Tour de Singkarak: the Padang Circuit and the Race to Pariaman
posted_on 1 Jan 1970 07:00 | id_view 1389
Impatiently awaiting the Start of the Tour de Singkarak on Monday, 6th June, the Taman Budaya Sumatera Barat, cultural center of West Sumatra was jammed with over two thousand people, all eager to watch competing international cyclists in their multicolored, tight fitting suits on sophisticated bikes. The blaring West Sumatran music by the main stage where the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Indonesia, Jero Wacik, together with directors and local officials were seated became the central spectacle as the most talented girls and boys of the city of Padang showed their best performance, dancing the extraordinary tari piring and entertained with shows on traditional drums.
The narrow street of Jalan Samudra, Padang cleared as the sun lowered although the heat seemed to keep racers away from the scorching sun. At around 15.00 the the race began, when Minister Jero Wacik waved the checkered flag and the crowd vigorously drummed on the barrier fences.
The crowd cheered in awe. The sprinting racers zipped away and the first sensation of a most exhilerating sporting event was in the air.
The narrow Padang Beach road looked like a subway when 225 racers together left the Starting line in more than 50 km/h speed. Five laps circling around the city of Padang was quite a spectacle for the locals. With 12.2 kilometers in one lap this made a perfect 61-kilometer circuit for the first day of the Race.
After a grueling competition among the 13 participating teams, Ferinanto of United Bike Kencana, Malang, Indonesia separated himself from the rest, touched the Finish line before the shadowing competitors from the Terengganu Malaysia cycling team, Chan Jae Jang, and another rider of the United Bike Kencana, Projo Waseso. These three had kept their position to the finish line to mark the lines of winners for the first day of the Tour de Singkarak.
Fernianto concluded the first stage in 1:28:23 with 10 bonus points, followed by Jang with 8 points, and Waseso with 4 points. Along with the lining winners, recorded were Haghi of Iran as the best sprinter, again, Jang as the best climber. Fernianto, Haghi, and Jang deserved and gained their individual honorary jerseys.
Jang of Malaysia’s Terengganu cycling team was impressed with the hospitality and the surrounds of Padang, although he did mention the exceptional heat during the opening day. As a Korean, he looked forward to traversing the complete 7 stage route to the last stage to the amazing Lake Singkarak.
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 marked the second stage from Padang to Pariaman, via Sicincin. Students and locals in villages along the 105-kilometer cycling route excitedly waited for the speeding racers to pass. The starting line was at the Padang Beach at Padang, and ended at the popular Gondoria Beach at Pariaman. The villages and view between Padang and Pariaman were extraordinary.
After a 105 kilometer race from Padang to Pariaman, passing smooth curves and challenging road surfaces in certain districts, the Finish line at the Gondoria Beach of Pariaman saw the welcoming crowd cheering on. Amir Zargari of the University of Azad, Iran proved his superior stamina and strength in front of hundreds of spectators. Zargari finished the second lap between Padang-Pariaman in 2 hours, 20 minutes, and 03 seconds, gaining his highest point of 10 for the day.
Following Zargari, his fellow rider Rahim Emami closely tailed Zargari. They both zipped through the straight street along Gondoriah Beach. The beach is the main natural attraction for locals and visitors alike. Boys and girls wearing red and golden traditional costumes welcomed the other riders with an Indang dance on stage.
Jang of the Terengganu cycling team was inaugurated as the King of Mountain, as he had once again proved his skill as a climber on the less hilly road of Pariaman, ahead of the arduous Kelok 44 hairpin bends route for tomorrow’s race, June 8th, 2011.
The Mayor of Pariaman invited some of the riders to stay in Pariaman, while the rest of the teams following the schedule, went back to Padang, although they will return to Pariaman to start the race tomorrow, heading towards Bukittinggi.
Overall, racers thought it was a good challenging competition so far and all are looking forward to face a cooler region into the highlands around Bukittinggi tomorrow.