Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

If you do ride during the festive season, have a safe riding and try to avoid flat.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

LeTua floored by lack of fund

FINANCIAL constraints have forced the country's most successful cycling team out of the UCI Asia Tour next year, the LeTua Team announced yesterday.

Team manager Shukor Yassin said escalating costs and a recent hike in International Cycling Union (UCI) registration fees for UCI Continental teams are behind the team's decision.

Shukor said the team will be taking a two-year break from racing on the international stage, while the management regroups and restrategises for the future.

"We were forced to take this decision as there was simply no funds available. We had been operating on a shoestring budget and the hike in administrative costs would have taken a big chunk out of the budget," said Shukor yesterday.

The team, operating mainly on contributions from club members and supporters, have represented the cycling community with distinction, serving as the only fully privately funded professional team in Malaysia the past five years.

Shukor said the team's stalwarts like Ng Yong Li and Colombian brothers Libardo and Miguel Angel Nino had been allowed to join Iran's Azad University for the new season. Yong Li had confirmed their transfer last week.

"We could not leave the riders' future hanging in the balance, so we had to allow them to leave," said Shukor.

"We'd also informed the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) and asked them to look into the development of our young riders like Adrian Chuah, Shawal Shafee and Hafiz Azeman."

LeTua, who began as Malaysia's first UCI Continental team in 2006, are still ranked as Malaysia's most successful team on the international stage.

The team have to their credit a Malaysian record of 27 stage victories in the UCI Asia Tour circuit and two victories in the UCI Oceania Tour in five years of racing on the international stage.

They also hold the record as the only Malaysian team to have registered a stage victory in Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) via Samai Amari in 2008.

This year, LeTua became the first Malaysian team to lead LTdL when Libardo Nino took charge of the yellow jersey only to lose the overall victory by a slim margin to Venezuelan Androni Gioccatoli rider Yonathan Monsalve on the penultimate day.

The team's record third overall finishes in the 2007 and 2008 UCI Asia Tour team rankings have been unmatched by any Malaysian team thus far.

The team, who produced the likes of Anuar Manan, Ahmad Haidar Anuawar, Nor Rizuan Zainal and Hafiz Rozli, are remembered as the reason behind local fans' adoration for the revived Jelajah Malaysia.

Between 2006 and 2009, LeTua rose to fame with their brand of swashbuckling teamwork never seen before in a local team and their domination of flat stages in the Jelajah Malaysia with Anuar being led-out by Sayuti Zahit, Ahmad Haidar and Nor Rizuan.

The team even registered an overall victory via Tonton Susanto in the 2008 Jelajah Malaysia.

Source: New Straits Time 2012-12-20 (link)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

End of 2011, hello 2012

One more month before the end of 2011, before we greet 2012.

It is currently in the frenzy of amateur race season in Malaysia for runner and cyclist communities. Before 2011 ends, we have the following events:

  • 3 Dec Grand Prix National Circuit Series #6
  • 4 Dec Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
  • 4 Dec Ironman Western Australia
  • 4 Dec 2011-2012 AVOHK-adidas Reservoir Series #2
  • 4 Dec MPSJ Run
  • 4 Dec Larian SAF
  • 11 Dec Chin Woo Biathlon
  • 11 Dec Adination Breakfast Run
  • 16 Dec Grand Prix National Circuit Series #7 (grand final)
  • 17 Dec Rakan Muda Run
  • 18 Dec Malakoff KL Run
  • 31 Dec Malakoff Interstate Fellowship Ride

At this juncture, a list of events have already been confirmed for 2012:

  • 01/01/2012    New Year Newton Challenge
  • 08/01/2012    Multi-Purpose Insurans Run
  • 15/01/2012    Mizuno Wave Run
  • 28/01/2012    Sibuti Road Race Challenge
  • 05/02/2012    Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon
  • 08/02/2012    Asian Cycling Championship
  • 12/02/2012    2011-2012 AVOHK-adidas Reservoir Series #3 (Hong Kong)
  • 18/02/2012    Hong Kong 100 Ultra
  • 26/02/2012    Tokyo Marathon
  • 02/03/2012    OCBC Cycle Singapore
  • 11/03/2012    Brooks Half Marathon
  • 11/03/2012    Twilight Ultra Challenge (Singapore)
  • 18/03/2012    Aviva Half Ironman (Singapore)
  • 23/03/2012    CycleFest Sarawak
  • 25/03/2012    Ironman Asia Pacific Championship (Australia)
  • 28/04/2012    PCC Interstate Ride
  • 28/04/2012    Tour of Friendship (Thailand)
  • 28/04/2012    Perak Columbia Iron Bound Challenge
  • 26/05/2012    Sundown Marathon (Singapore)
  • 03/06/2012    Comrades Marathon (South Africa)
  • 03/06/2012    Challenge Cairns (Australia)
  • 24/06/2012    Standard Chartered KL Marathon

Recently, we have observed a phenomenon where many Malaysians opt for overseas races. Some of our Team IR members have already registered for some of these races. Unfortunately, it was announced recently that Ironman Korea Jeju has been cancelled.

It is certain that more events will be added progressively later. We will features selected races info in our Facebook official page (link) and Twitter (link) once the info is released.

We would like to wish best of luck to all participants in 2011 and 2012!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Popular Datuk Naim Mohd revels in role of chef-de-mission

PUTRAJAYA: Talk sports and Datuk Naim Mohd’s face lights up like a Christmas tree.

Sports is a passion he has nurtured for most of his 58 years.

He knows the adrenaline rush that comes from charging down a hilly terrain on his bike at a self-made circuit at his home in Peringgit, Malacca.

He knows the physical demands - the blood, sweat and tears - from playing rugby, football, hockey, badminton and tennis during his school days. And he knows all about the highs and lows of golf from being a caddie at the tender age of 14.

These experiences have contributed to Naim’s success as an administrator of sport - one who connects effortlessly with the athletes.

This distinct quality makes Naim one of the most popular chef-de-mission (CDM) to helm the nation’s SEA Games contingent.

Naim, who is deputy president of the Malaysia National Cycling Federation (MNCF), says he is enjoying his responsibility as the CDM of the Malaysian contingent to the 26th edition of the Games.

And he vows to lead the athletes to a successful outing in Indonesia.

“I have always been active in sports.

“I was known as an all-rounder during my school days as I played most sports,” recalled Naim.

“My passion for sport grew as I got older.

“At university, I was involved in organising sports events. It just took off from there and never stopped.

“I was chef-de-mission for the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2004. Now, some of those juniors have made it to the SEA Games. I am on familiar ground. The challenges may be quite different but I am not going to let them wear me down,” said Naim.

“It is time to alleviate the standard of the SEA Games. It certainly deserves more prominence as this is where stars are born. During a CDM meeting recently, I proposed that the SEA Games be one of the qualifying tournaments for the Olympics. It is time to raise the bar and the quality of this regional competition,” he said.

On the introduction of obscure sports like vovinam, bridge and paragliding, which tend to give the host nation some home advantage, Naim has mixed feelings.

“I do not totally oppose the idea. Afterall, the hosts spend a lot of money to set up the infrastructure for the Games. They naturally want to justify their efforts by having some events that they are good at. We can make some allowance for that.

“But it should be done in moderation as we do not want the SEA Games to turn into the SEA circus. We have made a good decision in skipping some of these disciplines. We are only taking part in 39 of the 43 sports.”

On his aspiration for the athletes, Naim was modest in his expectations. “The SEA Games provide the perfect platform for youngsters to strut their stuff.

“We hope new stars will emerge. It is a stage for the young ones to break barriers and for the old ones to break records.

“It is payback time for the athletes and they must justify all the support given to them. We are strong in some of the sports and we hope to excel in them - especially those under the Road to London programme,” he said.

“Hosts Indonesia will be our main rivals but we must not forget Thailand and Singapore. Whatever it takes, I hope our athletes will show good sporting spirit throughout the Games.”

In his own subtle way, Naim has laid down the law for the Malaysian contingent.

Source: The Star (link)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Adidas marathon a success

IT was an unusual sight on the NPE highway as 7,700 runners clad in brightly-coloured bibs hit the open road for the Adidas King of the Road Marathon (KOTR) 2011 held on Oct 2.

Flagged off by Minister of Works Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor, the participants took off from Sunway Pyramid for either the 10km or 16.8km run on the highway, monitored by a state-of-the-art tracking system.

“As a global leader in running, Adidas is geared towards helping runners all over the world perform better with the introduction of products, technology and platforms designed purely with a runner’s needs in mind,” Adidas Malaysia country manager Ng Chee Loon said.

The Adidas KOTR is a regional running initiative that sees five countries – Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines, hosting the same race.

The top two runners, both men and women, in the closed category (local runners) for the 16.8km run will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Philippines to compete in the KOTR finals on Oct 23.

Brothers Arul Thever Muniandy, 33, and Murali Arasu Muniandy, 29, took first and second place in the men’s closed category (16.8km), with the elder brother clocking a time of 59 minutes 15 seconds.

“I’m really happy with my results, and I will run my hardest to do Malaysia proud at the finals,” Arul said after the event.

Murali, who came a close second with 1 hour 2 minutes, added that they had trained very hard and had aimed for first or second at the run to win the chance to compete in the finals.

Meanwhile, in the women’s closed category, Michelle Tan, 27, clinched the gold with a time of 1 hour 13 minutes 54 seconds, followed by Sun Nee Ng, 38, who took second with 1 hour 18 minutes 41 seconds.

“The route this year was very straightforward and wide, there was no way anyone could get lost, and the slopes were manageable too,” an elated Tan said.

Both Tan and Ng will be heading to the Philippines with the Muniandy brothers to compete alongside the participants of the KOTR race there.

“This event comes at a time when running is becoming increasingly popular among Malaysians and across Southeast Asia.

“Keeping up with this fitness trend, we hope to contribute to the vibrant sports scene in Malaysia and the region by cultivating sporting habits and an active lifestyle,” Adidas' Ng said, adding the recently-launched Aviation of Runners club aims to motivate runners to hit the pavement, reach their running goals and achieve their personal bests at local races.

He also thanked the police, the NPE concessionaire and the public for their support in making the event a success.

Source: The Sun Daily (link)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Woman gives birth after running marathon

Amber Miller, a Chicago-area woman, on competing in the Chicago marathon on Sunday, nearly 39 weeks pregnant. "I ran half and walked half, that's how I finished," she said. Miller, who had been running throughout her pregnancy, said she started having contractions "just randomly" during the race, but still managed to cross the finish line and grab a sandwich before heading to the hospital to give birth hours later.

Her final stats:

  • Race time — 6 hrs 25 mins 50 secs (faster than her husband!)
  • Baby girl, June — 7 lbs 13 oz, born at 10:29 p.m.

"I'm taking it easy today," Miller said on Monday.

Source: Chicago Tribune (link)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Patrick Makau runs WR at 38th Berlin Marathon

Patrick Makau sets WR of 2:03.38 at 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon

Patrick Makau has crowned the 38th BMW BERLIN MARATHON with a world record. The 26 year-old Kenyan clocked 2:03:38, beating Haile Gebrselassie and improving the record of the Ethiopian by 21 seconds. With a dramatic surge after 27 k defending champion Patrick Makau had dropped Haile Gebrselassie well behind. While the Ethiopian later dropped out after the 35 k mark he lost another world record to Patrick Makau on a miserable day for him: The Kenyan had passed the 30 k mark in 1:27:38, eleven seconds quicker than Haile in 2009. Split times will be officially ratified as world records if times were taken by official referees.

Irina Mikitenko, Florence Kiplagat and Paula Radcliffe at 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon

In the women's race Florence Kiplagat stole the show from the two stars, Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) and Irina Mikitenko (Germany). The 24 year-old Kenyan clocked the second fastest time of the year worldwide, winning with 2:19:44. Irina Mikitenko finished second (2:22:18) and world record holder Paula Radcliffe was third (2:23:46) in her marathon comeback after giving birth. Regarding the depth of the women's elite results this was the best race in the history of the BMW BERLIN MARATHON. Atsede Habtamu (Ethiopia/2:24:25), Tatyana Petrova (Russia/2:25:01) and Anna Incerti (Italy/2:25:32) all were inside 2:26.

Haile Gebrselassie had breathing difficulties during the run

The emperor falters, the new emperor makes a breakthrough. However, Gebrselassie is not about to retire, and Radcliffe will rest, reassess and focus on 2012.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Super Marathon Sunday 2011.09.25

38th BMW Berlin Marathon

Berlin Marathon needs no introduction. It is one of the most famous marathon with the universally recognised fastest marathon course in the world. What's more, world record holders Haile Gebrselassie and Paula Radcliffe will be competing at this marathon.


Taiping International Marathon 2011

Venue: Taiping, Perak
Distance: 42km, 21km, 10km, 5km

This inaugural marathon is organized by Rotary Club of Bukit Larut with the support of Majlis Perbandaran Taiping. This is held in conjunction with the Taiping International Music Festival along with the celebration of International Day of Peace and also Taiping Town Council Month in September.

There is only a handful of marathon events in Malaysia, namely Standard Chartered KL Marathon, Penang Bridge International Marathon, Energizer Night Race, Putrajaya Night Marathon, Borneo International Marathon, Jelapang Padi Super Marathon and River Jungle Marathon. It is a welcome addition in the Heritage Town of Malaysia to promote healthy lifestyle by encouraging all to be active.

The major highlight will be the scenic route, as it covers some major tourist spots including Taiping Lake Gardens, Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut), Taiping Zoo, Taiping Municipal Office and Taiping Museum.

Taiping, the wettest town in Peninsular Malaysia, is a natural theme park surrounded by beautiful landscapes and environmental friendly conditions. It will be one of the most refreshing marathon venue that anyone could have dreamt.

River Jungle Marathon 2011

Venue: Hulu Langat, Selangor
Distance: 42km only

It is not a race, and it is designed for runners who simply just like to RUN! Despite its name, there is no trails, no river crossings, no mud, no jungle... it is purely a road run.

The River Jungle Marathon is one of the most beautiful marathon destinations in Malaysia. The route will take runners through the scenic villages of Hulu Langat, leading up a 1000 feet climb or about 2.5KM of non-stop uphill running, past valleys, rivers, mountain views, jungle, a hot spring, and even monkeys. It is ideal for nature lovers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of a city road race. The support for the event is excellent with 14 designated water stations and support vehicles along the route.

For the running experience at this event, read Jamie Pang's blog here.

Siemens Run 2011

Venue: Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
Distance: 10km, 6km, 3km

With its first inception in 2004, Siemens Run has been a popular run in Klang Valley. It was initially scheduled on the same weekend of Bersih 2.0 rally (10 July 2011), and as such it was postponed subsequently.

The route will take the participants through the greenery part of KL, notably Lake Garden, Tugu Negara, Jalan Sultan Salahhudin and Jalan Parliament. Incidentally, this is also a popular running route among runner community in KL.

Other Sports Events

In addition to the running events above, there is a string of sports events happening on the same weekend, namely:

  • 116 Desaru International Triathlon (link)
  • Malakoff University Duathlon Series (MUDS) (link)
  • Cycling for a Cure for Tabung Leukemia Yayasan Sime Darby (link)
  • Pudu Charity Run (link)
  • Larian Merdeka Penang (link)

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Reign Ends for Cancellara

Cancellara suffers first time trial defeat in five years

Bradley Wiggins, Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara on the podium

COPENHAGEN: Germany’s Tony Martin ended the long reign of Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara by powering to the time trial gold at the Cycling Road World Championships here on Wednesday.

Martin claimed his maiden world title in the discipline, with Britain’s Bradley Wiggins – a triple Olympic and six–time world champion on the track – winning the silver for his first worlds road medal.

Cancellara, the Olympic champion who had made the discipline his own in the past five years, came close to missing out on a medal in an error strewn performance before claiming the bronze.

Tony Martin in action

Martin, a time trial specialist who rides with the HTC–Highroad team, had finished third in the event the past two years to Cancellara.

The only time the Swiss had failed to win the title since 2006 was in 2008, when he opted out of the world championships shortly after his Olympic gold medal success in Beijing, allowing Germany’s Bert Grabsch to triumph.

Martin, however, had signalled his form by relegating Cancellara to over a minute and a half on his way to victory in the recent 10th stage of the Tour of Spain.

And the German proved that he was fully deserving of the title after speeding his way, at an average of 51.8kmh, over the 46.4km course to post a winning time of 53:43.85 to beat Wiggins by over a minute.

“For me it is really important to find the right rythm from the start, and I felt early on I was going to go well,” said Martin.

“I had the perfect position and my speed was really fast. After I heard the first split times, I was confident and could feel it was my race.

“I’m getting stronger in my head and I’m getting better at handling the approach to the race.

Having set a time of 54:59.68, Wiggins had looked set for a third place finish until late errors by Cancellara left him in second place.

It was yet another great result for the Londoner, who made up for crashing out of the Tour de France in July with a broken collarbone by claiming a first ever Grand Tour podium with a third place finish at the Tour of Spain.

Fabian Cancellara in action

Twice Cancellara was forced to slow down to avoid hitting the barriers after tight turns.

On his second near miss, after negotiating a right–hand bend, Cancellara came to a standstill, losing precious seconds which almost cost him a medal.

He stopped the clock in 55:04.44, finishing just 0:11 ahead of Grabsch.

“I started well but didn’t find the optimal rhythm and I started to feel that maybe today was not going to be my day,” said the Swiss.

“Mentally, maybe I cracked a bit and I couldn’t give any more towards the end.

“It was a bit of a rollercoaster for me, but Tony’s the deserved winner today.” – AFP


Cycling for a Cure: Tabung Leukemia YSD

National track cyclist Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and several of his teammates will be cycling on Sept 24 for a charity event — Cycling for a Cure 2011.

The event is to help raise funds for the Tabung Leukemia Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD). The charity ride, which will take place at Dataran Putrajaya, will see Azizulhasni, Josiah Ng, Fatehah Mustapa, Mohd Edrus Mohd Yunos, Junaidi Mohd Nasir, Mohd Rizal Tisin and Mohd Hafiz taking part.

YSD chief executive officer Yatela Zainal Abidin hoped that cycling enthusiasts around the country would come and join the national track cyclists on that day. Tabung Leukemia Yayasan Sime Darby was set up to benefit leukemia patients in Malaysia who are between the ages of 13 and 72 years and who are in dire need for bone marrow transplant.

“YSD is doing it differently this time around, by not only donating directly to the cause, but also encouraging the public to be part of the cause by donating through their participation in the cycling event,” she said.  Interested participants need to pay a participation fee of RM50 and can choose to race either in the 3.3km, 7.7km or the challenging 100.5km route that will go through various towns in Sepang, Nilai and Putrajaya.

“The 100.5km race is designed specifically for those who enjoy the grueling task of cycling such a distance,” said Malaysian National Cycling Federation deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad.  “I was pleased when YSD approached me with this idea of combining cycling with a charitable cause and we have worked hard to make this happen. We hope that the public will come and join us in this event,” he added.

To register, participants can download the form from, complete it, pay the RM50 participation fee through cash deposit machine or transfer via online banking, and fax over the completed registration form with the relevant bank-in slip and online receipt to YSD’s office.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

World Carfree Day

22 September is designated as World Carfree Day. (Note, it is "carfree", not "carefree")

World Carfree Day is an annual celebration of cities and public life, free from the noise, stress and pollution of cars. Each year on September 22, people around the world organize events of all sizes to showcase alternatives to the automobile. World Carfree Network invites organisations and individuals everywhere to join. Vector Designs is the only Malaysian member organisation.

World Carfree Day began as an open call for a grassroots celebration of cities without cars. The date, September 22, was chosen to coincide with the EU-sponsored European Mobility Week, but the hope is to involve people at all levels of society and from all over the world.

Carfree days were organised as early as during the oil crisis of the 1970s, and several carfree days were organised in European cities during the early 1990s. An international carfree day was organised in Europe in 1999, which was the pilot project for the European Union's "In Town Without My Car" campaign. This campaign continues as European Mobility Week.

In 2000, Car Busters (the precursor to World Carfree Network) issues an open call for a "World Carfree Day," to coincide with Europe's carfree day on September 22. Since then, they have continued to call for activists and citizens to organise World Carfree Day events on or near September 22.

Unfortunately, to my knowledge, World Carfree Day is not celebrated in any cities within Malaysia. There is no activity being organised to promote World Carfree Day, except for the comics strip Kee's World in The Star publication (link) below.

Welcome to Team Independent Racers Blog!

Welcome to the blog of Team Independent Racers!

We are a group of independent racers based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who are passionate in cycling, running and triathlon. We are a amateur group to train ordinary human to become extraordinary athletes.

Team Independent Racers (Team IR) was formerly known as Brotherhood of Extraordinary Men (BOM). BOM was founded in 2008 by several enthusiastic runners. In 2009, BOM was renamed to the present Team IR to reflect our independent stand in sports politics and affiliations.

Today, Team IR has over 20 members locally and abroad, namely Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. Though we are a small private cycling club, some of our members are hardcore runners, duathletes and triathletes. Generally, all team members are passionate in cycling and we always assist our team members in anyway to make their cycling experience more enjoyable. And hopefully we hope to improve their cycling performance too.

Typically, we have training rides every weekend: shorter route on Saturday and longer route on Sunday. We do have training rides on weeknights on impromptu basis. In our off-racing season (usually from March till June), we do conduct beginner cycling workshops for potential new members.

As Team IR continues ro grow in size, we endeavour to help our team members to grow too. In future, we will be launching our official team website, Facebook page and Twitter account, in addition to this blog and Cnectd group chat. We hope these would serve our members better in future communications with the latest news and group activities.

For more information, please contact us at!