The route was more challenging this year, with countless rolling hills and climbs.
There were 2 crashes that I remember pre-100km. One was at a traffic light turning where a gal and a guy went down. I had kept to the side and managed to avoid. The other one was a BIG crash! Omg. About 20 riders went down. Again, I had kept to the side and managed to ride off-road and weaved among parked vehicles on the side.
Lydia and I managed to hang on to the main peloton till about 90km where the climbs took its toll on our legs.....
I kid you not about the hills!!!!a
I was alone in no man's land for about 20km after getting dropped by the peloton and not having Lydia with me. I learned later that she had got onto the car because of headache and not feeling well. There was no point for me to turn on turbo power mode alone, with all the resistance that would waste my energy, so I cruised between 25-3okm per hour until I found some riders.
I lost this group after a water stop. I think I had gone on ahead before them. Next thing I knew, Meng passed me and slapped his butt, a signal for me to draft him and his group. Thank heavens! I hopped on his train, and went on. We took turns to work in the front, until I started getting that tingling feeling you get in your quads before cramps start to set in.
And it did. I suffered a really bad cramp in both of my quads at about 140km. Really bad that I had to fall behind our group and stop by the side to nurse them. About 10 minutes later, Lydia and Poh Seng passed me, with 2 more gals (I presume are Singaporean)!. Lydia and Poh Seng then turned back and came to my rescue. I later learned that Poh Seng had also gotten up the car as he was involved in the big crash and his bike was totaled. Lydia fed me 4 power gels in total and a whole bottle of her 100 plus, which kept my cramps at bay.
One after another, they took turns and pulled me past the two gals who had overtaken me in my distressed state by the road. Yes!! THis was the most exciting 15km ride of my life. We then caught up with Meng and the group that I had droppped from, and got them to work for us!
With only 5km more to go, I put in whatever strength and mental power that I had left to make sure the two gals behind me wouldnt catch up. I shut out the pain in my quads and the labored breathing in my chest, and focused only on my cadence. Any mistake in my cadence would results in a step further to cramping really bad.
And finally!! We reached the rolling stretch before the FINISH line. Turned into the road, climb up the last winding stretch, and get onto the drops to the FINISH!!!We get hosed down by firefighters a few metres after crossing the finish line! There's Poh Seng in the red helmet, my hero workhorse.
This is my face after suffering 30km of cramps on a 160km ride! It is the expression of holding on to dear life and shutting out intense pain for more than 2 hours!
Me and my awesome heroes - Lydia on the left and Meng on the right! This placing goes to them!
For more stories, pictures, and official results from the race, hop on to http://centuryridemalaysia.blogspot.com/