Pieter Weening: “Second place was the best result I could get” in Tour de Langkawi
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Sunday, March 03, 2013

Pieter Weening: “Second place was the best result I could get” in Tour de Langkawi

by Ben Atkins at 5:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
 
Orica-GreenEdge Dutchman upbeat about his form as he heads towards his spring targets

pieter weeningPieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) finished the Tour de Langkawi in second place, just 1’15” behind Julian Arredondo (Nippo-De Rosa). The Dutchman lost that time to the Colombian climber on the race’s two mountain stages, where Arredondo jumped away from the peloton in pursuit of stage winner Wang Meiyin (Hengxiang) on the climb to Cameron Highlands; he then left Weening himself behind on the Queen stage to Genting Highlands after the two riders broke away in the final kilometres.

Despite missing out on what would have been his first major stage race victory, Weening was optimistic about what his performance means for the rest of the season.

“Second place was the best result I could get here,” the Dutchman told VeloNation after the end of the final stage. “The Colombian guy, Arredondo, was too strong in the mountains, so then he deserves to win it here.

“I’m really happy with my second place, you know. Second place is also a good result. It’s a ten day race and it’s really early in the season, so yeah, I’m really happy with that.”

Orica-GreenEdge was one of the teams hit by a stomach bug that went through the peloton in the second half of the race, and finished with just three riders. Lithuanian sprinter Aidis Kruopis was forced to withdraw after a crash on stage 8, but Australians Luke Durbridge and Wesley Sulzberger were both forced out through illness.

“I think it was from the dirt from the road,” Weening reasoned. “A lot of guys went sick, it’s not because the race was that heavy that they pulled out or something; it’s just because they were sick.

“They had diarrhoea, and they were spewing, and so those guys were really feeling sick,” he explained, “and then it’s not necessary to continue; not in this race, and not this early in the season. They don’t need to take any risks.

“Second is a good result,” he added. “We finished with only three guys, but I think the team is still happy. We’ve had a lot of podiums.

Having completed the Malaysian tour Weening will return home, before beginning his final preparation for the start of his European season.

“My first race in Europe is Pays Basque, the Basque Country Tour in April,” he explained. “Before then I’m going to do an altitude camp, so I’ll try to be really good over there in the month of April in the mountains.

“I was climbing really good up here,” he continued. “I hope I can gain one or two more percent, and then I’ll be perfect and really good for the months of April and May. I’m really happy with my form right now, because everything worked well this winter, so I’m happy with that.

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