Dylan Pierre Humbert, Plan B, Volcanoes: The Extended monologue.
Dylan Humbert. A former boxer, turned cycling- masochist recounts his epic three days alongside the Plan B Racing team at the Tour de Ijen, UCI 2.2. His first professional outing as a bike racer overseas. As is evidenced by the photo above (center top), the mountain-volcano stage was nothing short of overwhelming with friendly locals assisting athlete’s on their pilgrimage to the gaping furnace at the top, for an extensive report (both in depth, length and grammatical might) please read on:
stage 1 tour of ijen.
i could give you a run down of the races in china! but honestly shit didnt get real until the racing started in ther tour of ijen.
i was feeling confident going into the first stage race. happy to be out of the 2 degree china weather and into the warmth of indonesia. Bang!! first mistake right there. the first 40 km of the stage was the most brutal 40 km of my life. extremley hot and extremley fast. every team had intensions of starting of with a bang. we headed up a slight incline of 4 percent for the first hour and a half, wich quickly felt like 10.
a few moves went of the front early with one group of 15 going the distance. The rest of the bunch came back together. we managed to get a rider in the front group so i didnt burn any matches and took in the uci experiance. The weather soon changed into typhoon like conditions. a belting cross wind with terential rain. riders comming down left right and centre. fortunatley for myself the pace calmed down as the main focus was to get to the finish. the peloton 120 strong came to the 100km mark with the road flattening out and teams starting to get nervous keen to real the initial break away back. the roads became tight and bumpy as hell. with 20 km to go the pace became ball breaking again. the astana track team took control and pretty much took the bunch to the line. there was still a mad sprint finish for 16th place. comming into the last coner about 20 riders locked up in the wet and took out a bunch of locals standing in there path. good for me! a quick 200m sprint and i came in somwhere between 30th and 40th. super happy to finish the race but slightly unsetlled bye the strength of the bunch! and my thoughts quickly turned to tommorows race! a 147km stage with the last 30km up a volcano. oh shit
stage 2 tour of ijen.
another sunny day with some serious humidity came upon us. today was the only race i had some nervous thoughts over. everyone going on about how steep the climb is! better have a 28 with a compact rah rah rah. as it turns out i left my 11/28 cassette back in the first hotel. looks like im going up in a 25… not good.
the race began with a break away going within the first 10km! suicidal move one would think. the race was flat and relitavley fast for the first 100km. most riders gearing up for the climb that awaited. 110 km and the bunch began to ascend. the roads kicking up to what would be equivlent of lovekin drive. accept 8 km longer. the housing and shops on the side of the road disapeared with the peloton splitting into 3 groups. the intital break away, the second bunch wich included myself and the rest of the plan b riders. and the back group of about 50 riders wich obviously new what was comming and went up at a somewhat normal pace.
the lovley first part of the climb was soon behind us and some pretty serious kicks in the road started to approach us. i hung on with the front group wich now included the intital break away for aslong as my fat ass could. soon enough i got a reality check and relised there was no way in hell i could keep up with some of these guys, slightly unerving considering we still had 18km to go.
things got pretty serious pretty fast. the kicks in the road became absolutley ridculous 25 percent easily. i kept saying to myself dont get of the bike or you fail!! haha. soon enough i had 10km to go riding with some iranian dude. the peloton well and truely strung out. this was no longer a race but a matter of survival. i soon found myself extremley pissed of that i left my 11/28 in the hotel and it was time to fail. i looked up the road at a another massive kick and saw a small bunch of riders walking up. GREAT idea!! straight of the bike i was and trotting up this small mountain within a bigger mountain. it was soon apparent that this was one of the hardest things i had put myself through. well up there with getting into a ring with a pissed of samoan.
the 5 km mark came and i was getting rather frustrated. i was on and off the bike thinking how the hell is this possible. contador couldnt bloody climb this..allot of javanese locals hanging around the side of the road having a good old laugh and giving riders a push back on the bike. 4km… get F*#@%d. 3km new found respect for the sport of cycling. 2km getting photos taken of me walking up with an indonesian pushing my bike and another indonesian pushing me, wich unfortunatley made the front page of the local newspaper the next day!! 1km still on and of the bike and the kicks in the road taking me all the way to the finish. the sight of the 500km mark…better get on the bike here. i tapped over the line swaying side to side. extremley happy that the suicidal climb was over. didnt say much after that. i hated getting off the bike and was extremley frustrated at how big of a reality check that was. i wasnt the only one though. the top five riders where the only guys that aprently didnt get of the bike and rode home.. bullshit! they definently got of the bike.
stage 3 tour of ijen
woke up completley shatterd. aching everywhere. how the hell amd i going to finish today. the pressure was put on the team as we hadnt had any reults through the tour.
the first 30km no diffrent to the first stage. super quick whipping around a 10km circut. my thoughts where i am completley over this. my body was honestly on its last straw from 5 races in china and the 2 hectic races in java. ontop of that the transfers and handfull of flights and bus trips and ferry trips all had taken its toll on me. henry and chris made it into a break away and i was quick to get on the front of the bunch and slow things right down. the boys did a stirling effort been in the break for the whole 100km and henry taking 7th.
the race was over and so i was i. BINTANG
7 years ago / 2 Comments