Pieter Weening: “If there’s an opportunity I’ll try to grab it.”
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pieter Weening: “If there’s an opportunity I’ll try to grab it.”

by Ben Atkins at 8:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Tour de Langkawi
Dutchman on the look out for the chance to take the lead in the Tour de Langkawi

Pieter WeeningPieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) has sat in second place in the general classification in the Tour de Langkawi, behind Julian Arredondo (Nippo-De Rosa), since finishing behind the Colombian on Genting Highlands on stage five. With little climbing left in the race, many had predicted that the fight for the yellow jersey would end at that tough, halfway point, but the aggressive tactics shown by a number of Arredondo’s rivals in the rainy end to stage six has proved that the race is far from over yet.

Weening himself was not part of the 16-man group that escaped in the final 50km of yesterday’s stage, but the powerful Dutchman does not rule out making a move in the stages to come.

“It depends on how the race is going of course,” Weening told VeloNation before the seventh stage. “Yesterday there were a lot of guys riding for a GC in the GC, you know, like they try to defend fourth place, and third place, and stuff like this. That’s why a lot of guys can still get fifth, or fourth, or third, or seventh place, so everybody wants to defend it.

“A lot of guys are going in attacks that are quite short in GC.”

Stage six was the longest of the race, at 217.5km, and - coming, as it did, the day after the climb to Genting Highlands - the weather and the distance conspired to allow some of the peloton’s strongest riders to attack on otherwise simple roads. Stage seven was a very different proposition, however, with just 149.8km to ride, on mostly flat roads along Malaysia’s east coast.

“So that was happening yesterday, and in the end you could see everybody was getting tired - because it was a long stage yesterday - so in the final there are opportunities to go in the breakaway,” said Weening.

“Today is much shorter,” the Dutchman reasoned. “The weather looks a little bit better than yesterday, so it is still possible but the Nippo guys were riding good yesterday, and they only have to defend it for another four days…

“We will see. We have to wait for an opportunity. If there is an opportunity I’ll try to grab it, but if not, then it’s not.”

One thing that may work in the favour of the stronger teams, and help them to put Arredondo and his team under pressure, is that fact that much of the remainder of the race will be close to the coast of the north eastern Terengganu province; if the weather turns, then there could be opportunities.

“There’s no wind at all here, but yesterday - when the storm came in - there was a bit of wind,” Weening said. “But then it has to come from one side; if the wind is from the front, or from the back, then it’s not a problem.

“We have to wait and see what’s going to happen,” he concluded. “If there’s an opportunity I’ll try to grab it. We’ll see.”

During stage seven Weening did strike a small blow against Arredondo, as he fought to take bonus seconds in the final intermediate sprint. The Dutchman had to settle for third place, taking back just one second from the Colombian - cutting his deficit from 1’16” to 1’15”.

Perhaps more important than the time taken, however, was the gesture that Pieter Weening is not giving up.


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