South East Asian cyclists dominate the 4th stage of Tour de Singkarak 2013

Friday, 7 June 2013 | 1241

Flagged off from Sijunjung Regency and finishing at the Punjung Island Dharmasraya Regency, the 4thstage of Tour de Singkarak 2013 took competing cyclists over a 189.5Km course under a bright scorching sun. South East Asian cyclists dominated the scene led by Malaysian Loh Sea Koengyang from the Continental Cycling Team (Singapore) who finished first place clocking at 04:29:44, followed by Indonesia’s own Fito Bakdo Prilanji from the CNN Cycling Team Brunei in second place and Rastra Patria Darmawan from the Indonesia National Team in third.

The three leading racers displayed fierce competition and raced neck and neck all the way to the finish line, giving the audience an exceptional spectacle. Dominated by flat tracks with few ascending roads, the course of the 4th stage made the race a close and balanced one, although eventually the racers broke into several groups, but still with relatively close distances.

In the General Classification, Alireza Asgharzdeh from Tabriz Petrochemical Team Iran managed to reclaim the yellow jersey which was previously was won by Johan Coenen from Luxembourg. Coenen dropped back to second place totaling 8 seconds behind Asgharzdeh.

The local authorities and the people of Punjung Island warmly welcomed all participating racers with festivities and traditional cultural performances including Reog Ponorogo from East Java, Gendang Tasa, Tor-tor Dance from North Sumatra, and obviously West Sumatra’s own Minang art performances. The regent of Dharmasraya stated that the traditional cultural performances that were presented to the racers were aimed to introduce the wide variety of culture that exists in Dharmasraya.

Dharmasraya is a newly formed District which was once the site of ancient kingdoms with capitalat Pulau Punjung. Here still lie scattered, awaiting further research, many artifacts from the Hindu-Buddhist period to the more recent Islamic time.  A stone inscription found at Padang Roco mentions that Dharmasraya, a Malay kingdom emerged after the fall of the mighty Srivijaya. Another inscription found at Chaiya in south Thailand and an old report from China entitled Zhufan Zhi dated 1225, both mention that Dharmasraya’s power extended to the Malay Peninsula.

This kingdom also held relations with the Singosari kingdom in East Java, whilst another historic record in the Nagarakretagama mentions that the Malay Kingdom was a vassal of the Hindu  Majapahit kingdom, in East Java, which followed Singosari.  

The Tour de Singkarak continues today, Thursday 6th June 2013 with the 5th stage with a challenging course, taking cyclists from the town of Sawahlunto to Muaro Labuh covering a total distance of 138.5 Km.