Andrea Guardini won Stage 3 of the 2014 Tour of Langkawi today, marking his 13th career win, as well as team Astana’s first victory of the season – after covering 166.5 kilometers from Kampar to Kuala Lumpur.
Bouncing back from a slight injury in yesterday’s crashed marred stage, that took out numerous riders, the 24-year old Italian rider demonstrated his resolve in today’s sprint finish.
"I was feeling a bit of pain in the beginning of the stage and I was even thinking about abandoning. Then after two hours it felt better and I was more comfortable. In the final 15 kilometers I told my team to prepare because I felt I could sprint."
"I am quite familiar with the roads in into Dataran Merdeka, so I was confident of doing well. I am happy to have registered my first win of the season here."
Meanwhile, race leader Duber Quintero finished safely in the peloton to maintain his grip on the yellow jersey ahead of tomorrow’s grueling climb up Genting Highlands. The Colombian rider will begin the stage 19 seconds ahead of second placed Matt Brammeier, who’s performance today earned him the blue points classification jersey to add to his red, mountains classification jersey.
"I am normally better on the smaller climbs, but tomorrow will be a big climb to Genting. I will try to maintain this lead. In any case I have a strong team here and we should be aiming to do well in the general classification and tomorrow is the day," said Quintero.
"Among the contenders will be Esteban Chavez of Orica-GreenEDGE and Isaac Bolivar of United Healthcare, but other teams have some very good climbers as well. I will try to compete with them," added Quintero.
The white jersey for the leading Asian rider – remained with Goh Choon Huat, who vowed to retain the jersey in the Genting Highlands stage tomorrow.
Stage 3 Results ITA 1 GUARDINI, Andrea (ASTANA) 3:40:00 NED 2 BOS, Theo (BELKIN) FRA 3 MARTINEZ, Yannick (EUROPCAR) LTU 4 KRUOPIS, Aidis (ORICA GreenEDGE) NED 5 VAN HUMMEL, Kenny Robert (ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI) NZL 6 ROGERS, Rico Dene Thomas (OCBC SINGAPORE) ITA 7 CHICCHI, Francesco (YELLOW FLUO) GER 8 KLEMME, Daniel (SYNERGY BAKU) IRI 9 KHALILIKHOSROSHAHI, Behnam (TABRIZ PETROCHEMICAL) ALG 10 REGUIGUI, Youcef (MTN – QHUBEKA)
General Classification after Stage 3 COL 1 QUINTERO ARTUNDUAGA, Duber Armando (COLOMBIA) 9:13:10 IRL 2 BRAMMEIER, Matt (SYNERGY BAKU) + 19 AUS 3 CLARKE, Jonathan (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) + 22 SIN 4 GOH, Choon Huat (OCBC SINGAPORE) + 46 NED 5 BOS, Theo (BELKIN) + 1:21 ITA 6 GUARDINI, Andrea (ASTANA) + 1:27 IRI 7 KHALILIKHOSROSHAHI, Behnam (TABRIZ PETROCHEMICAL) + 1:28 NED 8 RABOU, Thomas (OCBC SINGAPORE) + 1:29 AUS 9 BROWN, Graeme (BELKIN) + 1:31 AZE 10 ASADOV, Elchin (SYNERGY BAKU)
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