Battisella sprints to 3rd as breakaway steals victory

Hideto Nakane (Nippo Delko) won stage 6 of the Tour de Langkawi from his late breakaway companion, Gleb Brussenskiy (Vino-Astana Motors). Samuele Battistella (NTT Pro Cycling) won the sprint from the chasing group, to take 3rd place.

Stage 6 of the Tour de Langkawi saw another fast start to the day, with the break taking over 70km to form. Once it did, there was a slight calm to proceedings before the peloton tackled the two main obstacles of the day, a category 2 and category 1 climb that followed in quick succession in the final quarter of the stage.

NTT Pro Cycling paid close attention to the movements at the head of the peloton with Battistella, Dylan Sunderland and Louis Meintjes all following any attacks. Our hope was to keep the race together for our sprinter Max Walscheid, who did a great job to pass over the climbs in the top 30 places.

At the base of the final descent a small group of 8 riders, which included Meintjes, rode clear. Soon thereafter, Nakane & Brussenskiy went clear from this leading group, just as Battistella followed a counter attack that bridged to Meintjes group.

Walscheid was in the group directly behind Battistella & Meintjes, but they weren’t gaining time quick enough to bring everything back together. Meintjes then tried to force the pace in his chase group, as the two riders were still up the road, but it was all too late for out NTT Pro Cycling team.

Battistella won the sprint from the chasing bunch to take 3rd and Walscheid the sprint from the main bunch, for 14th. It was the first ever podium result for Battistella as a professional, and Walscheid joined his teammate on stage as he retained the lead in the points jersey competition.