The first stage of Tour de Langkawi ran from Kangar to Kulim and stretched a total of 147.9km. After the cold racing that some of our riders had encountered in Europe, they were eager to experience the Malaysian climate.
Once racing got underway, there were a few attempts at a break. The break for the day, containing Nik Zulkiflie (Forca), Bo Wang (Hengxiang) and Abdurrohman (KFC) managed to get away after 20km of racing. They held on to their lead for the majority of the race, pushing the time difference between the peloton to six minutes at some points.
The break were caught with 110km of racing completed. The final bunch sprint was marred by a crash. Andrea Guardini (Bardiani CSF) outsprinted the bunch, followed by Soonyeong Kwon. Mekseb Debesay sprinted to a superb 3rd place for our African team, providing our team a great start to the week of racing.
Mekseb Debesay- Rider
Today was good start with this 3rd position. The team looked after me for the whole day until the final kilometres. It was quite a fast sprint finish for me but I put in a good sprint behind Andrea Guardini. I was lucky to miss the big crash in the last kilometre. In general, it was good day.