Matthews wins again in Tour de Langkawi, Erler maintains race lead
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Matthews wins again in Tour de Langkawi, Erler maintains race lead

by Conal Andrews at 7:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

It’s been an excellent week thus far for Australian rider Michael Matthews, given that he has clocked up the first two professional victories of his career in the past three days.

The 19 year old Team Jayco-Skins rider blitzed the field to win today’s third leg of the Tour de Langkawi, edging out Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies), former world under 23 champion Dmytro Gravovskyy (ISD-Neri) and the rest of the peloton at the end of the 145.6 kilometre stage to Mersing.

The performance made up for his disappointment at losing yellow yesterday, and showed that he is the fastest rider in the Malaysian tour.

Race leader Tobias Erler rode strongly during the mainly flat stage, he and his team covering several early breakaway attempts, then placed ninth in the dash to the line.

He protected his overall lead, maintaining his five second advantage over David Pell (Drapac Porsche) and his seven second buffer over yesterday’s winner Jay Thomson (South Africa). He is a comfortable two minutes 48 seconds up on Matthews, and will aim to retain yellow until Saturday’s crucial stage to the Genting Highlands.

“The day went to plan, but I had hoped to have it a little bit easier,” the Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling rider said in the post-race press conference. “It was quite a hard job to defend the yellow jersey because it took almost seventy kilometres before just one rider went into a break.

“I jumped across to many groups and wanted to control them, so that there was just four or five guys rolling away and so that there would be a bunch sprint in the end. Then someone tried to attack again, the break came back and everything was mixed up once more. For me, it was a really tough day in those first seventy kilometres…it was almost harder than yesterday.”

Matthews also was under pressure at times today, but showed the value of digging in and believing that the legs will come around. “Today’s sprint was different to the first one. I actually wasn’t feeling that good today in the sprints against this guy [gestures to points leader Anuar Manan], he kept rolling me, so I wasn’t too confident,” he explained. “But coming into the last couple of kilometres I started doing a bit better, got a good leadout and came away with the win.”

One of the most consistent riders thus far has been the Malaysian Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Aisa). In contrast to the early years of the Tour de Langkawi, the home competitors are strong enough to really take the fight to the foreign teams, and are riding with a new inspiration this time round.

Rusli Amir and Ali Fallanie (Malaysia National Team) plus Sea Keong Loh (Marco Polo) went clear immediately after the start of the race, while others were aggressive later in the stage. Manan was more impressive again, placing first, fourth and second in the day’s intermediate sprints, and netting fourth in the gallop for the line.

The efforts saw him end the day three points ahead of Matthews, who is likely to be his biggest challenger for the green jersey. He retained his lead in the Asian category, and vowed to try to defend both until the end of the race. He also wants to take a stage victory between now and the Kuala Lumpur conclusion on Sunday.

Hectic racing alongside the South China Sea:

The aggressive start by Amir, Fallanie and Keong Loh set the tone for the first half of today’s stage, with attack after attack being launched and putting pressure on Erler and his team.

One of the dangerous moves contained the second-placed rider overall, Pell, and this had to be closed down quickly. Erler jumped across to several breaks while his Tabriz Petrochemical team-mates hauled others back. He didn’t contest the first intermediate sprint, which was won by Manan.

The spate of attacks eased somewhat when Hyo Suk Gong (Seoul Cycling) broke clear 58 kilometres into the stage. A fatigued bunch stalled and he quickly built a maximum lead of four minutes, netting the second intermediate sprint in Rompin as well as the third in Tanjong Gemok.

However he was overhauled approximately thirty kilometres from the finish, after which Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kazakhstan National Team) set off on a twenty kilometre solo break.

That bid also failed, leading to the big bunch gallop and Matthews’ second win in three days. Erler finished close by and heads into tomorrow’s fourth leg with an advantage of five seconds over Pell.

King of the Mountains leader Peter McDonald also retained his own leader’s jersey, picking up second on the day’s sole King of the Mountains prime at Kg Baharu. He now has a total of ten points, five more than his team-mate Adiq Othman. Another Drapac Porsche rider, Pell, is six points back, giving him a nice buffer to the riders behind those.

He will face just one categorised climb en route to tomorrow’s finish in Parit Sulong, and will want to boost his KOM points before the race heads towards its big showdown on Genting Highlands on Saturday.


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

March 3, Stage 3: Pekan – Mersing:

1, Michael Matthews (Team Jayco - Skins) 145.6 kilometres in 3 hours 16 mins 27 secs
2, Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies
3, Dmytro Grabovskyy (ISD - Neri
4, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia
5, René Haselbacher (Vorarlberg - Corratec
6, Vidal Celis (Footon-Servetto
7, Hossein Nateghi (Azad University Iran
8, Yeong Uk Kim (Geumsan Ginseng Asia
9, Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team)
10, Kazuhiro Mori (Aisan Racing Team) all same time

Sprint: SP1, Nenasi:

1, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia) 5 pts
2, Michael Matthews (Team Jayco - Skins) 3
3, Mehdi Sohrabi (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) 2

Sprint: SP2, Rompin:

1, Hyo Suk Gong (Seoul Cycling) 5 pts
2, Michael Matthews (Team Jayco - Skins) 3
3, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia) 2

Sprint: SP3, Tanjong Gemok:

1, Hyo Suk Gong (Seoul Cycling) 5 pts
2, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia) 3
3, Malcom Rudolph (Team Jayco - Skins) 2

KOM Cat 4, Kg Baharu:

1, Hyo Suk Gong (Seoul Cycling) 4 pts
2, Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 2
3, Adiq Othman (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 1


1, Footon-Servetto, 9 hours 49 mins 21 secs
2, Geumsan Ginseng Asia
3, Malaysia National Team
4, Vorarlberg-Corratec
5, Thailand National Team
6, Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling, all same time


14, Giant Asia Racing Team, same time

Asian Teams:

1, Geumsan Ginseng Asia, 9 hours 49 mins 21 secs
2, Malaysia National Team
3, Thailand National Team
4, Polygon Sweet Nice
5, Kazakhstan National Team
6, Azad University Iran, all same time

General Classification after three stages:

1, Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) 11 hours 46 mins 2 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 2 mins 48 secs
5, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia) at 3 mins 3 secs
6, Vidal Celis (Footon-Servetto) at 3 mins 9 secs
7, Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
8, Ruslan Tleubayev (Kazakhstan National Team) at 3 mins 10 secs
9, Dmytro Grabovskyy (ISD - Neri) at 3 mins 11 secs
10, Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche Cycling) at 3 mins 12 secs

Points Classification:

1, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia) 56 pts
2, Michael Matthews (Team Jayco - Skins) 53
3, Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) 39
4, Vidal Celis (Footon-Servetto) 33
5, Ruslan Tleubayev (Kazakhstan National Team) 24
6, René Haselbacher (Vorarlberg - Corratec) 21

Mountains Classification:

1, Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 10 pts
2, Adiq Othman (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 5
3, David Pell (Drapac Porsche Cycling) 4
4, Roman Zhiyentayev (Kazakhstan National Team) 4
5, Hyo Suk Gong (Seoul Cycling) 4
6, Zainal Rizuan (Malaysia National Team) 4

Asian Rider Classification:

1, Anuar Manan (Geumsan Ginseng Asia) 11 hours 49 mins 5 secs
2, Ruslan Tleubayev (Kazakhstan National Team) at 7 secs
3, Zainal Rizuan (Malaysia National Team) at 10 secs
4, Bualoi Okart (Thailand National Team) at 11 secs
5, Mehdi Sohrabi (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) same time
6, Salleh Zamri (Malaysia National Team) at 12 secs

Teams Classification:

1, South Africa National Team, 35 hours 24 mins 48 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, Geumsan Ginseng Asia, both same time

Asian Teams Classification:

1, Geumsan Ginseng Asia, 35 hours 27 mins 51 secs
2, Malaysia National Team
3, Kazakhstan National Team
4, Thailand National Team
5, Aisan Racing Team
6, Polygon Sweet Nice, all same time


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