Friday, January 11, 2008

Jelajah Malaysia Stage 4 Batu Pahat - Muar.

Flag off for this stage was scheduled at 10am. The tour entourage consisted of me and Ali (takde orang lain dah ke? Kasi le awek cun ke). We arrived at Padang JKR at about 9.15am, and the camera trigger finger ensued.

Riders lining for signature control. Riders who pulled off the race were marked with a black square on the board.

Tour Chairman, Datuk Asta-the Man Abdul Aziz. He's related to Ali. So dapat VIP pass. Hahaha. Korang ingat Ali tu kawan baik aku ke? Karot je sebenarnya. Hahahaha. Aku dah plan benda ni 5 bulan dah.

Tips for people who are going for Ironman. Down at least 5 bananas before the race. Pros do it.

The newest local celebrity. Anuar Manan is a crowd pleaser, shown here shaking hands and high-fiving his fans. One uncle shouted before the start, "SAYA PEMINAT NOMBOR 1 ANUAR MANAN!!!" and later a blardee loud "MALAYSIA BOLEH!!!"

This is him.

The previous stage category leaders. From foreground to back: Amir Mustaffa, Hossein Askari, Li Fuyu, Anuar Manan.

At EXACTLY 10am, the riders were released.

Like a true cycling enthusiast, Datuk Astaman hurried on his motorcycle (yes, the vehicle with 2 wheels) and jumped on behind the peloton. Ni baru la dikatakan minat. Kalau orang lain, mesti pergi minum teh O secawan, makan karipap sebijik, lepas tu borak-borak, then masuk keta Mercedes, air-con full blast.

After flag off, we got into the van and went straight to Yong Peng through a bypassing route, hoping to rendezvous with the peloton. But we we're too slow and they've blocked the road way ahead of our anticipation. So we had to walk quite a distance to get to the race route, but still we were few minutes too late. The pictures of the rendezvous were taken few hundred meters from the route.

Breakaway group. Anuar Manan seen here, second rider from right.

Peloton was just slightly under a minute from the break.

Off to Muar and we arrived early. Trigger finger went over-time.

I'm not really into photography. The camera was my brother's. But the reason I bring it along is so that people would take me seriously without me even trying. Point? This uncle here.

For no apparent reason, he came up to me and said "Mau ambik gambar ka? mau tengok helang punya layang-layang? Haaa. Mari mari tengok". I wasn't even going to buy it. "Takpa la. You mau ambik gambar bukan?"

Maybe he's just friendly. Or maybe he's trying to show off his Kanye West shades.

He also showed off his 'snake'. Hahaha. Don't play play. 30-foot long snake wei.

On to the race proper, the Organizer did a very good job. Everyone was updated with the whereabouts of the riders. The MC especially, did a superb job. Compared to Tour de Langkawi, where the MC's main concern was to keep the spectators off the road, the MC for Jelajah Malaysia actually hyped the atmosphere up. The relay of information is commendable.

"Breakaway group mendahului peleton sejauh 11 minit!! Dan pelumba team Kuala Lumpur, Suhardi Hassan berada di dalam breakaway group ini. Jika ini diteruskan hingga akhir perlumbaan, Jersi Putih akan bertukar tangan hari ini."

Even for thouse who don't understand how the point system works will at least feel fired up.

Stage winner, Frederick Johansson.

Last rider of the breakaway group, who's wearing an obvious battle scar. I believe this is Masakazu Ito from team Japan.

And along came the bunch group.

Stage winners: 1st place, Frederick Johansson (center), 2nd place, Kohei Uchima (right), 3rd place, Tonton Susanto (left).

Stage 4 jersey holders (L-R): Suhardi Hassan, Hossein Askari, Tonton Susanto, Anuar Manan.

Post-race window shopping:

Team Malaysia's bike.

Team Skil Shimano's bike. If only I had a bigger bag, aku curi dah benda ni.

Wheels of fortune.

When this photo was taken, at least 8 bystanders were eyeing on them bottles. Immediately a team member brought out a bag and packed everything up. Damn, melepas.

After the race, we had a big lunch with some of the crew members. Dah kata VIP. Haha.

And last but not least, may I present you the Electcom Babes.

Jelajah Malaysia is definitely here to stay and it's only going to get better. Judging from its low budget compared to TdL (I don't know exactly, but TdL had butt load of sponsors, sanctioned by the government AND was worthy to be discussed in the Parliament. Jelajah Malaysia only had one main sponsor), Jelajah Malaysia is a pocket rocket. TdL should learn something from it.

Datuk Astaman, you truly are the man!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jom Jelajah Malaysia

Tomorrow, or rather in 8 hours, I'll be watching the stage 4 of Jelajah Malaysia in Batu Pahat. Then, a 40-minute drive to Yong Peng to catch the peloton passing the town. Another hour of driving to Muar to end the adventure at the finishing line, and hopefully bagging some freebies in the process. And if I'm lucky enough, scoring an all-access pass for the event, courtesy of the Chairman himself. Finally the policemen can ease off. No more "Bang, berdiri belakang sikit ye."

Tomorrow's driving route in red:

Sapa mau join? Jumpa di Muar. Kita lunch asam pedas ikan pari lepas tengok orang ride. Yee-hahahahaw.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


I'm now drinking expired coffee, with sugar I snuck out from Chili's 5 years ago. What can I say, un-domesticated men only buy mee Maggi and eggs when we go shopping.

To those who have visited this site in the past 4 weeks and got fed up with Macaulay Culkin Home Alone jawdrop, I apologize for my absence.To those who have been prompting me for an update, I'm so sorry, but I have to disappoint you again.

I'm 52 days away from my ultimate, paramount, last hurrah, final exit exam. The status quo denies me to spend my free time typing other things than my clinical case portfolio (I rather call it porkfolio. Kebencian terhadap benda apa hala ni yang teramat sangat tahap Jurus Memecah-belah 7 Lapisan Langit Tahap ke-23 Bab 6 Muka Surat 105 HUUUAAARRGGGHH!! KAME HAME HAA!!!!!!!).

For my own benefit, should I sustain retrograde amnesia from cerebral hyperfunctioning, these are what happened in the past 4 weeks.

December 8-14: Working extremely hard to get the IMU Community Health Project running smoothly. By having everyone under pressure on most times during the week, it actually brought out real character of people whom I thought I knew. With that I refuse to make further comments. Bwaahahahaha.

December 15 & 16: IMU Community Health Project. This was done in Kampung Parit Othman, 21km northwest of Batu Pahat. The team screened 110 adults and 70-odd children for common diseases. An 11-out-of-10 effort to the whole team! Everything went smoothly as planned.

December 20-25: A well-deserved 6-day holiday. Zero cycling. Haha. But the 6 days were put to good use on catching up with family and friends. All in all, a wholesome holiday.

December 31: The day I discovered fragments of Heaven on Earth. It comes in the form of Secret Recipe's Raspberry Cheesecake.

I can't wait to see the real Heaven.
This blog now has waaaaay to many pictures of food.

January 1: My favourite minister was assasinated politically. Haih. Well at least he can use the spare time he has now to work on his autobioraphy. Hey, I've even saved him some time by designing the cover already.

Coming to a bookstore and DVD shop near you.
Inspired from an old friend of ours.

2007 refelction? Nah, I lost my mirror.

2008 resolution? No thanks. Have you ever noticed, there's a LOSER in RESOLution.

Well I hope that's not all. I'll be back grinding (slow) rubber on the roads of Ulu Langat and rocking the bandwidth in 55 days or so.