After a great team performance over almost a week of racing on October 11th 2020 our rider Nikodemus Holler won the GC at Tour of Thailand 2020. One year later six of our riders will put in everything to repeat another result like that at their last event of the year 2021.
Four days ago Nikodemus Holler, Leo Bouvier, Matthias Schnapka and Jasper Pahlke met at Frankfurt airport to escape the German winter for six days of racing in hot and humid Thailand. At that time Lucas Carstensen and Adne van Engelen, who live in Thailand for most of the time when there is no racing in Europe, already spent a month there enjoying the sunny weather.
Overall the six day UCI 2.1 stage race has a pretty flat route design. There are four stages with very little to none climbing. The first three mountain KOMs will be battled out on the third stage. The biggest highlight of the race is the last stage which ends with a three kilometer climb. It is the most decisive part for the GC contenders demanding every last bit of energy the riders will have left in their tanks. In Songkhla, which is in the very south of Thailand close to the Malaysian border, stage one starts on the first of December. For the most time the 146 km route will go up the east coast until it finishes in Phattalung. Day two is a big circuit around Phattalungs lake covering a massive 230km! The third stage will also start in Phattalung. The 146 km route has three mountain KOMs at kilometer 42, kilometer 88 and kilometer 97 and finishes in Trang. Stage four is another 144 km flat circuit that goes down the west coast passing Hat Chao Mai Nationalpark. It finishes in Trang where the fifth stage will start the next day. The penultimate stage covers 157 km and goes down all the way to the south to Satun. On the sixth of December the last stage from Satun to Hat Yai will complete Tour of Thailand making it 979.5 km in total. It’s another 159 km and the two KOMs on the way to the mountain top finish will surely make it an epic final to end the tour!
The team doesn’t only have to aclimatize to the heat and humidity. Getting used to left-hand traffic, the six hour time shift and spicy food takes some time. For Europeans it is unusual to have fried rice packed with chilies for breakfast. But one thing is sure. You will definitely wake up when the heat burns your throat at seven in the morning. Until the beginning of Tour of Thailand on the first of December the team spent three days in Phuket. They have another three days in Songkhla where most of the teams that will compete at the tour stay in the same hotel. Riders have time to catch up with old friends and opponents, get a massage or relax at the beach to recover as much as possible before the race starts.
The tour also brings the opportunity to finally meet our partners Kaze and F2P sportswear in person. We are happy to get know the team behind our bikes and to take look at Kazes factory in Chiang Mai. The same goes with F2P sportswear, the producer of all our cycling clothing, who we will be visiting in Bangkok!