Munoz Wins Tour de Singkarak
Padang. Oscar Pujol Munoz enjoyed a great debut in West Sumatra as the Azad University cyclist won the Tour de Singkarak.
The Spaniard claimed the title after finishing the 854-kilometer road race in a total time of 21 hours, 24 minutes and 21 seconds, 1:08 ahead of Genesys Wealth Advisers’ Jai Crawford.
Feng Chun Kai of Taiwan’s Action Cycling Team was third overall.
Munoz took the yellow jersey from Australian Crawford in the fifth stage and kept it until the seventh and last stage, which ended on Sunday in the West Sumatra capital of Padang.
“It was really hard to keep the yellow jersey [three days in a row]. It was really amazing,” the 28-year-old said. “The last day I was afraid to lose the yellow jersey, just don’t crash until the last. I feel happy and relaxed now. My team did an excellent job.”
Munoz dominated the fourth edition of the Rp 1 billion ($107,000) tour while also leading the standings for the sprint and climb events, which gave him the green and polka dot jerseys, respectively.
He said he had not felt confident about his prospects in the beginning because it was only his third race in Asia since joining the Iranian team in April.
“It’s unbelievable because this is my first road race title since turning professional four years ago,” he said.
Munoz, who earned a $6,000 cash prize for the victory, lauded his Azad teammates for helping him take the trophy.
“Azad has been motivating me to train hard. Before this, I didn’t think I could win a tour,” he said.
Azad senior rider Abbas Saeidi Tanha said Munoz helped the Iranians retain the individual trophy, although they failed to defend the team title.
“We’re lucky to have him on the team,” Tanha said of Munoz.
The team title went to Putra Perjuangan Bandung, the first Indonesian squad to win it, with a total time of 64:24:52.
The Australian National Team was 29 seconds behind in second place, while Azad finished third in 64:26:19.
“I’m very proud of all our riders, who have been working very hard to win the team event,” Putra Perjuangan coach Roby Dwi Yanuar said. “This is our best result this year.”
Tabriz Petrochemical of Iran, which missed the race this year, won the first two editions in 2009 and 2010, while Azad took last year’s trophy.
Putra Perjuangan’s Dadi Suryadi finished 10th overall and took home the red and white jersey by leading the local racers’ standings. “This is my best achievement [in road racing] so far. I hope that this can be the start of a better future for me and the team,” Dadi said.
The West Java team swept the local riders’ standings as Tonton Susanto and Aristya Chelli took second and third, respectively.
Malaysian brothers Mohd Zamri Salleh and Mohd Harrif Salleh, both racing for Malaysia’s Terengganu Cycling Team, took first and second, respectively, in the 99.3-kilometer last stage, with the same time of 2:19:19.
Indonesian rider Rastra Patria of Colossi Miche rounded out the podium finish with the same time.