Stage 5, was a crazy stage for Team Infinite Singha!February 5th, 2014 | Posted by in PETER POULY | PHOTO | TEAM
on paper, it looked like a typical day with rolling hills, flats, more rolling hills, then the KOM1 at KM78, a cat 4 climb, followed by KOM 2 at KM121, a cat 3 short but steep climb… then it’s down and flat all the way to the line.
right from the gun, there were attacks all over the place, nothing new you would think. with the furious pace so quickly over the hills, i could only watch helplessly from the back while the KOM jersey wearer Peter chased every move that has a GC threat to him.
a break then went, with riders of no danger to Peter’s GC or KOM points.
the nightmare for Team Infinite Singha was just about to begin!
Team 7/11, Road bike Philippines, Philippines Army, Philippines Navy, Standard insurance Philippines, sent riders one by one up the road, attacking left and right. Morgan and Vincent tried their best to chase and closed gaps with Peter on toll. Each time, we closed the gaps, the pace either goes up or another attack went!
when we could do no more, Peter, like always would chase on his own. he never had problems the past few stages and today was no expection!
then the unexpected happened… 4 riders from Team 7/11 riders attacked, abandoning their GC leader Cris behind…. followed by more attacks from Road Bike Philippines and the rest of the other Philippines team… leaving Peter and Cris looking at each other.
by the time i realised what they were doing, Peter rode up next to me and said, he is going to let go of the GC for now… Peter knows the Filipinos had ganged up against us and no one were helping us. when Peter, Morgan and Vincent were not chasing, they would sit back… and when are are in front, they would followed our wheels.
by now, riders one by one were going up the road, with no reaction from the peleton… by the time you knew it, there were only a handful of riders left…. including Peter (3rd on GC) and Cris of 7/11 (1st on GC).
at one point, this small peleton was only going at 25km/hr… i had a conversation with Peter and he said, we can’t be doing this chasing all day… let it go, he said… he then said, he will do something on the stages with mountain top finishes.
with that, we were crusising at under 30km/hr for the next 5km with some 60km to go!
then the epic move of the day happened!
Cris attacked! Peter followed with Vincent on toll… the peleton just continue to cruise… and we opened up a gap of over 400 metres!
Cris, upon seeing both of us came up to him, asked Peter and I to work… Peter shaked his head and said, “you kill me, i kill you”. this is exactly what I heard!
then, Peter started accelerating, Cris followed and they disappeared over the crest of the hill! i happily waited for the peleton. my job is done for the day…
in front, but behind some 45 riders, an epic battle unfolded between KOM leader Peter and GC leader Cris!
the media van also sped off and went to cover this battle between the two respective leaders!
as they approached the foot of the last KOM, Peter throttled on but Cris was able to match him pedal stroke for stroke. each time, Peter stand up to dance, Cris was there next to him.
as they both climbed, they were catching riders one by one, like dead flies… they must have passed ten riders… maybe more.
with 500 metres before the summit, Peter stand up once more and do his thing! this time, Cris put his head down… he got distanced and Peter danced away.
at the summit, Peter went full gas… down the descent… on the flat with speed excessive of 50km/hr… riders that he then caught was not able to come in front anymore, some found it hard to even stay on his wheel.
he throttled on to the line with a whole string of riders in toll…
at the end, though Peter still retained the KOM jersey, he lost some 9′ mins to the stage winner Feng Chun Kai (congrats once again), and dropped from 3rd to 12th on GC, some 6’14 secs behind a new GC leader. the previous GC leader Cris is now 9′ mins down at 16th.
Peter had killed Cris!