On October 14th, 2012, Siong Hing raced the UCI Ipoh King Of Mountain (K.O.M) Simpang Pulai, Maylasia. The huge field of 700 riders in the first 30k (flats before the climb) made for what Siong said was "an accident waiting to happen". Sure enough, a few crashes happened but he was safely at the front and in a very good position with 3km before the climb. Unfortunately, right before the climb (just at a point when Siong was taking a drink), a few of the lead riders swerved to avoid an obstacle that no one called out. "I managed to dump the bottle and serve off the road after riding over the tail of the dead dog. Had to clip on and ride back off the grass verge to catch up with the riders. By this time I was about mid-pack and far behind. The race was lost but I was happy to make it to the safe part of the race."
The Comeback Climb: Siong refocused his attention on regaining as much as he could and began overtaking many groups of people and was soon in the 5th or 6th pack. He got in a good group of a few riders really pushing the pace and bridging one group after another. "Soon I was quite certain I was near the front, either 2nd or 3rd pack, as we caught up the the Lead woman's group. Finally, I linked up with a few of my teammates as well. Now we are racing again!", he exclaimed.
The last 10k: With about 10km to go, Siong remembered that there was a 2km steeper climb before a 1km decend, after which the route was undulating till the final 2 climbs to the finish. (Good to really KNOW the course!). He decided he had to attack here, or he would end up in a 30+ rider sprint to the finish. He went on to explain "I slowly worked my way to the front and then gassed it. Didn't do a stand up and sprint away but just a strong sustained ride away. Looked back after 30s and .... no one followed?!? Maybe they felt I was nuts to try to ride off 10km from the end. Took advantage of their indecision and rode on." Siong was able to link up with a few riders here and there to work together, but in the end he attacked, adding that when he looked back he "saw several riders chasing me but I felt good so I had a fair chance of staying away. I saw 2 riders ahead at the 1km mark and decided that I should end the day with another pass. I crept up towards the front rider, unfortunately he saw me and gunned it. So it was down to the battle of the wills and glad to say, I passed him with 200m to go. Finished just behind another rider but my race was done and I was as cooked as an over baked potato." He added, "I may not have won but it was a near perfect race in terms of effort and strategy."
Great Race Siong!
PCG Coach: Karen Mackin