Friday February 22, 2013
Dutchman Theo Bos wins stage one with help from team-mate Brown
By SHAMSHUL FITRI
KULIM: Dutchman Theo Bos bossed his way to win the First Stage of the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from Kangar to Kulim yesterday.
The Blanco rider pipped Frenchman Bryan Coquard of Europcar and Italian Andrea Guardini (Astana) by almost two bike-lengths to win the 162.7km stage in 4’00:17.
Fresh from a stage win in the Tour of Algarve in Portugal last week, Bos had a successful leadout by team-mate and former 10-time LTdL stage winner Graeme Brown.
“Brown did a good job at the front. It was so fast I couldn’t go any faster,” said Bos after the finish.
It was a fast and frantic race under the scorching sun as riders from the five ProTour teams – Blanco, Astana, Garmin-Sharp, Orica GreenEdge and Omega Pharma-Quick Step, controlled the peloton at a steady speed, averaging 40.63kph.
A three-man breakaway initiated by Japanese Shinichi Fukushima (Team Nippo) managed a 10-minute lead at the 40km mark. With his breakaway companions Wang Meiyin (Hengxiang Cycling) and Ho Junrong (OCBC Singapore), the trio managed to held off the charging peloton until the final 10km.
Blanco, Astana and Garmin-Sharp then took turns at the front of the peloton at full throttle to set up a bunch sprint for the finish line.
“It was a hot day and that was a big factor today. You could see how we were taking it easy in the peloton but still managed to pull in the group. Maybe the heat blew them away,” said Bos.
Anuar Manan was Malaysia’s best finisher with a seventh placing. He clocked the same time as Bos.
The Synergy Baku team sprinter said he was outnumbered by riders from the ProTour teams and was left alone by his team-mates in the final 3km.
“My team-mates did their best to help position me in the final 10km but the pace increased tremendously in the final 3km. Based on my performance today, I believe a stage win is still possible for me. I just need to fine-tune my sprint and see who I should follow to the finish line,” said Anuar, who won the points competition in 2010.
Today’s second stage is a 117.8km race from Serdang in Kedah to Kuala Kangsar.