Scottish rider Alex Coutts is riding the 2012 season with RTS Racing in the far east and often with this blog, posting a piece is a case of finding out about a rider, past or present, and sharing it with the readers. Alex is one who I did not know much about before now.
The Veloveritas site, formerly Veloresults has been on the case with an interview in 2010, where I learnt he has been a pro with Continental teams since 2002.
He has spent time racing in Belgium, France and Italy, most recently for Giant Kenda Pro Cycling – you can read some of his diaries going back through the past few years on a blog section of his shop site. Last year he opened a cycle shop in Burntisland in Fife.
This year he is with RTS Racing- his new team is sponsored by RTS Carbon, a frameset and wheel manufacturer established in Spain in 2005, but which has a far-eastern focus and is owned by Giant Asia’s manager. The company sells its own frames and bikes, made in the same factory as Giant.
He rode the Tour de Langkawi, a 10-day, UCI 2.HC stage race in Malaysia. With RTS Racing being a Tiawanese team, this is clearly a big goal for them.
Although there is only one major climbing stage, the day to Genting Highlands, the Tour’s length at 10 stages, the tropical heat and the level of competition make this a tough race.
As of today, Alex was 44th on GC at 15 minutes, with his Australian teammate Jai Crawford 13th at 5 minutes. The top 2 spots are occupied by Jose Serpa and Jose Rujano, a Colombian and a Venezuaelan for the Androni Giocattoli team.
Yesterday teammate Chin Lung Huang got into a break of 5, who were only allowed a short lead by Farnese Vini, for whom Andrea Guardini leads the points classification, and it came down to a sprint finish which seems customary for this race.
The team’s other events are in the Middle East and Far East with the Tours of Qinghai Lake (UCI 2.HC) and Tour of China (UCI 2.1) stage races coming in July and September.
Alex also started the Tour of Oman, one of the tune-up races for the Spring Classics, which sees lots of World Tour riders sharpening up the legs for Belgium and Northern France. He completed the 6-stage race 59th on GC at 10 minutes. It was won by Slovakian Peter Velits of Omega Pharma-Quickstep, and the race saw sprint duels between Greipel, Kittel and Sagan, who won the points overall.
Veloveritas/Veloresults have the professionally produced pieces if you want to read up on Alex- writers Martin Williamson, Ed Hood and Al Hamilton have some good pieces here:
Riding with Flanders- 2007
In Asia- 2008
Tour of Thailand winner