The final day of Tour of Goa started from our stay in Jungle Book resort outside of Molem. The jungle resort was a completely different experience from the beach side stay of day one, complete with elephants and stone hut type cottages.
After a group picture with the resort elephants, we headed to Molem which was 6km away. The day’s competitive segment was on a 15.8km rolling terrain starting from Molem.
Goan Flats: Not All That Flat!
The 15km TT section had an elevation gain of about 150m and that’s the flattest section of road they could find around Goa.
My legs were feeling much better than they were on day two. I started steady and started to pick the pace up a couple of km into it. The gradual uphills stung the legs and the course felt anything but flat. I tried to keep the momentum of the occasional downhill and carry it over the shorter uphills. I could gradually pick the pace up as the race went on and finish well. I stopped the clock at exactly 27 mins. I finished first in Open category and 3rd overall.
My Spectrum Racing teammates, Rajesh Nair and Russell Bell were the only guys who managed to go under 27 mins and finished first and second respectively in Masters as well as in Open categories. Mind-blowing how strong Russell still rides. He was faster than me by 8 seconds on the day. I want to be a fast as him when I grow up.
After the time trial, I’ve joined Rajesh and we headed to Mayem lake at 54km mark where we stopped and regrouped with the other riders.
After refreshments and pictures at the lake, we headed towards our final destination of Hyatt Centric in Candolim, where the tour comes to an end.
The final kilometers were full of fun and banter with Russell challenging and teaching Vandit a thing or two about sprinting. It is always fun and inspiring to see his child like enthusiasm.
Rajesh took the pace up a notch as we approached Candolim. We were dodging the traffic for the first time in these 3 days. After the adrenaline filled 20k or so, we reached Hyatt Centric for lunch and closing ceremony of the tour.
Amazing End to An Amazing Tour!
After a great feast of 5 star buffet lunch at Hyatt Centric, the presentation and closing ceremony started. Every participant received a nice momento from the organizers.
General Classification Results!
In the Open category, I managed to keep and build on my lead in the GC. It was the icing on the already delicious cake of a superbly organized tour. Abhishek Priyadarshi and Sangram Jena of Team Bros from Bangalore finished second and third on the podium in Open category.
Rajesh Nair finished first in Masters category as well as overall. Brilliant show by him coming back strong from a bank injury. Russell Bell and Arvind Bhateja rounded off the Masters podium of Spectrum Racing 1,2 and 3.
In Women’s Category, Su Yin Ong was the fastest on the day as well as in GC. Belinda Mueller and Anuradha Guglani finished 2nd and 3rd in the category.
Thank you Cycling Goa!
The passion of each one of the organizers and volunteers from Cycling Goa was amazing. Their love for cycling was very evident in the way they took care of all of the riders. They ensured that all the riders had a ball of a time and were taking back memories that last a very long time. Thank you, Cycling Goa!
Looking forward to next one!