Kenny van Hummel (Androni Giocattoli) won the 6th stage of the Le Tour de Langkawi in a bunch sprint. The Dutch sprinter was able to get the better of Aidis Kruopis (Orica GreenEdge) and Ken Hanson (UnitedHealthcare) in the final few meters to claim the victory.
It was a rather standard sprinters stage today as a group of 4 riders went off the front of the peloton and weren’t allowed much more than a 2’30” lead. The escapees could see the sprinters teams were not going to let them go today and so with 20km to go they gave up their lead.
Coming into the final 10km the pace was really high as Colombia, Belkin and Astana were trying to set up the stage for their sprinters. Until this point Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had had a rather quiet day in the bunch. It was in these closing kilometers that the team had a slight scare when Merhawi Kudus, 2nd on GC for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, crashed at high speed. Luckily the young Eritrean was not badly injured and could rely on some strong team support to get him back into the race.
“It was an eventful end to an otherwise quiet stage for us. Merhawi crashed about 5km out. He was a bit battered and bruised but he made it back into the bunch. Tsgabu saw him tumble and immediately stopped and gave Merhawi his bike,” said Directeur Sportif Kevin Campbell after the stage finish today.
Youcef Reguigui, the Algerian sprinter on Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung once again showed a good turn of speed in the final sprint to the line. With 3 top 10 placings already at Le Tour de Langkawi this week, Reguigui was able to place 8th today after being slightly boxed in during the last 500m.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung was able to retain its lead in the team classification and still has 3 riders placed in the top 10 of the overall classification going into the final 4 stages. Tomorrow the peloton will tackle the longest stage of the race, 230km from Kota Tinggi to Pekan, which is expected to finish in a bunch sprint once again.
Le Tour de Langkawi (Malaysia) – (February 27 – March 8/UCI 2.HC)
Louis Meintjes (RSA)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Merhawi Kudus (ERI)
Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
John-Lee Augustyn (RSA)
Youcef Reguigui (ALG)
Staff: Kevin Campbell (Sports Director), Dr Jarrad van Zuydam (Doctor), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Yvonne Houwelling (Soigneur) and Heiko Heinrici (Mechanic)