Thursday, June 10, 2010

Triumphant Tour Draws To A Close

Triumphant Tour Draws To A Close
After over 551 kilometres up mountains, through valleys and around the beautiful lakes of West Sumatra, the Tour de Singkarak has come to an end with teams from Iran dominating the competition.

Tabriz Petrochemical Team of Iran has won this years race with Iranian Ghader Mizbani taking home the yellow jersey with a time of 13 hours, five minutes and 24 seconds.
This isn't the first time Tabriz has had success in Indonesia, having won several cycling races here before including last years Tour de Singkarak.

Sacha Damrow of CCN Colossi of the Netherlands grabbed the green jersey with 12 points in the race. While teams from Iran dominated the Tour overall, it was a great result for Indonesian cycling too with Usman Ali beating foreign competitors and snatching the coveted Polka Dot jersey to become ‘King of Mountain’. This is the first time an Indonesian has won a polka dot jersey in an international competition here since 2006.

‘This is proof that Indonesian riders can compete against the region’s best’ Usman said. The red and white jersey for the top Indonesian cyclist went to Tonton Susano who achieved the impressive time of 13 hours, 12 minutes and one second over all six stages. This year Tonton competed with Iranian team Azad University.

There has been an atmosphere of excitement and anticpation at each stage of the race as the people of West Sumatra have come out in force to support the cyclists. At each stage, children lined the street waving flags and cheering on competitors as they endured the gruelling heat and battled it out on a tough course.

Many of the first time participants in the tour were staggered by the positive reception they received along the way. Cyclists, especially those who had travelled from overseas, were treated like celebrities with children and adults wanting to pose for photos and get their autographs.

For the team from Australia, the reception from the crowd was the highlight of the tour. ’We’re just blown away by it all. The people are so friendly and they all want pictures. It’s great’, said one team member.

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