The 4th stage of the Tour de Langkawi ended with the predicted mass sprint. Riccardo Minali (Astana) took the spoils, beating Andrea Gaurdini (Bardiani-CSF) and Hariff Saleh (Terengganu Cycling) to the line. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka suffered a big loss when Mekseb Debesay, our overall race favourite, crashed out of the race today.
It was yet another flat stage at the Tour de Langkawi, with today’s 4th stage spanning over 177km as the riders made their way from Dungan to Pekan. After the break spoiled the sprinters plans yesterday, it was highly unlikely that any attackers would accomplish the same feat today. Nevertheless, 6 riders tried their luck with an early escape.
Without a sprint favourite in our line-up and with no rider in break posing any GC threat, our Team Dimension Data for Qhubkea squad was under no real pressure at any stage today. The sprint teams were left to control the attackers gap, which they were successful in neutralizing around the 15km to go mark.
A late attack from Callum Scotson (Bike-Exchange) with 10km to go did result in our African Team having to come to the head of the peloton and lead the chase, and this is where misfortune struck our African Team. Mekseb Debesay was involved in a nasty crash, as teams battled for position leading up to the sprint, which he was unable to ride away from. Our Eritrean star was taken to hospital for further medical examination.
Minali was the fastest to the line, taking his 2nd stage win at the Tour de Langkawi this year while Amanuel Ghebreigzhabhier was our highest placed rider, finishing in 20th place.
Dr Dirk Tenner – Team Doctor
Mekseb Debesay was involved in a high-speed crash during the final kilometers of today’s stage. Unfortunately, Mekseb was not able to continue as a result of the crash. We can confirm Mekseb has sustained no life-threatening injuries, he is conscious and talking but he needs to undergo further medical examination at the hospital in Kulala Lumpur to reveal the full extent of his injuries.