Saturday March 2, 2013
Europcar rider Coquard bags second title in two days
By SHAMSHUL FITRI
KUALA BERANG: Bryan Coquard proved that his win in Stage Eight on Thursday was no flash in the pan as he captured Stage Nine in the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) yesterday.
The Europcar sprinter even managed to glance behind to see where his rivals were just before crossing the finish line to take the 123.6km Pasir Putih-Kuala Berang stage in 2’42:11 ahead of second-place Francesco Chicchi of Vini Fantini and Allan Davis of Orica GreenEdge.
With two wins in LTdL thus far, Coquard is slowly stamping his mark in the race to be on par with the more established team Blanco sprinter Theo Bos, who also has two stage wins. Bos, however, pulled out of the race in Stage Six.
“I knew it won’t be easy to win again in this race ... but the team did very well to bring me to the front,” said the 20-year-old Coquard.
Yellow jersey owner Julian Arredondo of Team Nippo finished safely in the bunch on the short and flat stage to retain the lead in the overall standings going into the final stage from Tasik Kenyir to Kuala Terengganu today.
“The time I’m waiting for has come and I hope the stage tomorrow (today) will finish with a bunch sprint again like today,” said the Colombian.
It was a fast race to Kuala Berang yesterday, with several attacks taking place early in the race. Liu Jianpeng of Hengxiang Cycling and Endra Wijaya of the Indonesia national team featured briefly in one of the succesful breaks of the day until they were chased down by the peloton with 20km to the finish line.
A crash occurred at the final kilometre when the riders began jostling to maintain their positions for the final sprint.
“I heard the crash behind me and I was lucky to escape it,” said Coquard.
“My team-mate Kevin (Reza) brought me to the front and I latched on to behind Allan. With about 150m to go, I began my sprint and that gave me the surge to win.”
Malaysia’s best finisher was Anuar Manan of Synergy Baku. He came in seventh.
The final stage today is from Tasik Kenyir to Kuala Terengganu, covering 114.8km.
Stage Nine Results
Pasir Putih-Kuala Berang (123.6km): 1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar 2’42:11, 2. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini, 3. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica GreenEdge, 4. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin- Sharp, 5. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System, 6. Jacob Keough (US) UnitedHealthcare, 7. Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy Baku, 8. Park Sung-baek (Kor) KSPO, 9. Rico Rogers (Nzl) Synergy Baku, 10. Hossein Nateghi (Iri) Tabriz Petrochemical all same time.
Leading overall standings: 1. Julian Arredondo (Col) Team Nippo 32’14:03, 2. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge 1:15 behind, 3. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN Qhubeka 2:10, 4. Peter Stetina (US) Garmin-Sharp 2:32, 5. Wang Meiyin (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling 2:40. Points competition Blue jersey: 1. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana 86pts, 2. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini 81, 3. Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy Baku 66.
King of the Mountain (red jersey): 1. Wang Meiyin (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling 48pts, 2. Julian Arredondo (Col) Team Nippo 45, 3. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge 32. Best Asian rider (white jersey): 1. Wang Meiyin (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling 32’16:43, 2. Amir Kolahdozhagh (Iri) Tabriz Petrochemical 18secs behind, 3. Mizbani Ghader (Iri) Tabriz Petrochemical 58.