One year ago I was travelling around Asia with my fixed gear. I was training and racing a lot with locals, also in Malaysia. A few months ago my friends from Malaysia and Singapore contacted me to tell me about a collaboration between HolyCrit from Singapore and Ipoh Cycle Fest from Malaysia.
„Come back to Malaysia and race with us!“
So last Wednesday at midnight I arrived in Kuala Lumpur. Crazy feeling! Seeing my friends Azrul and Syafiq picking me up at the airport. From the airport we went straight to town to see my other friends Dimi and Apis, who couldn’t join the race at that weekend. Tea and Nasi Goreng kept me awake for quite a long time. To bad we wanted to start cycling the next morning at 5am.
Back at the Hostel I built up my bike, closed my eyes for 30 minutes and then it was already time to leave. We were a group of six riders, three Malay, two Australians and me. Luckily we had a car to accompany us, because the plan was to cycle from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. 200km under Malaysian sun. The first hours were amazing! We started on a huge freeway with plenty of cars. But when we left Kuala Lumpur we also left the hectic traffic behind us. The roads became smaller and we had more time to enjoy the landscape.
With an average speed of 34 we were flying towards the north, just stopping for teh tarik and roti canai. But after 130km I felt the long flight, the short night and the burning sun. We decided to drive the last 70km with the car.
Next day was race day. We relaxed from the long trip the day before and prepared ourselves for the race. The official starting time was 11pm. But Malaysia wouldn’t be Malaysia if the race would start on schedule. We were sitting with a huge group of riders and Malaysian friends at the side of the course, chatting and drinking coffee, until the race started at 1:30am! I was already freakin’ tired. However, my plan was to keep the pace high from the first second of the race. I worked together with Syafiq and Archie and Derek from Australia. After a few laps Derek and I were in the leading group of seven riders. Too bad, both of us nearly crashed when the leading motorbike slowed down during one of our attacks. I sneaked through a gap and Derek jump on the pavement to avoid a crash. Unfortunately he ended up with a flat tire. We dropped two more riders and get around the last corner as a group of four. Damn, these two riders from the Malaysian national team were fast. I crossed the finish line on a super haps third place!
Such a great night with great people!
The next day we headed back to Kuala Lumpur, where Syafiq showed me the old Velodrome of Kuala Lumpur. In the middle of town, right next to a freeway, but also abandoned. The catacombs are flooded and the track itself is dirty and bumpy. Maybe because it will be demolished in Juli. Unfortunately not to build a new one. Luckily just 20-30km out of town the government built a new one. Maybe one day it will also be opened for public.
by: Jo Fischer
All Pics by Tan Supapat Supapunpinyo @tannsupapat