The 3rd stage of the Tour de Langkawi was a short 118km sprint from Serdand to Pantai Remis and Jakub Mareczko (Willier) was the day’s winner, sprinting to victory ahead of Scott Sunderland (United Healthcare) and Zamri Saleh (Terengganu). Ryan Gibbons from Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka held on to overall race lead after rolling across the line in 15th place.
It was a late afternoon stage in Langkawi as riders set off just past 15:00 local time. While it was a rather short stage at just 118km in length and relatively flat too, the 38 degree heat still made for a challenging day of racing. Our African Team was out to defend the overall lead of Gibbons by bringing the stage down to yet another sprint finale.
3 riders made an early move to form the break of the day and they were able to reach a lead of 5-minutes. Jacques Janse van Rensburg then went to the front of the peloton to control the gap on behalf of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. Janse van Rensburg did a phenomenal job to bring the gap down to under 2’00” with less than 20km to go before any real assistance was offered by other teams.
The escape was caught with 6km to go and it was now up to the sprinters to have their say in the stage. Our African Team were once again looking after the interests of Gibbons but the fight for position was intense as the short stage allowed for more riders with fresher legs to be in contention. In the end it was Mareczko who came out on top. Mekseb Debesay was first across the line for us in 12th and Gibbons had to be content with sitting up over the final 100 meters to safely keep his yellow jersey for another stage.
Ryan Gibbons – Rider
We controlled the race all day and the team were incredible. Jacques did a phenominal job, I think he sat on the front by himself for over 90km. Coming into the final I think everyone was caught fresh so a few teams who have been nothing the past few days were able to come to the front and it was madness. I think almost went down 3 times so I just rolled in around 15th. Happy to have kept yellow but nowhere on the stage unfortunately. We are quite relaxed going into tomorrow’s stage, we have Ben and Mekseb who are both looking really strong. I will see what I can do but I think overall the team will be quite good tomorrow.