Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Retirement

King Kunda Announces Retirement

The World of cycling is in shock after the King of Kunda announced his retirement from cycling over the Queensland May Day long weekend. The King said his retirement is effective immediately.

After numerous attempts to return to some semblance of his former best, Mr Kunda acknowledged that his life was now consumed with other pressing committments, none more so than his wife and three children.

Mr Kunda shot to prominence in 2003 when he won the final Kunda Park criterium of the season, held by the Sunshine Coast Cycling Club. Although the winner of the event, he went on to build an anonymous character by the name of Adnuk Fognik, a German cyclist in Australia on a student exchange program with the University of Queensland.

Speculation reached fever pitch over a six month period, with the question on everyone's mind, who was the King of Kunda? In July of 2004 German cyclist Adnuk Fognik presented himself at the start line of a Kunda Park criterium. Adnuk finished second in the race before vanishing as quickly as he appeared.

Over the following week, after much talk, an official finally realised Adnuk Fognik spelt "King of Kunda" backwards. Then the witch hunt went into full drive until the true identity of the King was revealed.

The King was paraded in front of a full Cycling Queensland committee where he faced quite serious allegations. The King put his version of events forward before later receiving a $200 fine and a six months suspended sentence. The King said he was grateful to a long term cycling friend and associate who was on the committee at the time, referring to him only as Rusty. He said, "if he (Rusty) had not watered the whole thing down, there were a minority who wanted me thrown out of the sport totally for a year. My thanks must go out to this bloke".

King Kunda started his cycling career in Mount Isa where he did most of his cycling. The King said these were his happiest days in cycling, and possibly his most successful. He went on to say he also did a season in Rockhampton that he also enjoyed very much.

When asked what his greatest achievement was, he said there was no one moment that defined his amatuer career. "I have had top ten stage finishes in three international tours in Thailand and New Zealand. I have won the Club Championship in Mount Isa and Rockhampton. I have finsihed the Grafton to Inverell four times. I have had podium placings in a number of National Series races. I have worn the yellow jersey in the Tablelands Tour and Top End Tour. All have been significant and meaningful at the time".

He attributes any and all success he has had in cycling to his parents, and his long term cycling friend Matt Jenkin, a bicycle shop owner in Gladstone.

Three ticker tape parades have been organised throughout Queensland over the coming weeks for any fans who wish to come out and farewell the King. They will be held at the following centres.

Watch local guides for further information.

Mount Isa - West Street - May 27, 2011

Rockhampton - Archer Street - May 28, 2011

Sunshine Coast - Kunda Park - May 29, 2011