There's not much road racing in Singapore so a lot of riders travel to Indonesia, Malaysia, or Thailand to get their race fix. Our brand ambassador Ben Farnsworth is one such rider who recently popped across the boarder for a short race in Thailand...
SC: So you were back racing in Thailand at Tour de Farm, before we get into the specifics of that, how many races would you normally do in Thailand each year?
BF: I race in Thailand up to 5 times a year. I love racing but with the limited number of races locally in Singapore, Thailand is the usual destination to find races such as Tour of Phuket, Tour of Friendship and Thanyapura Classic being the common ones.
SC: How would you normally find these race, is it word of mouth, do you use any websites, or Social Media channels?
BF: It has always been tough to source races particularly in Thailand as the majority tend to be advertised in local Thai language so having local contacts is useful although the SpudCycling Event Calendar is starting to make it easier.
SC: Back to Tour de Farm, there's not much information to be found on that race, how did you hear about it?
BF: A couple of my team mates races it a few years ago so at the time I liked the Facebook Page to get updates when the dates were confirmed.
SC: Ok, so it was advertised mainly on Facebook and through word and mouth. So what's the quality of riders like?
BF: Myself and 3 team mates made the trip and in previous years there were a lot of strong local riders who would race this event so we were expecting some good hard racing. However the rider quality was lower than previous years as the timing unfortunately clashed with the National Thailand Cycling Series so most of the stronger riders had come from overseas like myself or were expats living in Thailand.
SC: Given it's a short distance relative to what you'd be used to, was it just a smash fest from the outset or was it quite tactical?
BF: The Open, 30's and 40's podiums were sorted out on the first hill at the 20km mark when solo riders broke away and held off the peloton through to the finish. A number of the larger teams did not have their ride leaders racing so the chase was not organised well enough to close the gap. So back to your question, is wasn't really a 'smash fest'.
SC: Sounds like it was actually a good hard race though. How was the organisation, was registration easy and were the roads well managed?
BF: It was actually a really fun ride, was well marshalled, and safe (by Thai standards), they even give you a free burger at the end of the race! The registration process was pretty complicated but on the ground logistics were great. It was a real party atmosphere at the start/finish with the local dignitaries all making an appearance and some even did the shorter Gran Fondo.
SC: It's a bit of a hike for a short race, would you recommend it to other riders living in Singapore?
BF: If the timing works I would definitely race there again. It's a good opportunity to get some early season racing done and with it being just 2 hours from Bangkok it's pretty easy to jump on a plane and head over for the weekend without the need to take time off work.
Thanks Ben, we look forward to doing this again after your next race.
Tour de Farm is located just outside of Bangkok city in Rangsit making it an easy race to get to if you're living in South East Asia. Maybe we'll see you there in 2020...
If you would like more information on this event email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and remember, 'keep it rubber side down'...