Julian Arredondo “super happy” with Tour de Langkawi victory
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Saturday, March 02, 2013

Julian Arredondo “super happy” with Tour de Langkawi victory

by Ben Atkins at 6:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
 
Colombian climber takes Malaysian race after dominance in the mountains

julian arredondoJulian Arredondo (Nippo-De Rosa) pronounced himself “super happy” with his overall victory in the 2013 Tour de Langkawi, after being confirmed the winner of the race’s 18th edition at the end of the final stage today. The 24-year old Colombian took the lead after his victory in the race’s fifth stage to Genting Highlands, where the race has historically been decided, and managed to weather any attacks from his rivals in the five stages that followed.

“I’m happy. I’m super happy,” Arredondo said after the race. “I have prepared well for this race, and I’ve been able to methodise my preparation for the Tour de Langkawi. It’s been different to last year, when I had visa problems for racing; now these problems are resolved.”

Nippo-De Rosa is a part Italian team, but is registered in Japan as part of the Asia Tour; despite being a member of what is effectively cycling’s third division, Arredondo managed to overcome the challenge of several much larger teams to take the victory.

“I’ve raced the Tour de Langkawi in a small team, but in this team we have always been good friends, and everyone in this team has done his best on the road,” he explained. “This team is like a family. In the difficult moments of the race they have remained very close to me.”

“Yes [I like Malaysia] a lot,” he added. “I’m enchanted.”

While travelling to the race Arredondo missed his connecting flight between the capital Kuala Lumpur and the island of Langkawi where the team presentation was to take place. Despite being forced to sleep in the airport terminal, the 24-year-old climber was still able to keep his focus on the race ahead.

“I had some problems reaching Langkawi, and I had to spend a night at the airport,” he confirmed, “but I kept focussed on the race, even when I was waiting for my connecting flight, and that’s how I managed to get this lucky moment here at the race.

“I always think that after the storm it becomes quiet again.”

Although Arredondo was able to take the biggest victory of his career as part of a small team, the Colombian hopes that the result will be a springboard to far greater things in his career.

“I hope to have the opportunity to join a big team,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of sacrifices towards that goal.”

Arredondo’s victory is the fifth in the 18-year history of the Tour de Langkawi by a Colombian and - with compatriot Jose Serpa and Venezuelan’s Jose Rujano and Yonathan Monsalve - the fifth straight victory by a rider from South America.

It is the fact that South East Asia and South America share a number of things in common that has helped Arredondo to win, he thinks.

“In Colombia I come from a place that is a bit similar to Malaysia,” Arredondo explained. “The climate is similar, and the warmth of the weather - and the people - is also like here. That’s why, all these days in Malaysia, I’ve felt like I was at home, and I give a big thank you to the Malaysian crowd.

“I hope that this is only my first victory, and there are many more to come.”

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