Background: The Tour of Thailand is currently underway in Thailand and it breaks my heart I can't be there racing it. Back in 2009 when my mate Adam Semple rang me up and proposed I buy a plane ticket and come race with Plan B I was hesitant...
... for 3 tenths of a milisecond. And what a tour it was.
Semp won a stage and the KOM and I snuck home with 3rd on GC. I got to meet Wayne Evans who is one of the men that make Plan B (now know as Satalyst Giant Racing) one of the best up and coming teams in the Australasian region. I raced with some great blokes including 'EJ' Wells, Doug 'Repa' Repacholi and Patty Gill. I also met my future Marco Polo team mate and asian stalwart Brad Hall who is back in Thailand as we speak.
Not to mention 15 people crammed into the tray of a ute at 2am trying to find a notorious night club by the name of "U Pop" in the jungle city of Udon-Thani. Ahh the memories. And the not-so memories.
We all took home many things from that tour. Depending on where the final night landed you, however, some folks may have taken home things more tangible than they originally bargained for!
But to the present; I am living vicariously through the twitter and instagram feeds of the lucky competitors who are over there now. Bastards.
Here's why I love racing in Asia;
You can take your snowy Milan San Remo
You can take your twice cooked flacid french pasta dredged in tomato sauce
You can take your dishwater french coffee
You can take your stunning Italian Podium girls (actually, they can stay)
You can take you 12 hours trips on the auto strada
You can take your sh*tty Ibis sweatbox motels
You can stick it!
Because this is where I want to be.#Thailand is just a gift that keeps on giving... #view from the #hotel balcony. #lovinglife :-) http://instagram.com/p/XmFzOlBkVz/
In the jungle, at the street stalls, jumping potholes and fending off dengue fever. becuase it's awesome.
From the twitter feed of Paul van der Ploeg;
It's a jungle out there! #Thailand... Epic day doing just over 200k in some of the most beautiful… http://instagram.com/p/Xou-B1hkeu/
And for me? Well I've been training hard. And I'll be back in Asia soon. Japan and China await, and plenty of exciting news coming up.
Hope everyone is well, and I'll see you on the road, or at the cafe, or on facebook, or on twitter, or instagram or .....
Postscipt: It is also, abso-freakin-sensational to see Mr Loh get a stage win in stage two. Loh is the stalwart of the Asian Peloton. The Patron. He has been around for a long time. He is always attacking, riddled with panache, and ripe with enthusiasm.
When I joined Marco Polo I couldn't believe how much easier life was, each day Loh would be sitting the 'gate' behind the leading team that was controling the front of the peloton. Now instead of fighting for wheels near the front people just let me slot in behind Loh. It was magic.