Tag Archives: eric lau

Timing Mixup Costs Lau Tantalus Record

A mistake in the timing for this months Tantalus Time Trial resulted in local rider Eric Lau losing his freshly-set course record for the forty year old race. The record had been seen by some top local riders as a breakout result for the young cyclist–one even citing it as evidence of professional talent in Lau–especially so since Lau rode a single speed bike in the hill climb event.

The irregularities were the result of a clerical error and meant that every rider with a bib number of 68 and higher had a recorded time that was a minute faster than their actual time. With the number of racers reaching the high nineties for the event, roughly a third of competitors had their times corrected.

Despite having his time slowed by a full minute Lau remained the 2013 events fastest rider since Tim Marr, the second place finisher, also had his time revised by one minute due to the mistake. Several other riders saw their placement within the individual categories shift, with several dropping out or into the top three. The Bike Shop has pledged to rectify the mistake by providing prizes to new podium finishers while allowing those who have already received prizes to keep their trophies.

Lau, reflecting on the loss of his record struck an understanding note, however, saying:

I have organized races and Time Trials before but none of them were as large as the Tantalus TT. I understand the difficulties and challenges of organizing a race even half the size of this years TTT. I am just grateful for all of the volunteers and The Bike Shop for continuing to support racing in Hawaii and the attention to detail that they demonstrated with this years event.

Corrected results for the race can be found here.

Tantalus Time Trial Race Report and Results

Update: Results, photos, more photos, even more photos, Mike Zagorski’s race report.

Correction: The original results, which showed Lau setting a new record at 18 minutes and 27 seconds are incorrect. Due to a timing error, a significant number of the times were recorded a minute faster than they actually were. The corrected times are now reflected on the US Cycling results page.

This is the response from The Bike Shop about the difficulties with the race:

Please note that there was a clerical error in the results posted earlier that was discovered and fixed in this final version. This error affected riders with Bib Numbers 68 and higher. These riders will find that their finish time on this final version are one minute slower than posted earlier.

Sincere apologies for this oversight on the behalf of the race committee, Tradewind Cycling Team and our team sponsor The Bike Shop.

If you won a prize based on the earlier version and were affected with this new version we’ll take care of you individually. If your ranking is lower that it was earlier (ie: if you were 1st and now you’re 2nd) please keep your earlier prize. If your new position puts you into a higher prize bracket than earlier, we will mail you the difference.

If you have any questions please contact me directly, my contact information is listed below.

Thank you for understanding and supporting bike racing in Hawaii.

Conditions: light sun, temperatures in the seventies, and dry road all around. In other words, perfect conditions for this morning’s Tantalus Time Trial (TTT).

Around one hundred people showed up to race the 4.5 mile, 5.6% grade, course. Categories included the usual Cat 4/5 and 1/2/3 as well as a single speed category. Notable local racers included former TTT champions Ray Brust, Mike Zagorski, and Eric Lau as well as professional triathlete Tim Marr.


Riders get ready to ride.

My own race began at 5:45 AM. After a fitful night of sleep, I took a quick shower, choked down a handful of sports powder and made it out the door. A quick commute around Punchbowl served as my warmup and I arrived well in time for my 7:10 AM start.

Beneath me was not my usual Scott S40 but instead a new/old acquisition: a 1983 Univega Sportour. Made of heavy steel and weighing in at 25 pounds, this bike was by no means a nimble mountain goat. But it was new, and I was still in the honeymoon period with the bike, so I was willing to accept the weight.


The aged steed.

The first few moments of the race were rough. The taste of the sports powder was still in my mouth and my nerves made me feel weak. I peddled vigorously but didn’t really feel any power or speed. I used the first leg up to the stop sign to calm myself and find my rhythm.

My first pass came halfway up. I spotted the bright jersey of the unlucky rider bobbing around a bend and focused my attention on him. My race plan was “go as hard as you can” so I was already breathing hard, but I stood in the pedals and pumped a little harder anyway.

In tribute to my vintage bike I had eschewed the use of a bike computer. Although I’ve been up Tantalus many times, I began to get disoriented just as to where in the 4.5 miles I was. As turn after turn opened up before me, I kept anxiously looking for landmarks. After a while, I resigned myself to being confused and just focused on pushing each stroke as hard as I could.

I reached the bridge that marks the last half-mile or so of the course. Catching up to another rider, I used them as a rabbit to push myself harder for this final leg. Far flatter than the previous sections, I picked up some decent speed and managed to look fast for the photographers waiting at the lookouts.

On these final meters, once again, I lost my way and kept mistaking the numerous turn-offs for the finish line. After a few aborted sprints, I finally spotted the red flag that marked the true end of the race. I built my speed one last time and crossed. I was pretty much spent, my breath ragged. I stopped, leaned over my handlebars, and gasped for a while. Finally, I picked my way back down via Roundtop, coasting the entire way.

Putting the pain face on at the peak. Photo courtesy of Mike Zagorski.

Putting the pain face on at the peak. Photo courtesy of Mike Zagorski.

After some water, I stopped and watched the last of the riders taking off. A few wags had decided to ride cargo bikes, some complete with passengers on the rear rack, and I clapped as their riders slowly nosed their mounts uphill. Inspecting my bike after the race I was dismayed to discover that my rear brake was rubbing against my wheel. It was no more than a brush, and the pad only contacted when a particularly out of true section of the wheel came around, but there was no doubt that that brush, played out over thousands of revolutions, had cost some speed.

I put my mind away from that and waited for the results. After two hours of waiting–the cargo bikes took a while to find their way back to the pumping station–they finally came. After coming in 10th and 11th overall at the Mokuleia and Castle to Hanauma time trials I hadn’t even managed to place in my category, finishing a distant ninth overall in the men’s Cat 4/5.

Correction: The original results for the Tantalus Time Trial are incorrect. See note at top of post.

While my day was disappointing, Eric Lau of Tradewind Cycling Team had an excellent–even incredible race. Finishing in 18 minutes and 27 seconds, Lau not only won the race overall but set a new course record. Even more impressively, he did the job on a single speed that, as Mike Zagorski joked, looked like it belonged to a homeless person.


Eric Lau readies for his record setting run.

Tim Marr came in second on his Specialized Shiv triathlon bike. Despite breaking 19 minutes-better than his performance last year and a time that in many years would be winning–he couldn’t rein in the young gun that was Lau.

Looking for more races? Consult The Sandwich Isles Cyclist’s race and event calendar.