You’ve no doubt heard of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, but have you heard of Thailand’s best bike race event? Think 3 stages, 3 provinces, 372km and a whole lot of hurt. At least, that’s what ultra-endurance and adventure cyclist Jack Thompson and his team suffered through during their time competing in Thailand’s Great Mekong Bike Ride. But if you really want to know what this bike race is all about, and whether this is something you should add to your cycling bucket list, then read on…
With his trusty bike ‘Pinky’, Jack and the Steadyrack Team took on this challenge with open arms and were ready for some serious racing. Stage 1 began with 70 starters in the Open Category and a staggering 1,000 starters total. But despite the large numbers, vertical climbs and lack of race practice, Jack kept his eyes on the prize… This being post race mango sticky rice.
The hurt hit hard during this stage as Jack took a stab at beating the bunch to the top of the climb.
With the penultimate climb located at the 100km mark, I set off at 80km determined to reach the peak of the climb before the groupetto and then let the legs recover before having another dig off the front towards the finish. The group was too strong! Snubbed at the 90km mark, I finished with the groupetto in what was a fierce final 40km.
While the zero elevation and shorter (95km) distance may have looked like a blessing, by no means was this stage a walk (or ride) in the park. The cycling in this final stage could be compared to all the Fast and Furious movies ever made; very fast and very furious. Although this time the race wasn’t set in Tokyo, but instead in the beautiful landscapes of Northern Thailand. That said, in just two hours the third and final stage of The Great Mekong Bike Ride was over.
Keen to challenge yourself for next year’s event?
If you’re interested in experiencing Thailand by bike then this race is for you. For more information about this bike race event, click here. Alternatively, you can follow Jack’s adventures and ride with him in some amazing places including Thailand – all of which you can find here.
In Jack’s own words, The Great Mekong Bike Ride was a “phenomenal event that showcases the very best of Northern Thailand and acts as a substantial booster for the local economy.”
- Event: The Great Mekong Bike Ride
- Location: Thailand (3 provinces)
- Total Distance: 372km
- Stages: 3
- Difficulty: 4/5
- Date: 18-20th May, 2018
- Website: www.thailandtrileague.com
See more photos from this event:
Photo credits: ZW Photography