Iran’s Mirsamad Pourseyedigolakhour of the Tabriz Petrochemical Team created history today – when he upstaged the entire field of favorites to emerge as the first Asian rider to win the Tour of Langkawi’s queen stage – a grueling stage 4 from Subang to the summit of Genting Highlands.
The 29-year old Pourseyedigolakhour came from behind to take the memorable victory, after being dropped when a 35-man breakaway group containing many of the race’s top contenders escaped at the 10 kilometer mark in today’s stage.
Pourseyedigolakhour, who is also remembered for finishing second overall in the Tour of Borneo in Sabah last year, began to claw his way back into contention in the final 10 kilometers, along with MTN-Qhubeka’s Eritrean rider Merhawi Kudus – after being left behind by the breakaway group.
The duo passed the last pair of leaders, United Healthcare’s Isaac Bolivar and Orica-GreenEDGE’s Esteban Chaves – in the final kilometer to take over the yellow leader’s jersey – with an eight second advantage over Kudus.
"I am very happy to have achieved this win, especially since this is the most important stage of this race. Also no Asian rider has ever won this stage before, so this makes me very proud," said Pourseyedigolakhour, who also leads the Asian riders’ classification.
"In my country we have a lot of mountains which are ideal for us to train and improve our climbing. So to prepare for this race we had worked really hard in Iran. Now our aim is to keep the jersey until the end. I think we have a strong team with experienced riders, so we are confident of being able to protect the lead in the coming six stages."
While Pourseyedigolakhour took control of the overall lead, along with the Asian rider classification, Ireland’s Matt Brammeier made it a memorable day for the Synergy Baku Cycling Project by remaining in control of both the points and mountains classifications – having built up a sufficient lead in the minor climbs and intermediate sprints ahead of yesterday’s stage – despite only finishing in 116th place today.
The Tour of Langkawi continues with Stage 5 tomorrow – which takes the peloton through a winding and undulating route covering 134.5 kilometers from Karak to Rembau.
Stage 4 Results IRI 1 POURSEYEDIGOLAKHOUR, Mirsamad (TABRIZ PETROCHEMICAL) 2:54:44 ERI 2 KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, Merhawi (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 4 COL 3 BOLIVAR HERNANDEZ, Isaac (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) + 5 COL 4 CHAVES RUBIO, Jhoan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 10 RUS 5 IGNATENKO, Petr (KATUSHA) + 26 RSA 6 JANSE VAN RENSBURG, Jacques (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 34 NED 7 KRUIJSWIJK, Steven (BELKIN) + 46 ITA 8 ZILIOLI, Gianfranco (ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI) + 59 IRI 9 GHAFFARI, Vahid (TABRIZ PETROCHEMICAL) + 1:17 COL 10 QUINTERO, Carlos Julian (COLOMBIA) + 1:36 LAO 11 ROUNSAUATH, Aruya (CCN CYCLING) + 1:52 VEN 12 MONSALVE, Yonattah (YELLOW FLUO) + 2:10 DEN 13 EBSEN, John Kronborg (CCN CYCLING) + 2:23 IRI 14 KOLAHDOZHAGH, Amir (TABRIZ PETROCHEMICAL) + 2:38 NED 15 WEENING, Pieter (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 2:50 RSA 16 MEINTJES, Louis (MTN – QHUBEKA) RUS 17 BRUTT, Pavel (KATUSHA) + 2:59 DEN 18 HANSEN, Jesper (TINKOFF-SAXO) + 3:42 ERI 19 BERHANE, Natnael (EUROPCAR) + 4:28 IRI 20 MIZBANI IRANAGH, Ghader (TABRIZ PETROCHEMICAL) + 4:32 ITA 21 FACCHINI, Patrick (ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI) + 4:47 AUS 22 CLARKE, Jonathan (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) + 4:52 ITA 23 TALIANI, Alessio (ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI) + 5:23 AUS 24 SHEPPARD, Eric (OCBC SINGAPORE) + 5:42 COL 25 DUQUE, Leonardo Fabio (COLOMBIA) + 5:58 COL 26 QUINTERO ARTUNDUAGA, Duber Armando (COLOMBIA) + 6:00 AUS 27 BOBRIDGE, Jack (BELKIN) + 6:56 RSA 28 AUGUSTYN, John-lee (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 7:55 CHN 29 BAI, Li Jun (GIANT-CHAMPION SYSTEM) + 8:34 CHN 30 JIANG, Zhi Hui (GIANT-CHAMPION SYSTEM) + 9:10
General Classification after Stage 4 IRI 1 POURSEYEDIGOLAKHOUR, Mirsamad (TABRIZ PETROCHEMICAL) 12:09:21 ERI 2 KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, Merhawi (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 8 COL 3 BOLIVAR HERNANDEZ, Isaac (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) + 11 COL 4 CHAVES RUBIO, Jhoan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 20 RUS 5 IGNATENKO, Petr (KATUSHA) + 36 RSA 6 JANSE VAN RENSBURG, Jacques (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 40 NED 7 KRUIJSWIJK, Steven (BELKIN) + 52 ITA 8 ZILIOLI, Gianfranco (ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI) + 1:09 IRI 9 GHAFFARI, Vahid (TABRIZ PETROCHEMICAL) + 1:27 COL 10 QUINTERO, Carlos Julian (COLOMBIA) + 1:46
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