The Jakarta Post
Angus Lyons of Australia won the opening stage of the 2019 Tour de Indonesia, clocking in at 3:55:58 after cycling 182.7 kilometers from Borobudur temple in Magelang, Central Java, to Ngawi regency in East Java on Monday.
The 23-year-old, who rides for Oliver’s Real Food cycling team, overcame the scorching heat on the mostly flat route, which seemed to be easy enough to handle for most foreign participants, allowing them to dominate the podium.
Canadian Ryan Roth of Hong Kong’s X-Speed United and Germany’s Mario Vogt of Sapura Cycling, the highest-ranked team in Asia, trailed Lyons in second and third place, respectively. Indonesian Muhammad Abdurrahman of the KFC Cycling team was the only Indonesian in the top ten of the leader board, securing sixth place.
With 34 degrees Celsius measured at the finish line of the first stage in Ngawi, the hot weather was the main challenge for cyclists on the first day of the road race.
Lyons said the heat, which hit him particularly during the last 5 km, had forced cyclists to split into several groups as they battled to maintain their stamina.
“[I and my teammates] tried to break away a few times, but I think the heat got a couple of them, and I just couldn’t follow in the end. It was just a matter of trying, trying and trying again until it worked,” he said after the race.
Similarly, Roth said the hot weather had made the first stage unpredictable, including the gaps between cyclists.
Eighty-eight cyclists of an initial 90 will continue their journey in the second stage, setting off from Madiun for Batu in Malang, East Java, on Tuesday.