It was a mass sprint that decided the opening stage of the Tour de Langkawi with Andrea Guardini (Astana) taking the victory ahead of Caleb Ewan (Orica-Greenedge) and Anuar Mannan (Terengganu). MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had Youcef Reguigui sprint into 7th position.
The early racing saw 5 riders go clear of the bunch, building up a lead of just over 2 minutes. Astana and Greenedge kept the leaders on a short leash all stage as they were both riding to set the stage up for their sprinters. The timing of the chase was calculated to perfection as it was only with 2km to go that the race was brought back together.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were looking to position Youcef for the sprint and the Algerian fast man found himself on the wheel of Gaurdini in the final kilometers after some strong team work. There was a crash inside of a kilometer to go but Youcef went on to secure a good top 10 place, finishing 7th.
Youcef Reguigui – Rider
The stage was a short one but it was fast and in the finale it was quite crazy as everyone fought for position. The team did a great job to keep me in the front all day. With 2km to go I was on the wheel of Gaurdini but a kilometer later I lost a few positions. I had to start my sprint with 300m to go and I passed about 4 or 5 riders which tells me my condition is good. I know I can do better tomorrow, especially if the team do such a great job like they did today. I really must thank them for the work they did today.