photo credit @ Team Astana
excerpts from Tour de Langkawi
Astana’s Andrea Guardini registered an emphatic second straight win in a bunch sprint to take Stage 2 of Le Tour de Langkawi 2015 from Alor Star to Sungai Petani today after the Italian edged Orica GrenEdge’s Caleb Ewan to the win again.
The victory meant Guardini, 27, increased his record number of victories in LTdL to 16 as he mounts yet another multiple assault on stage wins in the race that has become synonymous with his name.
After a breakaway of six riders highlighted the day, with Malaysia’s Loh Sea Keong, brothers Adiq Husainie Othman of TSG and Afiq Huznie Othman of NSC, Hengxiang’s Liu Jianpeng, Synergy Baku’s Elchin Asadov and Pegasus’ Rastra Patria having a go at victory, it was Guardini who rose above the rest to confirm his early season winning form was no fluke with what was also his third stage win of the year.
After the breakaway swept all intermediate points on offer after the first intermediate sprint of the day at kilometre 14 in Pokok Sena, the peloton moved to reel them back with 20km to go and though Sea Keong and Asadov made a last ditch attempt at a duet to the finish, but were swept up by a surging peloton with 6km to go.
In the final sprint Guardini made the first move as Ewan tagged along but the Australian was no match for the Italian again, with Southeast’s Jakub Mareczko taking third spot, sloghtly ahead of TSG’s Harrif Saleh.
“I think Ewan is strong but maybe in this first two stages it didn’t suit him. Tomorrow is a tough stage with a climb in the earlier part and he has a strong team to bring him up and go for the finish, so maybe tomorrow will be a good day for him,” said Guardini.
“Our team had to work hard to catch the breakaway today and we were only helped by the other teams in the final 20km, but then we had a good sprinter. This time I had to make the move on my own and went to the front first, but I had good form and managed to stay ahead.”
Guardini remains in the yellow jersey and blue jersey as leader of the overall and points classification respectively, while United Healthcare’s Kiel Reijnen remained in the lead of the mountains classification.
Adiq Husainie, with time bonuses from the second and third intermediate sprints today, overcame his one second deficit to Hengxiang’s Ma Guangtong and now leads the Asian riders’ classification by two seconds.
“That was our strategy today and after I had got enough time bonuses to take the jersey, I went to my team car and my director instructed me to drop back to the peloton because tomorrow we have a hard stage with the climb up Titiwangsa, so I needed to save my legs for that,” said Adiq Husainie.
“I plan to keep this jersey for as long as I can. At least until the race passes our home state of Terengganu.”
Stage 3 tomorrow will cover 170kkm from Gerik to Tanah Merah.
Stage 2 Results
ITA 1 GUARDINI, Andrea (ASTANA) 4:30:36
AUS 2 EWAN, Caleb (ORICA GreenEDGE)
ITA 3 MARECZKO, Jakub (SOUTHEAST)
4 SALLEH Hariff (TERENGGANU)
TUR 5 ORKEN, Ahmet (TORKU SEKERSPOR)
JPN 6 FUKUDA, Shimpei (AISAN RACING)
RUS 7 TRUSOV, Nikolay (TINKOFF – SAXO)
USA 8 HANSON, Ken (UNITEDHEALTHCARE)
COL 9 MOLANO, Sebastián (COLOMBIA)
ITA 10 CHICCHI, Francesco (ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI)
UKR 11 SURUTKOVYCH, Oleksandr (SYNERGY BAKU)
FRA 12 FEILLU, Romain (BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT)
ALG 13 REGUIGUI, Youcef (MTN – QHUBEKA)
COL 14 DUQUE, Leonardo Fabio (COLOMBIA)
MAS 15 SALEH, Mohd Zamri (TERENGGANU)
KOR 16 SEO, Joon Yong (KSPO)
CHN 17 ZHENG, Zhang (HENGXIANG CYCLING TEAM)
CHN 18 ZHANG, Wenlong (GIANT-CHAMPION SYSTEM)
ITA 19 CHIRICO, Luca (BARDIANI CSF)
AUS 20 SUTTON, Christopher (SKY)
General Classification after Stage 2
ITA 1 GUARDINI, Andrea (ASTANA) 6:49:22
AUS 2 EWAN, Caleb (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 8
MAS 3 OTHMAN, Muhamad Adiq Husainie (TERENGGANU) + 13
CHN 4 GUANGTONG, Ma (HENGXIANG CYCLING TEAM) + 15
MAS 5 MANAN, Anuar (TERENGGANU) + 16
6 RASTRA Patria (PEGASUS CONTINENTAL CYCLING TEAM)
CHN 7 WANG, Meiyin (HENGXIANG CYCLING TEAM) + 17
CHN 8 ZHANG, Wenlong (GIANT-CHAMPION SYSTEM) + 18
AZE 9 ASADOV, Elchin (SYNERGY BAKU)
CHN 10 LIU, Jianpeng (HENGXIANG CYCLING TEAM)
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