Tour de Batam 2023: A Weekend of Thrills and Triumphs

Tour de Batam 2023: A Weekend of Thrills and Triumphs

The inaugural Tour de Batam 2023 marked the beginning of an exciting cycling tradition on the island of Batam. With riders from various age groups and clubs, this world-class event showcased not only the spirit of competition but also the camaraderie and passion that define the cycling community. Over the course of three days, participants braved challenging terrains, unpredictable weather, and intense competition.

Despite the rain that greeted the riders on the afternoon of Day 1, the energy at the starting line was nothing short of electric. Cyclists, young and old, were undeterred as they prepared to take on the challenging Individual Time Trial.

The rain-slicked roads posed a formidable challenge for the competitors, making the already demanding Individual Time Trial even more testing. The riders showcased their exceptional skills and adaptability as they gracefully maneuvered through the slippery sections, a true testament to their training and dedication.

One of the most heartwarming stories of the day came from the participation of the oldest-ever competitors in Tour de Batam history. Brothers Anton Cheng, aged 74, and Christopher Cheng, aged 66, not only defied their age but also inspired everyone with their unwavering passion for cycling.

Both brothers not only conquered the time trial but also earned their well-deserved Yellow Jerseys. Their presence served as a reminder that Tour de Batam is not just about competition; it’s about celebrating the spirit of cycling and the bonds it creates.

Magnus Uprus from the Greyhounds was the fastest man of the day and the only one rider to complete the course in less than 21min, averaging a speed of 42.9km/h. Similarly, Jennifer Choi from Cycleworx was the only woman to finish the 15km course in under 25min(avg speed: 37.3km/h!). Extra kudos for beating all the youngster, because Magnus and Jennifer compete in the 45-49 and 40-44 age categories respectively.

As the sun began its ascent on Batam’s picturesque landscape, the second day of Tour de Batam 2023 kicked off with a burst of energy and intense competition. Cyclists from various categories cyclists started warming up at Nuvasa Bay at 7am. There were club tents, and music creating a festive atmosphere for all.

With the Gran Fondo Classic doubling as a qualifier for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Aalborg, Denmark in August 2024 the competitive vibes were high. The men were split into a number of pelotons of various age groups, while the smaller women’s field started in one group.

As the day unfolded, Carl Pettersson (4T2) of the Men 35-39 category bridged the gap on the Men 18-34 peloton that was 10 minutes ahead! He emerged overall champion of stage 2 with a remarkable time of 03:43:56.3, more than 5 minutes ahead the next competitor, Matthew Brittain (MatadorRACING). Notably, Muhammad Raihan (Specialized Dynasty Mavericks) and Luke Chambers (Darkart Cylcing) from the Men 18-34 category put up an impressive performance.

The ladies were very competitive with the top 6 women finishing within less than 1 minute of each other. Sri Suyamti (Larilari.Id) emerged the fastest with an impressive time of 03:24:16. Alicia Brittain (MatadorRACING) came in just 9 second behind. The next fastest female, Boram Seo (MatadorRACING ) was 2 seconds further back.

Day 2 of Tour de Batam 2023 was a testament to the heart-pounding excitement and fierce competition that this premier cycling event brings. From calculated tactical maneuvers to surprising twists in the race dynamics, each moment showcased the essence of competitive cycling.

Day 3 dawned with cooler conditions, setting the stage for the 104km Century ride’s departure from Nuvasa Bay.

In the Men 18-34 category, spectators were treated to an exhilarating showdown between the top two riders in the General Classification (GC). After 3 days of intense racing and a total of 6 hours and 50 minutes of accumulated racing time, Muhammad Raihan Bin Mohd Airudin (#817, Specialized Dynasty Mavericks) secured the overall victory with a mere 8-second lead over Luke Chambers (#867, Darkart Cycling). The battle was even tighter between 3rd and 4th. Richard Turner (#853) Greyhounds started the day in third holding a 4 seconds advantage over Arfan Faisal (#855) MatadorRACING. After a great battle Faisal managed to claw back 2 seconds, just short of the podium with the narrowest of margins. (Controversially there was a mistake in one of the Sprint results on Saturday that could have landed him the podium, but the appeal was lodged too late)

In the Men 35-39 category, Matthew Brittain (#757, MatadorRACING) asserted his dominance over the three days, securing victory with a comfortable lead of over 6 minutes ahead of Andrew Philippou (#755, Specialized Dynasty Mavericks) and Oliver Ford (#775, Greyhounds), who finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

The Men 40-44 category witnessed a dramatic finish to the 3rd stage. It was not a clean run into the finish for the Men 40-44 category. Alex Wiseman (#647, Specialized Dynasty Mavericks) emerged as the most consistent rider and clinching 1st place in the GC. He was followed by Louis Smith (#632, MatadorRACING) and Chris Dufton (#628, MatadorRACING).

In the Men 45-49 category, Margus Uprus (#528, Greyhounds) secured victory in the GC thanks to his impressive Individual Time Trial (ITT) performance and bonus seconds. He was followed by Anthony Brown (#519, MatadorRACING) and Ross Sabberton (#520).

The Men 50-54 category saw Mark Jansen’s dominance, as he claimed the GC victory with a commanding lead after winning three consecutive stages. He finished 10 minutes ahead of Brian Johnsen (#446, Bikelabz) in 2nd place and Zdenek Fukar (#472) in 3rd.

In the Men 55-59 category, Chris Reilly (#409, 4T2) claimed the top spot in the GC, followed by Chris Glasby (#411). The battle for 3rd place was incredibly close, with Stephen Ames (#408, Specialized Dynasty Mavericks) securing a spot on the GC podium by just one second over his teammate Richard Paine (#413, Specialized Dynasty Mavericks), who climbed the GC rankings with a 30-second bonus on the final stage.

In the Men 60-64 category, Matt Sheridan (#389, 4T2) emerged as the GC winner. He was followed by Kok Boon Chia (#384) and Wijayaratna Ranjith (#388).
A special mention goes to Christopher Cheng (65-69), the oldest GC cyclist finisher, demonstrating the enduring spirit of cycling.

On the women’s side, Clara Patriciai (Team Garcia, 18-34) and Gillian Li (ANZA, 50-54) secured their GC victories with three consecutive stage wins each. In the other age groups, matadorRACING swept the competition, with Alicia Brittain (35-39), Ponnie Ramirez (Nur Arfanah) (40-44), and Jinella Chua (45-49) claiming victory in their respective categories. The final honors in the women’s competition went to Khoon Hsing Ling in the 55-59 category.

MatadorRACING showed remarkable dominance throughout the tour, ultimately securing the title of Club Champion in both the Men’s (2908 points) and the Women’s division (1460 points). The award for best team celebrations during the prize ceremony goes to the Greyhounds. 🐺🍻🎉

An enthusiastic group of Discovery riders also took to the roads, for a 52km non-competitive ride. William Hu pushed his wheel across the line first in a sprint with Nicholas Child. Dian Larasati Kusuma (Women On Wheels.Cc) was the fastest woman who was 1 minute 30 seconds ahead of the Aussies ladies, Rebecca Orme, Natasha Prasad and Madeleine Seletto.

A special congratulations goes out to all the General Classification winners who exhibited exceptional skill, determination, and endurance throughout the event. Your victories are a testament to your unwavering commitment to the sport of cycling. Well done!

We also want to extend our kudos to all the other teams who competed hard and performed exceptionally well, contributing to the overall excitement of the event. Special thanks to: MatadorRACING, Specialized Dynasty Mavericks, ANZA Cycling, Greyhounds, 4T2, Mighty Riders, Allied World Quantum Racing, Harabas Cycling Team, Integrated Riding Racing Team, KHCC Racing Team, WAB Racing, Team Garcia, Darkart Cycling, RTFI, Cannasia, Singapore Biking Vikings, Hung Chen-2Y3, Gurindam Cycling Club and more. Your dedication and sportsmanship added to the vibrancy of Tour de Batam 2023, and we salute your efforts.

With almost 800 men and women signed up for the epic cycling weekend – 19 percent of them enjoyed their first ever cycling event. Kudos to them for completing their first race! The event also continued to include the less competitive races, the Gran Fondo Challenge and the Gran Fondo Discovery. These are shorter versions of the main tour’s Stage 2 and Stage 3, and account for around 19 percent of the total participants.


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