tonks sitting quietly at the back conserving his energy. A slightly misleading route profile had suggested a climb at the 60km climb that never seemed to materialise and so we waited for what looked like the decisive climb of the day at 120km. Going up here at full pelt Jason got distanced while Colin and Ed were in the second group on the road, both paying the price for their bigger frames against the small locals who don't need to put out such huge wattages to stay in contention. A small gap opened up to the lead group, but following the descent the colossi.cc pair worked well together to bridge back up to the lead group in what looked like the race move. However, the group was obviously too big and so the pace slowed and it all came back together before the fireworks were set off again. Unaware that Ed had his hand up for a puncture Colin instigated the move of the race to move clear in a small group of 4 including John Tonks and Lee Rogers. Going into the final climb Colin and Tonks dropped their tired breakway companions and battled it out for the win, Tonks just having the edge in the final kilometre. Nonetheless a great effort from Colin and an excellent result for the team. Further back Ed burned his bridges with a 20km solo chase back to the peleton after a slow wheel change where he paid the price in an effort to get away with 10km to go and was soon swallowed up by the peleton with nothing left for the minor placing final surge. Jason never made contact again after the climb and finished with a face (and jersey) to suggest he'd just ridden Paris Roubaix. Erich had had a long time to get over his puncture- 'Pain is only French Bread'.

TJ did the business once more in the 50's, making his move with 20km to go. Greg finished safely in the bunch for the 40s and Garoid did well despite suffering another puncture in the final kms.

A huge thanks to Nellie for the race support and to the CMS / Hong Kong teams for helping out from the race cars with spare bottles and for saving Colin's race. Next time we'll be better prepared all in but there is only one way of learning.

Congratulations to Colin for a very strong performance and TJ for bring home the team's first yellow jersey!


TJ in the maillot jaune! Nellie & TJ's album here: http://picasaweb.google.com/nelltjc/TourOfEastTaiwan?feat=email#


Jason, Erich and Greg do their best post Paris Roubaix pose.

Erich's photos from the trip here http://picasaweb.google.com/OSYMETRIC.HK/TourOfEastTaiwanApril2010#

Ed wished he was on Team Chillax, and has posted his photos here: http://picasaweb.google.com/115536926035453826984/TourOfEastTaiwanPhotos?feat=directlink

More race reports here:- http://www.cyclingnewsasia.com/en/road/35-general/580-tour-of-east-taiwan-stage-1-liu-hai-ming-wins

& http://www.cyclingnewsasia.com/en/road/35-general/582-tour-of-east-taiwan-stage-2-tonks-on-form

Report by Ed


Rudy Project UK TT, 28/03/10
Quick race report from my first UK race of the year. As some of you know, I'm trying qualify for the Commonwealth Games this year. Selection is based on the UK national time trial series and the UK national 10 mile and 25 championships, all of which take place between now and June.

Sunday was the first round of the time trial series over a 40km hilly course near Bath. Riding the course beforehand in the wind and rain was not very pleasant. The first 20km was straight into a headwind and while initially flat it got more hilly as it went on. Through a small town then up a big climb (mostly 10-15%) although with a tailwind now. The ride was fast off the top of the climb but then the last 15km was a horrible twisty rolling road again into the wind. Because the course didn't start and finish in the same place, most of the course was into the wind.

On the day the weather was a bit better. No rain, just windy instead of hurricane force, about 11 degrees. There were about a hundred riders on the start sheet including my main rival for the second Commonwealth TT slot (assuming David Miller gets the first slot!) but he didn't actually turn up which was good or bad depending on how you look at it.

After a good winter, but difficult February due to illness, I had reasonable but not great form. Having said that, it's not a bad place to be as I wouldn't want to be on top form right now. 

The first part of the race went well, and within 20 minutes I'd got up the first climbs and also caught the two riders who started in front of me. Average power to that point a healthy 400W. Somehow I had a bit of a lapse in concentration for the next 10-15mins, probably just a lack of race practice, but I definitely need to improve on that. Got to the big climb in good shape and caught some more riders going over it. From there it was a horrible slog into the wind to the finish. Kept trying to push hard but was lacking the top end speed to push hard at the end of a time trial. That's something that'll come with more interval training and racing.

Got there in 58 minutes with an average power just over 360W. I guess the norm power will be quite a bit higher since the course was so up and down. Pretty pleased with that as it's already as high, if not higher, than any race last year which shows I'll be going well come the later races.

Overall I came second, beating some good riders who beat me last year. Was still quite a bit off the winner (1.15mins) so training has already been upped to try to close that gap. Will be training hard over Easter weekend so looking forward to riding with you all.

Cheers
Colin
check http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/uk-time-trial-round-up-rudy-project-series-kicks-off-25545 for more

Fei Ngo Shan Hill Climb 28/03/10

Not many Colossi at the start, but nevertheless we did not miss the podium also this time.

The real challenge was reaching the start line, as the combo HKCA + Police had come up with a set of crazy restrictions: so I did have to park the car at 5.30am on top of FeiNgoShan and brave the chilly morning with a ride down Jat's Incline and then ride up again FeiNgoShan road to the start...
Since I did not have anyone to leave my stuff, I took the start line with pump, spare tube and documents in the pocket, which was not exactly what you would do in hill TT... the climb was actually only 2.4km versus the 2.9km announced, so all my calculations on the gradient of the course and gears to use went out of the window when I realized that the climb was much steeper than I expected... anyway 9' minutes went by quickly enough and I sprinted what I had left for a 9'27" finish time. That was enough to win the M40 race with a huge margin, but interesting enough the time was faster also then the M30 and Elite B category winners.
Only a handful of Elite and Junior did a better time (+ the monster John Tonks who gracefully competed in the Elite category, giving me the chance...). All said, it was a very unexpected result for me, especially since I resumed cycling only to take care of my damaged tendons and I do not really train as It should be...now the "risk" is that I am getting the cycling bug again...
Report by Roberto



HKCA Crit, Yuen Long, 07/03/2010


A decent turn out from the Colossi guys for today's race, despite plumeting temperatures, grey skies and rain. Classic Hong Kong cycling this was not, but if the only race going on is a criterium around an industrial estate, then so be it. The distinct aroma of the San Miguel brewery might have awakened some senses from the previous night for some club members, but bright and breezy we were all rearing to go.

First up was the 30-39 & 40+ where we had Laz (pictured above) & Ed in the 30's and TJ, Tony, Matt, Garoid and Roberto in the 40s. But of course the man to watch was John Tonks, who went straight to the front and soon forced a split on a tight circuit peppered with 90 degree bends. Laurence and Tony seemed to be getting dizzy from riding around in circles and almost forced each other into the barriers, meaning Ed and Roberto were the only Colossi.cc's in the final split. With most of the group happy to let John take the race to them, with 2 laps to go Ed managed to make an attack stick and got a gap. With the Tonks bearing down on him (and towing the rest of the group with him) John came past with 250m to go, with another sneaky local barging Ed off John's wheel going into the final bend. The course being as tight as it was meant whatever position you were in on the final 90 degree bend meant that was where you were going to finish, and so it played out, with Ed a slightly disappointed 2nd in the 30's, Laz a respectable 5th and Roberto riding a smart race to take 3rd in the 40's. Tony rounded things off with a 5th. TJ would no doubt have won the 50's had his category not been rolled into the 40s. Matt and Garoid both bemoaned a lack of top end fitness, but not a bad start to the morning.

Qualification for the 'Open' proved straightforward enough for all, but the race itself was a different kettle of fish! Run as a points race, and with points available for sprints every 3rd of the 21 laps, it went from the gun, with the field in tatters. No surprises who was leading the charge- the on-form Mr. Tonks. Ed was the only Colossi rider to bridge up to the lead group, being a bit too late to the party for the first points, but crucially ahead of the carnage behind where riders had started wiping out on greasy tarmac left right and centre as the rain fell. Gentleman's racing this is not, and an acceleration went in from the front, meaning a selection of John, Ed and another local contested the second sprint. Ed managed to get alongside John in the dash for the line, but John still had it by a wheel length. Is the man beatable? As luck would have it, Ed was not to find out- paying the price for his dodgy outer chainring that he's been trying to replace for weeks- shipping a chain on the next sprint. A spectator 100m later saw Ed
by the roadside putting his chain back on, any hopes of scoring full points, or contesting 2nd place (...) gone. Down in 4th and chasing solo, Ed finally made it back up to 3rd where he would finish, but not before the rider he'd been contesting the position with had wiped out on the dodgy corner that had taken so many victims. Luckily our team has learned their Crit101 lessons and all survived in tact- the most important thing. Ed clocked a 177HR average for the duration of the race- testimony to the intensity of the effort. A good day out and good to score some South China Open points with HKCA.


Matt gets the gas down.


Ed on the rivet.


Tony riding as a Buffalo.

30's
Ed 2nd
Laz 5th

40s
Roberto 3rd. Same time as J Tonks
Tony 4th
T.J    6th 
Matt  7th

Open
Ed 3rd
Laz 8th
Tony 15th Same time as Laz.

Report by Ed (errr) and photos sourced from http://s332.photobucket.com/albums/m346/venzo_hong/Yuen%20Long%202010-3-7/?start=0.

More photos from yesterday's race here http://ecfoto.net/Annaho/photo_sharing/LSFYDmJkN0oDc_Lpv.Fv0Q
and also some taken by Adrian, a potential new recruit here:http://picasaweb.google.com/nelltjc/HongKongCrit07032010#



Report on Tour of  Philippines, 27/02/2010 to 07/03/2010

Colin teamed up with Lex, Nathan and a few other guys to form an international Colossi team ready to take on the Pros in the Philippines. Below are his reports compiled together, as sent from the 'trenches':

Fairly small (but nicely sized peloton) of 10 teams of 6-7 riders. Four international teams, us, ChampSys, Jelly Belly (not the whole A team but apparently a couple of the team might get to ride Tour of California) and some good South African team (current African Tour leader, African under 23 TT champ etc). Our Colossi team is a mixed bag of a couple of Kiwis, a couple of Germans, Lex (Dutch), an American etc. No-one sh!t hot which is good, just all seem like solid riders.

Day 1

Vital statistics: 85km, flat. 44 degrees on the start line. Strong crosswinds

Had a bit of crap first day.  Preparation for the race overall wasn't ideal as I've been sick on and off for 4 weeks and this is my first road race since October. Like any decent cyclist, always got plenty of excuses to hand :-)

However, my race sense was working as I managed to pick the winning break. But just as I latched on after a brutal solo chase, someone attacked the break and I blew up completely. It was simply a suffer fest after that as my legs just lacked that race fitness that allows you to recover and go again. And the crosswinds were just shredding the bunch.

It was lined out in the crosswinds for much of the first half of the race and despite the wind we were doing 45-50kph most of the time. .I got a mechanical around halfway, swapped bikes and ended up in the last main group. At least I finished and survived to fight another day. Lex came fifth which was a great ride. Also gives us someone to ride for. The rest of the team straggled home towards the back.

Hopefully I'll get some form as the race goes on. Tomorrow is the time trial which is unfortunate as it would've better later once I'd found some form. Ach well, will give it my best..

Day 2

Today was a short (12km) time trial. Much cooler than yesterday - was only 42 degrees on the start. Still windy.

Bit of a panic at the start as they left me off GC and without a start time. Must have been because my timing chip didn't work yesterday when I swapped bikes and put the chip in my pocket. Got it sorted out and was given a start late on with the fast boys.

The pro teams were on TT bikes with skinsuits and the works. Our team looked a bit amateur on road bikes. I didn't even have TT bars. Not seen finish times yet. I was one of the fastest in my team but probably 30-40s off the winner. After getting this stomach ulcer and
having a few weeks off, my power seems to have vanished - I was averaging 350W today instead of 400W+. Just hope that all this racing brings my form back again. Tomorrow is about 100km apparently. We're off to stay in a beach resort in Subic for the next few nights. Hope its as nice as it sounds!

Day 2 recap: was pleased to see the actual results, got 13 or 14th despite not having aero bike and bars. All the guys ahead were on aero gear.

Day 3

75km - 25 laps of a 3km car racing circuit. 40+ degrees again and very windy. Raging headwind down the straight.

Not my sort of thing racing a crit on a tight circuit. Managed to get in a bit of early action but went nowhere. They sat in a suffered as the group kicked hard out of every corner while I got slower and slower out of every corner. I just don't have the kick to do well in these races. With 2.5 laps to go, my legs said "no" in a corner and I tootled home. Was imagining being the next Kenny van Hummel but found I wasn't last at all. Ach well. Still, I felt stronger than the first couple of stages.

Day 4

8 laps of a 10.5km circuit, round an army base, 44 degrees on the start line, not windy for the first time

This is more like it. I felt stronger again today and the circuit was more like a road race with wee climbs and some interest. And crucially no 180 degree corners where the guys sprinted hard. I got in a few breaks today including a couple that had the potential to go somewhere but obviously the mix wasn't right and the pro teams reeled us back in each time. Still, I was stronger and easily held with the bunch through to the finish.

Tomorrow is the first proper road stage, 135km rolling with a final 400m ascent at the end. Doubtless I'll get a kicking but would rather get that on a proper road stage than going round and round in wee circles!

Day 5

140km, flat until 50km to go, ended with some rolling hills then a selection of brutal steep climbs around 15-25%, bloody hot all day

This was the queen stage and I woke feeling good. I spent quite a bit of effort trying to get in moves and I was in several decent looking moves in the first 20+ kms. But we kept getting reeled in, until around 30km when I got in a 4 man move that started to shift. A Kelly Benefits guy came backwards from an earlier failed break and after some time 10 more guys got across including two more Kelly's and one of the South African pros. The Kelly's had a good situation with the SA team caught out badly. The Kelly's gunned it and the SA guy sulked on the back.

The next 60km was largely flat and we flew. Most of the time we were doing 45+kph, and quite a bit around 50kph. At 60km suddenly one of my teammates appeared in front coming back to us. Everyone, including me, was astonished. We hadn't realised there were 3 guys up the road. If only I'd known, I'd have been sitting on rather than working!

At 90km I had an average speed of 42 despite the very slow neutralised start. I was working quite a bit but felt comfortable. We had several minutes on the next group and it was going up all the time. This was the GC winning move!

It was at that point, 90km in, that I started to overheat. I just don't think I drank enough in the first crazy hour of trying to get in the break. I felt better when I got an ice water but it was meltingly hot in the midday sun. Suddenly, at 95km, I had to stop. My body just forced me. I got going again but I had totally overheated and dehydrated. Our gap was so large that, despite my ambling pace, it took 20mins for the next group to catch me. Sadly I wasn't any cooler when they hammered past. Another 20mins later I was off the back of the race.

For the remaining 30km I had a tortuous time in the baking heat. Trying to get to the finish, up and down horrible climbs, all the time focused on the time limit. I made it.

To give you a clue how hot it was, I reckon I drank 10-15 litres on the bike, maybe more, and I still didn't piss for hours! Pleased to have made the race winning move but sad I couldn't contest the finish (not that I would've stood a chance of winning on those climbs at the end).

Day 6

130km, short and longer rolling climbs all day, if possible even hotter

Didn't feel flash today but much better than I expected. The race ripped up a long but steady climb straight after the start. Some guys were shelled out already given the pace, a few never made it back on. I wouldn't have wanted to go up it much faster but I was comfortable near the front. Then we hit a long flat section. I got in some moves but no-one had much energy to sustain the breaks. The Kellys were playing it quite defensive after their big day out and were closing down every move. Around 30km we went along 10km of terrible road, lined out at 45kph+. Now I know what Paris-Roubaix must be like - its so tough even sitting in the middle of the pace line when the road is that screwed up.

We started hitting more hills. I was fine at first but then we hit a long one. The bunch split into a larger group, me about 20-30 metres behind and a smaller group. The climb went on for ages as I got hotter and more tired. I wasn't going to get back on the fast group and as we hit the next climb I started to doubt I was going to make the finish with the next group. Then I saw a teammate by the road holding his left shifter which had come off. I climbed off and gave him my bike. It felt so good.

Was the right thing to do. My legs were empty and there was still 50km of pretty tough climbs to go. I wasn't going to make the time cut - but with me directing our team car driver, we managed to get my teammate to the finish within the time limit. Just don't tell anyone how much drafting and holding on that 50km involved!

Overall I'm a bit disappointed but on the other hand, given I was sick so long beforehand, I did better than I might have done. And it was great training and its also great riding with pros to see how its done. You learn so much from their positioning, bike handling and tactics. And I can never get over just how thin those guys are!

For more information and photos, see http://www.philippinecyclingnews.com/ and http://velonews.competitor.com/tag/tour-of-luzon.

Editor's note: Just to repeat that, velonews... Colin's report is very modest, but the mere fact this race was reported on velonews gives you some indication of the standard of racing. 'A chapeau' to mix it with these guys at all.


HKCA Team Time Trial Championships, Tung Chung, 21/02/2010  




Team time trials don't come along too often in the Hong Kong cyclist's calendar, and it's one of the few events you can only compete in if you are in a registered HKCA club. This knowledge was one of the things that laid the seeds for Colossi this time last year, even if we didn't know that the club would emerge in the way it has done, with such generous support from our sponsers. It's taken us until now to really be able to call ourselves a club- the final part of the jigsaw being our top notch team kit, as modelled by the ugly mugs of the TT team for this event above.

Left to right, the team was led by Colin, our resident power house, who also did a good job of recruiting fellow watt monster Erich (in go faster socks); then Ed (in bad taste speed booties), then our other new recruit Mike (another Ironmentalist) and finally Matt (resident guru). We'd had a couple of practice sessions but this was the first chance to go full gas with the full team.

Seeing as we're a new team, we were in the first wave of riders, meaning a stupid o'clock rise out of bed, and little to pace ourselves on except a few corporate teams, some juniors and a CMS team half a lap behind. Despite losing Matt early on, we seemed to be going well, with Colin leading the charge, and the speedo rarely dropping below 40kph. We knew it was a long race (63km) so the strategy was to keep it consisent and try and ramp up towards the end, as we knew some other teams would blow up from such a long sustained threshold effort. We were keeping it consistent with lap times in the 11.15 to 11.30 range until a lap to go when for the first time the ever calm Colin stated shouting at us to "up the pace guys!". It all got a bit much for Mike, who'd was still feeling some effects of a cold, and peeled off leaving Colin, Erich & Ed to bring it home (it's the time of the 3rd rider over the line that counts). With speeds of 55kph being reached on the home straight and some tired legs trying to hang in there we gave it all we had. We even clocked a sub 11 minute last lap. Would it be enough?

We knew the team to beat was Champion Systems, who won this event last year- without their TT supremo John Tonks, The initial time checks suggested we were up by 2 minutes after 3 laps! However, once we started timing them ourselves at low 11's we thought something might be up, especially when Champ Systems started going sub 11's also. Of course, they had better conditions with the later start... but the unoffical timings had only 5 seconds in it. Of course Tonks doesn't bother with technology like bike computers, so it was a tense moment as we waited for official conformation. It turned out that Tonks & Co had put almost 2 minutes into us over the course of the race and South China, who we'd forgotten about, pipped us by 3 seconds! Still, 3rd place in a Hong Kong Championship is still an excellent result for a new team on their first official outing. Everyone knows who we are now and with a better start time hopefully we can start moving up that podium! A great day out and excellent promise of what's ahead.



Official Result:
 
1. Champion Systems 1:28:43
2. SCAA 1:30:35
3. Colossi 1:30.38
4. CMS 1.33.11
5. Racing Force 1:36.34

Full results up now on http://www.cycling.org.hk/Eng_Frame/engcalendarframe.htm

Erich's Data:

64.85 km

42.8kmh avg

94 rpm avg

Avg HR 160 (ouch…)


The team in action- some more shots here:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?page=1&aid=203459&id=513884026
 

The Tonks looking pretty fresh after leading Champion Systems to victory. We're coming John!

Some video clips




TJ's full video clips from the day here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/nelltjc


The guys with bronze medals and cup after the awards ceremony.

TJ's full photo album (including some Justin & Tony who rode for Lantau Buffalos) here:
 
http://picasaweb.google.com/nelltjc/TeamTimeTrialTungChung21022010?feat=email#

Report by Ed



HKCA Tung Chung Crit 24/1/10


TJ - 1st in 50-59 age group
Lewis - 1st in 30-39 age group
Tony - 4th in 40-49 age group

30-39 Age Group 

Justin, Laurence and Lewis lined up for this one. The master tactician, Laurence had given instructions to attack from the start and make it hard for the rest.  When the gun sounded, Justin clipped in with alarming speed and he was off, with the rest of the field strung out behind him.  As he hit the first bend,  the other contestants were gasping for air, according to the commissar standing at the first corner. As he sprinted down the back stretch, news was filtering through on race radio that the speed was up to 56km per hour.  By the end of the first lap, the field was split and only 10 riders were left in the lead group.  The plan was working.

Laz took over from Justin at the front of the lead group on the 2nd lap and stepped on the pedals,  keeping the speed as high as possible, in the process, nearly dumping Justin out the back as he tried to take a rest.   

On the 3rd lap, the boys took a breather and the cat and mouse game began and riders began looking at one another waiting for an attack. When it came, it was from the remnants of  the SCAA and Cyclist Club, left in the lead bunch.  Two riders managed to get a gap of about 100 meters.  Lewis was seen flexing his muscles as he sat at the front of the bunch, not really perturbed by the gap obtained by the breakaway due. Justin, Lewis and Laurence upped the pace and closed the gap within a short distance.    

On the 4th  and final lap, going into the last corner, the unselfish Laurence, put in a massive pull with Lewis on his wheel.  As Laurence pulled over, it was all down to Lewis and as expected, he did not disappoint. 500 meters out, he hit the front with a few hanging on.  With 200 meters to go, there was still danger lurking on his back wheel, so he kicked again and managed to pull clear and record a great win.  

Great team effort and a big tanks to Justin and Laurence who sacrificed themselves for sprint king Lewis, who came up trumps. Great win for Lewis. Justin still had some energy left and came in 7th  with Laurence just cruzing over the line in 10th, delighted that Lewis had won and that the race had worked according to plan.  Great TEAM effort.

40-49 Age Group

Tony and Garoid were the pair in this one,  as potential recruit Keith turned up late, though he did pass the breath test.   

After one lap, Tonks attacked while Tony was at the front. Pryde and Yuen slipped around Tony and got onto John’s  wheel.  Tony  saw them going away and decided to give chase, taking a big pull at the front , but was not able to bridge the gap on his own as no one else was willing to help.  Tony sat up, took a bit of a rest and again went to the front to see if he could reel in Tonk’s and the other two. Realizing that it was not going to happen, without a concerted effort  from the others in the group, he did the wise thing and took a breather, knowing that his only chance at a reasonable placing was to win the bunch sprint.  In the final straight, everyone in the chase group was  gunning for the line.  Tony jumped on successive wheels until the 200m point, when he jumped and sprinted hard from there, coming in at the head of the chase group and taking 4th place by a wheel length. Great sprinting.  

Garoid put in a very good performance and came home in the 3rd group, finishing 11th overall.  His early morning training spins are paying off .        

Over 50’s race

Thijs and T.J. took to the line, with no master plan in mind.  Was it going to be another 2nd  place for T.J. as in the last two outings, he was piped at the line by Lee Hing Ling   from Vigor Cycling Club.  T.J. sat on for the first lap to see how things would develop. Yung Kim Chung from Bike City worked at the front, and when Lee from Vigor went to the front, T.J. just sat on him and refused to come bye, forcing him to stay out in front and peddled.  As the speed decreased, Yung from Bike City attacked and opened up a gap of about 200 meters.  Realizing the danger, T.J. jumped from the group and took off in pursuit with Lee from Vigor CC sitting on his wheel.  When the gap was bridged, Yung sat up.  T.J. attacked again with Lee in pursuit. The two opened a gap of about 200 meters.  Not wanting to carry him to the line again,  T.J. sat up and was heard to whisper  something in his ear. Not being able to understand the Irish racing language for come through, Lee sat up.  Not wishing to repeat the polite request, T.J. put the  head down and went again, opening a small gap.  As he looked back, Lee seemed to have given up the chase and the gap began to grow.  T.J. then just peddled and rode to the finish, picking up on the way, one of the group from the 30’s  race that had been dumped out the back by the speed set by Justin.  

Thijs had a good race, considering that the week prior to the race, he had a hectic week in China, visiting 10 cities in 6 days and traveling back from China for the race on Saturday night/Sunday morning  arriving back home in Tung Chung at 1:00 a.m.

Open Point Race Lewis was well placed through out the race. In the sprints Lewis maxed out at 1,173 watts which isn't too far below his average last year of 1,300 for a sprint. Laurence, was up at the front in the early part of the race, Tony stayed in the middle of the pack. After the 2nd lap, T.J. was swinging off the back most of the time, but managed to hang in to the end and finished in the pack.

Emma  and Erin  were out supporting. Nellie was at the first corner, making sure we all got around safely.  Unfortunately, we had  no official photographer as Nellie was busy with her official duties. 

 

 

 



Macau Hilly Course race - 27/12/2009 

80 km Road Race over hilly course on Coloane Island, Macau  27. 12.2009

T.J. took part in the last road race in 2009 in Macau and pulled off an unexpected win over the Elite riders (Open - 1st, Sprint - 2nd) in Macau.

 










Macau Road Race 29/11/09


T.J.went to the second last race in Macau this year, having spent the week before in bed with a virus, and took part in the Elite points race, which was held over a 1.5km flat course on Cotai, a section of land between Taipa and Coloane and about 1.5km from Taipa village. Sign on was from 7:30 a.m. onwards, with the  race scheduled to commence at 8:00 a.m., but in fact it kicked off at 7:45 a.m. Thankfully, I was there a few minutes early and managed to get to the start line with my number on.  There were 8 competitors in total. I managed to stay with the group and actually contested the second sprint. Thereafter, one guy, wearing a Colossi jersey took off and managed to get a sizeable gap. I gave chase on my own, but failed to bridge the gap and after 4 laps chasing on my own, I  was caught by the 6 man chasing group.  Once I was caught, the team mate of the lead rider took off and his team mate waited for him up the road and they both rode together and stayed away for about 10 laps. I managed to get the other 5 to rider together after a lot of effort and we managed to bring back the breakawy group, with 5 laps to go.  Like Ed in Shenzhen, I screwed up the final sprint and came in 7th. I received fifty bucks for my effort. There was a category for vets, so I am not sure why I was not allowed to race in this category. The officials were reasonably friendly, more so that their Hong Kong counterparts and some of the other riders even spoke to me, well spoke to Nellie.  Anyone with a UCI International licence is welcome to race there in the Elite category. Still not sure why they insist on the UCI licence, but I think the HKCA insist that Macau riders produce such a licence to race in HK, so they have a similar rule. Report by TJ.




Tour de Bintan 21/11/09 - 22/11/09
 
I started to get a bad feeling when I arrived in Bintan. Lots of people came up to me and said everyone was talking about me and working out how they were going to stop me winning. I found that quite odd, but I guess they didn't know that I felt shattered from my training load and had nearly decided not to come. So the three strong teams, ANZA (Singapore expat team), the OCBC Singapore pro team and Champion Systems (the small HK contingent led by John Tonks) seemed to be forming anti-Colin plans. Those plans were going to be difficult to defeat given both my aching legs and lack of a team. But you can only do your best…

The first stage surprised me positively in several ways. First, the organisation for the race was fantastic. In its first edition it managed to be the best organised stage race I've been to in Asia. The start area, sign-on and briefings all worked well. Second, the 130km course and road surface turned out to be great and the support (water etc) top-notch. The only feedback to the organisers will be to sort faster wheel changes. Also, the support en-route was awesome - we passed about half a dozen schools where the whole school came out to cheer. Quite a bit of the route had spectators which felt great.

In true Colin-style, I launched attacks from the gun. Over the first hour I was the most frequent attacker but, although the peloton was shedding guys out the back, I couldn't quite snap the elastic holding the stronger guys. The course didn't suit me as there was a continual supply of shorter rolling hills, which suited strong sprinters and not diesels like me. I need a good proper climb of at least a couple of minutes to gap people.  Even when repeated time and time again, the shattered groups scrambled back onto my wheel.

After an hour or so of that, the lead group was down to 12 or so. I screwed up the second KOM, coming into it too slowly, and a group of four got away with Tonks. I had to put the gas down for 5 or so minutes, doing a steady 400-450W to pull them back. And of course no-one helped.

After that, I kinda gave up trying to get away. If I did get a gap, all that happened was Tonks and Graham Cockerton (another ex-pro, based in Singapore, stage winner at the Giro, Tour de Suisse and has ridden several grand tours and many of the big classics) got on my wheel and waited for their teammates to bridge. We let a weakish looking break away and it stayed that way for most of the last 50km. With 10km to go and no-one looking like they would actually close it down, I pulled out my TT legs and hauled the break in. Despite a few more attacks from me, it was a sprint finish, easily won by Tonks. I trailed in at the back of the break, my well-known lack of sprinting skills being clearly demonstrated once again.

The second day had an 80km rolling stage first, then a 40km flattish stage. But the negative racing, especially from ANZA continued. The preferred strategy seemed to be to defend against me, and to try to get most of the ANZA team there at the finish for a sprint. The latter seemed a daft and somewhat negative/cautious strategy given Tonks was always going to whip them in the sprint. Given the 20s time bonus for a stage win, I had to get clear and ANZA needed to do that too. But ANZA focused all their efforts on following my back wheel, leading to the very frequent situation of me attacking, being caught and then riding a zigzag on the road while they all followed me. It was almost as if I ate a gel, they ate a gel!

Despite that, at the KOM at 25km, I got clear with Tonks plus teammate, Cockerton and an OCBC guy. Of course Cockerton and the OCBC lad soft pedalled to let their teammates back on - it should have been a winning break in any other race ridden to a normal strategy. Thinking afterwards, I should probably have dragged the break clear when we got the gap. At 40km I found a slightly longer hill and flicked the turbo switch. I gapped them, there was a crash behind, and I was well clear. For the first time, everyone combined and worked hard - I was caught after a few km. Bugger. I carried on the assaults on the small climbs into the finish and inflicted a lot of suffering as people clawed back the gaps, but at the finish it was still a small group of about 6. I came through in 4th or 5th, with Tonks pipping the gallopers again.

Due to time bonuses I was 40s behind Tonks and needed a proper break, which wasn't going to happen on a mainly flat 40km course. Still, it was worth trying. I sat in second wheel and soft-pedalled to let two ANZAs away. After a bit, Tonks realised his lead was in danger and started to work with his team to pull back. They were getting it back around 15km, at the KOM, where I launched. I got gaps but again Tonks and Cockerton clung on and wouldn't come through. One by one their teammates scrabbled back and that was that. I had one last throw of the dice with 5km to go. My mate, riding for ANZA :-), led me out past the group and we got a 100m gap. Cockerton was too smart and was glued to my wheel but there was a decent gap back to bunch. I put the hammer down. Tonks plus teammate scrabbled across the gap and we were back to the usual situation with me gunning a break with those two glued to my wheel. Again their teammates hauled across the gap one by one. So to a sprint finish - won by? Tonks of course, except I think he got demoted for jersey pulling! Still, he won overall, deservingly so. Cockerton came second overall but I was a bit disappointed ANZA didn't race for the win, and only seemed to race for second and to make sure I didn't win. Hey ho.

But it was still fun, a great course and well-organised. The only post-race letdown being the results appear a bit screwed up. If they include the TT next year, and we have a small team, then we could nab the GC and I'd fancy Ed for the sprint jersey. Well worth a trip next year and with $10,000 prize money this year alone, you might even win more than the trip costs!

cheers

Colin

http://www.tourdebintan.com/


 
Shenzhen Bike Festival 21/11/09
 

40km Road Race

First off was Roberto in the 40km road race. Having discarded layers of clothes embedded with Olympic sweat, and been told off about his race number, he got down to the business of racing.  As Roberto came through the start /finish line, he was at the front with the rest of the riders strung out in a line behind him, their faces grimacing with pain. On the final lap the Olympic spirit came through as Roberto attacked and crossed the finish line in 2nd position, just running out of time to catch the 5 seconds he lost on the first rider. Roberto's full account with added Italian here: http://runbackby7.blogspot.com/2009/11/che-sprint.html

80km Road Race (Open)

Ed, Justin and T.J. lined up for this one. Justin was a bit anxious as he was participating in his first race outside of Hong Kong and his first over a distance of 50km. As he rolled up to register, he noticed all the guys that he normally raced against were doing the 40km. This could only mean the elite guys were going to do the 80km. Champion Systems, CMS, SCAA, Vigor were all very well represented with a few other local Shenzhen teams. The strategy as relayed to him by Laz, who was there at the start line imparting words of wisdom, was to just hang in the bunch and let the other teams do the work. Sounded like a good plan. Garoid, was also taking in the words of wisdom as he nibbled on a piece of cake or was it an energy bar?

Justin’s heart rate was already 160bpm on the start line from nerves and anticipation. He had a clean start and took a position mid pack,  with T.J. just behind him. Ed was up front. On the first lap as we were half way through the circuit, going downhill on a straight stretch of road, the group slowed right down. Justin heard the sound of carbon, metal,  Just  like "Bullet time" in the Matrix movies, he saw bikes flying in the air and he managed to bunny hop his bike over a rider in front of him and swerved left outside the barriers, just missed being hit by  passing traffic. Ed  who was up front (safest place to be), managed to avoid the carnage. T.J  braked heavily to avoid going over a fallen rider, but as he held onto a road side railing, he was hit from behind, which resulted in all but two of his gears being put out of action. Having regained his composure, he managed to chase back and get onto the back of the peloton, just as Justin was easing his way into the group, which appeared to have slowed considerably.  

As the bunch passed the start /finish line, the old guy ducked into the pit lane for repairs, which were sorted out by the mechanics before the peloton came around again. Having avoided the race officials trying to grab/confiscate his race number, T.J. got back into the bunch again. While the old guy was having the repairs carried out, on lap 2 as some riders went wide around a corner someone took out a barrier. Justin on this occasion, before he knew it, was at the back of the pack and after some fast cornering, found himself going out the back with the pack disappearing in the distance. He put his head down and hoped that a trailing group would come up soon. After riding 3 laps on his own, finally a group of 4 reached him and he sat on the back for a bit, before they all began working together. Later they were joined by 6 more.

At the front things were fast and furious, with different individuals going off the front at various intervals, but being chased down and brought back into the fold.  Ed was up there in the thick of things and was always strategically placed, about 5th or 6th from the action at the front of the peloton. A group of about 10 riders managed to get away and Ed latched on. The break looked as if it was going to succeed but, it was chased down, and it was brought back after being away for 2 laps.   

As the peloton reorganized itself,  Ed came back down the peloton and no sooner was he half way down, when a group of about 6 riders went off the front. This group contained Kenjee from CMS, a Champion Systems rider and 4 others from the mainland. There was very little reaction from the main peloton and after about two laps the lead group had opened up a gap of about 1 minute. Ed and the old guy were heard discussing the break, both realized that the group was  probably gone for the day. Ed had the strength and good sense to  move up the peloton. With 3 laps to go, a group of 5 riders managed to escape.  After they had opened a gap of about 200 meters, Ed took off in pursuit, taking no passengers.  After a short explosive chase at 50 kph, he managed to get onto the back of the group. No sooner was he on, when he was being invited to go to the front and do his turn, but being an experienced rider, he took a breather at the back before edging his way to the front. The group worked well together and opened up a gap of 30 seconds on the peloton.

The peloton, with about 2 laps to go, decided to chase the 2nd group on the road and with half a lap to go, were within 10 seconds of the 2nd group, but then, the chasers sat up and the gap opened up again to about 30 seconds. Justin’s group were lapped by the break away groups and the chasing peloton. There was a bit of controversy as a few guys in his group joined the breakaway group and also the chasing pack. Justin managed to hang on to the peleton for 1/2 a lap before being spat out the back. A mainland rider from the lead group on the road, managed to escape and he crossed the finish line about 60 seconds ahead of the next group on the road of about 5 riders and containing Kenjee from the CMS team, who crossed the line in second place.

The second group on the road, comprising 6 riders, came in a further 30 seconds back, with Ed messing up his sprint to take 3rd in that group.  About 20 seconds back was the main peloton with T.J. tucked in at the back of the group. Justin came in some time later, tired and sore but delighted with having finished his first major road race in China.

All in all, it was a good performance by all who came to race. Roberto was awarded 2nd place and received RMB1,500 and a mountain bike, which was donated to a cleaning lady. Ed for his 8th place overall in the main race, received RMB200 and a helmet. Justin and T.J. were happy with their performance and are looking forward to the outing in Zuhai.

See also http://www.cyclingnewsasia.com/index.php/en/road/35-general/254-the-2nd-shenzhen-bike-festival-

Report by T.J. More photos and video of finish (last in series) here & here

Roberto lines up
 
 
 
 
Roberto takes 2nd
 
Roberto takes 2nd 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Roberto takes 2nd
 
TJ, Laz and Justin get ready
 
Ed lines up
 
Justin chases
 
Ed on the hoods
 
TJ corners
 
Ed in the drops 
 
T.J. chases.
 
Ed sprints
 

 
Science Park 15th November '09

Despite not having any team kit, team colossi.cc made a winning start to the new season with the first local criterium in Science Park, Tai Po.

First up were Laz and Ed in EliteB with TJ in the 50's going off at the same time. Warming up, Ed had looked pretty weary from his efforts to hang onto the Tonks express the day before and to top it off had forgotten his caffeine fix. Luckily Laz came to the rescue with some condensed Red Bull and after a delayed start they finally got under way. The roads were greasy from a few rain drops which is bad for the cornering confidence, but not as bad as when two guys go down on the first turn. Riding the storm, the colossi riders made it through and soon mixed it up at the front with some attacks and covering moves. Despite only having 3 riders it was left up to us to bring back one rider soloing off the front. Laz did the lion's share to close the gap with Ed on his wheel. Coming out of the last corner Laz got jumped by a pair of riders winding up the sprint. Ed managed to grab the wheel and with 250m to did his best Abdujaparov impression (according to Roberto) down the outside with no response from the competition to take the win by a good 3 bike lengths. TJ was unlucky not to get the win in the 50's but secured a fine podium finish in 2nd. Laz finished in the bunch out of trouble. Some great team work and the result to match.

Next up were Colin and Justin in the 30's and Roberto in the 40's. Going into the race Roberto was disappointed to learn that no dismounts or climbing grassy banks would be required, but looked good all the same in his vintage Italian club jersey (surely the winner of Colossi substitute jersey of the day despite Colin's Team Scotland efforts). The smart money was on danger man John Tonks and HK dark horse Colin 'I'm not a sprinter' Robertson going off the front for a break away and so it proved, with CMS leading the bunch to no avail. John and Colin seemed to be working well, with Colin in full TT mode on the straights, arms over the cables David Millar style, showing his Time Trial class. But with a lap to go John slipped away on one of the corners and got a gap. Despite looking quicker on the straights Colin could not bridge but still came across the line first in category with a fine solo effort. It was a photo finish for the podium placings with the rest of the bunch hammering down. Roberto got 4th in Cat and Justin 6th. Some mutterings about leaving sprints too late could not overshadow the fact we had another colossi.cc victory!

Without any contenders in the folding bike (..), mtb or junior Cats the final race was the Open Cat. Unfortunately the late start meant that only TJ and Justin were left able to contend this one and unluckily Justin got caught up in a crash coming down the final straight. Luckily he's OK but a reminder to all that the best place to be is off the front! An unfortunate end to what was otherwise a very successful first outing for colossi.cc. Imagine how good the photos will look when our new team kit arrives!

Photos courtesy of http://www.fotop.net/lamhing/2009 and full results up on http://www.cycling.org.hk/Eng_Frame/emainframe.htm shortly. Report by Ed.

Laz (in black), Ed (in white) and TJ (in yellow) lead the bunch in EliteB & 50-59.



Ed fails to get his hands up in time in the Elite B


Colin leads John Tonks off the front of the 30-39 & 40-49.


Justin leads the bunch with Roberto (red white & blue) close behind.

Colin corners.

Justin mixing it in Open Cat.


TJ gets the power down.

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