There is this song here at the Tour of Langkawi they play at the start of every stage. It’s simply known to us as the ‘Tour of Langkawi song’. But it’s so much more than a song. It has such a strong presence, I swear I was singing it before I even got here. Everyone I know who has done this race talks about the song. For some, it’s the only thing they remember. I’m actually singing it right now and my roommate Timmy looks like he wants to rip my head off!
I have a theory that we all have a way of forgetting pain and suffering. And since races seem to come with their fair share of suffering, unless we win, we normally remember how nice the hotels were, how good the food was, how beautiful the country was, and yes, how catchy that tune was. So, if everyone who has done this race comes away singing that song, I figured the race had to get a lot harder.
Sure enough, today there was no messing around. No more taking in the scenery, enjoying the mysteriousness of a foreign country. It was down to business.
As if the start wasn’t aggressive enough, at kilometer 25 we had a 3-kilometer, 15% grade climb. The field split immediately and Timmy and I made the front group of 20 and tried to follow all the moves. Then two guys launched on the descent; but two guys never seem to pose much of a threat.
The field was content to watch the duo struggle out front. But as their gap started climbing, the attacks picked up. We had Ricardo (right) get in a three man group that went on the hunt. But they couldn’t reach the break and came back with about 60 km to go. The time gap was around six minutes and it was time to make a decision. Chase or let them go.
So with Ricardo taking a few last digs in front and Christian Meier (above) riding like three men, the gap started coming down. For the sprint, we did what we could to protect CJ. But with a straight, pan-flat run in for the last 10 km, there wasn’t much we could to but hope for a bit of luck. Unfortunately she didn’t show up today. But there are plenty more opportunities for both CJ and the rest of us climbers.
I’d like to come away from this one with more than a catchy tune!
Garmin-Slipstream stage 2 results
1. Mattia Gavazzi 3h42’13″
13. Chris Sutton +00″
24. Lucas Euser +00″
30. Timmy Duggan +00″
43. Christian Meier +00″
89. Ricardo van der Velde +00″
108. Cameron Meyer +00″
1. Mattia Gavazzi 6h48’35″
5. Chris Sutton +14″
10. Christian Meier +19″
12. Ricardo van der Velde +19″
31. Lucas Euser +20″
68. Timmy Duggan +20″
98. Cameron Meyer +20″