Tour de Timor returning champion Adrian Jackson "AJ" from the Rapid Cycling team won stage 1 of this year's race in 4:12:59. Paul van der Ploeg (Search 2 Retain) finished second (4:17:25) ahead of teammate Luke Fetch in third. Tinker Juarez (Rapid Cycling Team) was fourth in 4:19:41
Jackson came in 4:26 minutes ahead of van der Ploeg. "It was very tough, probably the biggest climb I've done here in Timor," said Jackson.
"I was working with Ben Mather. We sat in the group and tried to encourage everyone to take turns. When we hit the climb, all of us who were sitting back were feeling a bit fresher."
"Neil (van der Ploeg) was off in the front group with Tinker, I was a bit worried about them, but then we obviously caught them, also with us were their team mates Paul and Scott," said Jackson. "It's a long race, anything could happen."
Paul van der Ploeg was also the first U23 racer. "This is my first Tour de Timor. It started off nice and calm, my brother got in with an early break which meant we didn't have to work too hard in the flat section, so I could conserve energy for the Mountain Climb."
"It is completely different to cross country racing, I can't remember the last time I was on the bike for four hours straight at the threshold." The Australian Champion was impressed with the Tour de Timor and said, "Racing the world's best back in Europe you feel it could be easy, but it has been very humbling, they really put me in the hurt-locker".
Legendary rider Juarez made an early break at the turnoff before Manatuto. While he rode hard during the mountain climb, earning himself the King of the Mountain jersey, he was eventually reeled in by riders Jackson, brothers Neil and Paul van der Ploeg and their teammates Fetch and Scott Liston. As the riders took the chance to cool down, "It got really hot," said Juarez. "You just kinda do what you gotta do, it would have been nice to have someone to ride with on the break away."
The Malaysia team had three riders - Shahrin Amir, Mohd Razif Mohd Salleh and Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lufti arrive in places 10, 11, 12, 19:27 behind the winner. "It was quite a switch for me to do TdT," said Lufti. "I am a road racer. I tried to stay with the peloton throughout the race because we knew the front runners were fast, we're going to target a team win."
Portuguese national and trainer of the Timorese National Team, Nelson Silva, finished in 4:33:21, in 13th place. Indonesian national Ahmad Yani (KGB Jakarta) arrived in 4:48:50.
Peta Mullens of the team "Nothing good can come of this" was the first woman to arrive, coming in 21st place with a time of 4:44:10.
The first place Timorese rider today was Jacinto da Costa in 33rd, arriving with brother Orlando in 5:03:31 and 32 respectively. They rode together and kept in the peloton until well after the 40km mark. "We worked well together to keep a good pace, but the top guys are really good," said Jacinto, who happy with the level of support, which is getting better and better each year. "It is a great event and I would like to send special thanks to President Ramos-Horta, the support we have received has been fantastic."
The 111km stage continued the Tour de Timor tradition of starting hard and testing riders from the outset. While the first 65km was relatively easy along good bitumen road winding along the picturesque North Coast of Timor-Leste, the move inland led to significant difficulties for the riders.
The town of Laclubar itself is this year's only mountain stopover. As in other years, the mountain villages are defined by their slower pace of life, majestic scenery and convivial local villagers. The town of Laclubar is the capital of the sub-district, also named Laclubar, and part of Manatuto district. President HE José Ramos-Horta is himself a local of the area coming from Soibada.
Full Results (includes men and women)
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|2||Paul van der Ploeg||0:04:26|
|11||Mohd Razif Mohd Salleh||0:19:28|
|12||Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi||0:19:31|
|23||Wan Mohammed Najmee Wan Mohammed||0:35:20|
|33||Jacinto Da Costa||0:50:32|
|34||Orlando Da Costa||0:50:34|
|43||Neil van der Ploeg||0:58:01|
|49||Pedro Miguel Pinto Carvalho de Figueiredo||1:11:21|
|81||Albertoq Da Costa||1:38:47|