The 7th and the longest stage of the Le Tour de Langkawi came down to another bunch sprint earlier today. After 230km of racing, Theo Bos (Belkin) dominated the sprint to the line to win the 7th stage. Aidis Kruopis (Orica GreenEdge) was a bike length back in 2nd with Leonardo Duque (Colombia) taking 3rd.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung saw its South African rider, John-Lee Augustyn, have to abandon the race after struggling with a slight knee injury. “Yes unfortunately John-Lee had to abandon today. He has been struggling with a knee injury and rather than risk doing any long term serious damage he stopped. This will adversely affect the team, but the rest of the boys are all healthy and feeling good,” said DS Kevin Campbell.
In a very long and hot stage, there were a number of early attacks that put the yellow jersey team, Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team, under pressure. They were up to the task though and were able to bring back all the dangerous moves. Eventually they let a group of four riders go clear but kept them in check by not letting the lead exceed the 4’30” mark.
With around 70km to go, the sprinters teams got interested in the chase and started to real the lead riders in. 15km from the finish line and the break that were out front for over 100km were caught, setting the stage up for a sprint.
Looking ahead to the remaining three stages, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung still have hopes of challenging for the yellow jersey. “Tomorrow is another long stage, we expect the sprinters teams to try to control proceedings. Nevertheless we will look for opportunities to attack the yellow jersey. We’ll be taking each stage as it comes, but I expect there to be a few tired legs at the start of stages 9 and 10,” concluded Campbell.
Le Tour de Langkawi (Malaysia) – (February 27 – March 8/UCI 2.HC)
Louis Meintjes (RSA)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Merhawi Kudus (ERI)
Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
John-Lee Augustyn (RSA)
Youcef Reguigui (ALG)
Staff: Kevin Campbell (Sports Director), Dr Jarrad van Zuydam (Doctor), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Yvonne Houwelling (Soigneur) and Heiko Heinrici (Mechanic)