Walscheid sprints to a close 2nd on Langkawi stage 2

Taj Jones (ARA Pro Racing) won stage 2 of the Tour de Langkawi, beating Max Walscheid (NTT Pro Cycling) and Jeremy Lecroq (B&B Hotels – Vital Concept) in the mass sprint.

Stage 2 of the Tour de Langkawi was a long but mostly flat 175km route along the Eastern coast. A break of 5 riders animated the early part of the stage but the yellow jersey team of Vino-Astana Motors held them in check.

NTT Pro Cycling came to the fore in the final 40km to ensure a bunch sprint would decide the stage, as Walscheid was targeting the stage win. The team worked really well to firstly reel in the break, but then also to lead out our German sprinter in the final kilometers.

The final kilometer of the stage was rather tricky with a dangerous left-hand corner in the final 500m. NTT Pro Cycling took it from the front in order to stay safe and delivered Walscheid to the final 200m where he launched his sprint from. A strong headwind in the final straight allowed the young Australian, Jones, to just come round Walscheid in the last 15 meters and win the stage.

Unfortunately, there was also a crash just inside the final 3km and Louis Meintjes went down, after completing his role in the lead out. Our South African climber has a small laceration on his left knee but will be okay to start tomorrow’s 3rd stage and as the crash took place in the final 3km, no time loss was suffered.