Tour de Langkawi: stage victory for Thomson, race lead for Erler
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Tour de Langkawi: stage victory for Thomson, race lead for Erler

by VeloNation Press at 7:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 

Former Tour of Egypt winner Jay Thomson clocked up his biggest success to date today when he galloped to victory on stage two of the Tour de Langkawi. The 23 year old South African outsprinted Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) and David Pell (Drapac Porsche Cycling) to the line in Chukai, the trio stealing a march on the peloton on what is the longest stage of the race.

“I came to the Tour de Langkawi with winning a stage in mind. I am coming off good form from the Tour of Wellington,” he said, speaking about his recent stage win there. “That was good preparation in Australia, with the heat and humidity there.

“Today, before the stage, we discussed that we would try to get somebody in the break. We though that maybe it would stick because of the distance of the stage and having ISD riding on the front all day yesterday. Thanks to my team-mates, they set it up perfectly for me to get into the break today. Obviously winning and getting a bit of a time buffer before Saturday’s climb is always a bonus.”

Thomson, Erler and Pell attacked 59 kilometres after the stage start in Kuala Terengganu, timing it perfectly after a number of unsuccessful moves by other riders.

They quickly gained time, fending off a chase behind by Wang Meiyin (Marco Polo Cycling Team) and Ming Xing Xue (Champion System-Max), and pulling well clear of the bunch. The trio rode intelligently, keeping something in reserve and then ramping up the pace when the bunch tried to reel them in.

Erler won two intermediate sprints and the time bonuses there ensured that he was best-placed of the trio with regards to the overall classification. They finished three minutes and three seconds ahead of the peloton and that put Erler into the overall lead, five seconds ahead of Pell and seven up on Thomson.

“Today you had to be in the breakaway,” Erler said afterwards. “Then when I was in the move we did the perfect job. What we did is that we held back, gaining time gradually and keeping something in reserve. Then later on when the bunch sped up, we were also able to dig in and to increase our own speed.

“I wanted to win the stage but I think that everybody [in the break] deserved to win it. I am in yellow so I can’t complain.”

Erler previously raced with the Giant Asia and 3C – Gruppe teams and took a break from international racing last year as he was studying in university. He will begin working as a teacher in September, and in the meantime will compete with the Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling squad.

He won four stages plus the overall victory in the 2005 Tour of Taiwan and is delighted to be back in yellow. “It is great to be in the yellow jersey in a .HC race,” he enthused. “I already won one yellow jersey. Winning a yellow jersey is different to just wearing one, but in a race like this, the Tour de Langkawi, the whole cycling world is watching. To wear yellow now is really, really nice.”

Today’s pursuit was driven by the ISD-Neri and Team Jayco Skins teams, with the latter seeking to protect the overnight lead of stage one victor Michael Matthews. However the break was able to gain over eight minutes and there simply wasn’t enough time to bring them back.

Erler said after the stage that he wanted to hold onto the yellow jersey for several more days if possible.

“I think I can stay in yellow until Genting [Highland], but I will probably not be in yellow after that,” he said. “I know that there are climbers like Rujano in the race, and my team also has strong riders [for the general classification]. Three minutes is nothing, so if they start to ride hard on a 20 percent climb, I could lose a lot.”

One of those who will aim to ride well there is the current King of the Mountains leader Peter McDonald. He won the first mountain prime at Landas today and finished up four points ahead of the next rider.

Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia) also ended up on the stage end podium after a strong performance. Yesterday he received the blue jersey as best Asian rider in the race; today, he added the green jersey as points leader to that. He took fourth place in the final two bonus sprints plus fifth on today’s stage and this was enough to ensure that he took over from Matthews.

“I was very unfortunate to have a puncture just a few kilometres before the first sprint [thus missing out on points],” he said. “With the help of my team-mate, we had to work very hard to chase the peloton today.

“After that, my focus was to be in the best position at the last sprint to make sure that I could get extra points. My new focus is for the green jersey rather than the blue one.”

As for Matthews, yesterday’s race leader, his attention has also shifted. He said that he and the team would go for stages now.

The Malaysian tour continues tomorrow with a mainly flat 145.6 kilometre stage from Pekan to Mersing.


Le Tour de Langkawi, Malaysia (2.HC, March 1- 7)

March 2, Stage 2: Kuala Terengganu – Chukai:

1, Jay Thomson (South Africa National Team) 182.3 kilometres in 4 hours 6 mins 54 secs
2, Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team)
3, David Pell (Drapac Porsche Cycling) both same time
4, Michael Matthews (Team Jayco - Skins) at 3 mins 3 secs
5, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia)
6, Rene Weissinger (Vorarlberg - Corratec) both same time


Sprint 1 - Kg Pela:

1, Michael Matthews (Team Jayco - Skins) 5 pts
2, Oleksandr Kvachuk (ISD - Neri) 3
3, Ruslan Tleubayev (Kazakhstan National Team) 2

Sprint 2 – Dendang:

1, Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) 5 pts
2, David Pell (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 3
3, Jay Thomson (South Africa National Team) 2

Sprint 3 – Dungun:

1, Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) 5 pts
2, Jay Thomson (South Africa National Team) 3
3, David Pell (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 2

KOM Climb 1 - Landas, Category 4:

1, Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 4 pts
2, Zainal Rizuan (Malaysia National Team) 2
3, Gang Xu (Max Success Sports) 1

KOM Climb 2 - Kijal, Category 4:

1, David Pell (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 4 pts
2, Jay Thomson (South Africa National Team) 2
3, Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) 1

Teams:

1, South Africa National Team, 12 hours 26 mins 48 secs
2, Drapac Porsche Cycling
3, Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling, both same time
4, Geumsan Ginseng Asia, at 3 mins 3 secs
5, Malaysia National Team
6, Kazakhstan National Team, both same time


Asian Teams:

1, Geumsan Ginseng Asia, 12 hours 29 mins 51 secs
2, Malaysia National Team
3, Kazakhstan National Team, both same time


General Classification:

1, Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) 8 hours 29 mins 35 secs
2, David Pell (Drapac Porsche Cycling) at 5 secs
3, Jay Thomson (South Africa National Team) at 7 secs
4, Michael Matthews (Team Jayco - Skins) at 3 mins 2 secs
5, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia) at 3 mins 9 secs
6, Vidal Celis (Footon-Servetto) same time


Points Classification:

1, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia) 34 pts
2, Michael Matthews (Team Jayco - Skins) 32
3, Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) 32
4, Ruslan Tleubayev (Kazakhstan National Team) 24
5, Vidal Celis (Footon-Servetto) 23
6, Jay Thomson (South Africa National Team) 20


Mountains Classification:

1, Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 8 pts
2, David Pell (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 4
3, Adiq Othman (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 4
4, Roman Zhiyentayev (Kazakhstan National Team) 4
5, Zainal Rizuan (Malaysia National Team) 4
6, Jay Thomson (South Africa National Team) 3


Asian Rider Classification:

1, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia) 8 hours 32 mins 44 secs
2, Ruslan Tleubayev (Kazakhstan National Team) at 1 secs
3, Zainal Rizuan (Malaysia National Team) at 4 secs


Teams Classification:

1, South Africa National Team) 25 hours 35 mins 27 secs
2, Drapac Porsche Cycling
3, Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling, both same time
4, Footon-Servetto, at 3 mins 3 secs
5, Malaysia National Team
6, Team Jayco- Skins, both same time


Asian Teams Classification:

1, Malaysia National Team, 25 hours 38 mins 30 secs
2, Geumsan Ginseng Asia
3, Kazakhstan National Team, both same time

 

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