Monsalve secures overall victory in Tour de Langkawi, Guardini takes record-equalling fifth stage
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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Monsalve secures overall victory in Tour de Langkawi, Guardini takes record-equalling fifth stage

by Shane Stokes at 8:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
 
Sprint finish on final day of Malaysian race

Andrea GuardiniBlazing home a couple of lengths clear of his competitors and even having time to interrupt his sprint and look back at the gap, Italian sprinter Andrea Guardini took his fifth stage win of this year’s Tour de Langkawi today. Landing the victory gave him a success rate of 50% in the race, and made for an extremely good professional debut.

Another who has shone in his first big race in the paid ranks is Jonathan Monsalve (Androni Giocattoli), who finished alongside his rivals in the main bunch and took the final overall victory. He ended the ten stage, 2.HC ranked event five seconds clear of Libardo Nino Corredor (Le Tua) and 24 up on his own team-mate Emanuele Sella.

Dennis Van Niekerk (MTN Qhubeka), Rahim Emami (Azad University) and the hugely impressive 19 year old Lachlan Morton (Chipotle Development Team) were fourth, fifth and sixth.

“I’m very happy to win my first stage race as a professional,” Venezuelan rider Monsalve said, minutes after receiving his prizes for overall victor and King of the Mountains. “This is the right way to begin a career. It’s very good to do it being young and neo-professional.

“I’m also very happy to have won the stage in Genting because I knew it was hard and I knew my compatriot Jose Rujano won it last year so I wanted to win it as well. This is also the victory for the team for the whole week…after stage three, my team has worked well for this overall win. I’m delighted to win in Kuala Lumpur.”

Guardini’s victory equalled the record hauls clocked up by the Australian rider Graeme Brown and his Italian countryman Alberto Loddo, in 2005 and 2007 respectively. He’s younger than them, though, and was also making his pro debut.

The sprint wins plus the blue jersey will make it an evening of celebrations for his team. One of those guiding him will be both delighted at the success and also a little frustrated by what it means for him.

“I’m very happy for my Director Sportif Stefano Giuliani because he set a bet after stage two that if I win five stages, he would stop smoking,” said Guardini. “I’ve waited until the tenth stage to make that happen, so I’m very happy about that too. Of course I’m very happy to have won five stages in my first [pro] stage race, and also the points classification.”

Taking the latter award involved beating last year’s winner Anuar Manan, who was racing on home soil and who had been determined to land success in the race. Guardini was too strong, however. “Anuar was very determined to win the points classification in this race,” he said. “Unfortunately for him he lost everything on stage 7 where he didn’t managed to sprint. He lost about 15 points…as for myself in the other hand, I was steady and because I scored points all the time I could take the jersey home.”

Banking everything on a bunch finish:

As stated several days ago, Guardini’s preferred tactic was to hold back in relation to the bunch sprints, saving everything for the finish. He followed his blueprint on the final stage, which started in Shah Alam and covered 104.80 kilometres in humid conditions before finishing in downtown Kuala Lumpur. The stagewas mainly flat, with the exception of the fourth category climbs of Bukit Cahaya Alam (km 15.2) and Puncak Alam (km 20.6).

It also featured three intermediate sprints, specifically at Paya Jaras (km 42.6) and at the second (km 78.8) and fourth (km 91.8) of six laps of the finishing circuit in Kuala Lumpur.

Pengda Jiao (Max Success Sports Cycling) beat Mirsamad Pourseyedi (Azad Unversity) and Albert Timmer (Skil Shimano) to the top of the first climb, while the second saw Loh Sea Keong (Malaysia national team) get the better of Pourseyedi.

After several short-lived attacks, Mohammed Harrif Salleh (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling) took top points in the first intermediate sprint ahead of blue jersey Andrea Guardini and his own team-mate Anuar Manan. Then, a move at kilometre 103 by Loh Sea Keong saw him lead the race into Kuala Lumpur and take the cheers of the crowd at the finish line.

He was joined soon afterwards by the Irishman David McCann, Giant Kenda), but both were hauled back before the second sprint.

Manan was determined to ride well in front of the Malaysian crowd and chase points towards the blue jersey. He beat Boris Shpilevsky (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) and his own team-mate Mohammed Harrif Salleh to the next two intermediate sprints.

Guardini had a substantial lead in the points classification, though, and knew he could bide his time and wait for the finish. He’d have fresher legs from not going for the intermediate sprints, and stayed confident even when French rider Damien Gaudin (Europcar) attacked near the end.

After things came back together, he waited until the final 250 metres and then unleashed a very dominant sprint to beat Robert Forster (United Healthcare Pro Cycling) and Manan. It gave him a real confidence boost, and he’ll seek to show that power against the top names soon.

“I grew up watching the sprints of Mario Cipollini but I also quickly became a fan of McEwen and Mark Cavendish for the way they sprint,” he said. “Very soon, five days from now, I will be at the Tour of Qatar sprinting against some of them. I’m looking forward to that after what I did here.”

Jonathan MonsalveMonsalve will also be looking towards the next races. He said afterwards that the race win was an important one for him. “I’m very happy to have beaten him,” he said, referring to Nino Corredor. “I really wanted to win because I prepared for this race since December. When I had a two second deficit to Libardo, I had to do the [intermediate] sprints; thanks to those sprints, I managed to beat him.”

Aside from yellow, he also took the mountains classification while Guardini and Rahim Emami (Azad University) were best in the points and Asian rider classifications, respectively.

Tabriz Petrochemical were best in the teams’ classification, beating Azad University and Chipotle Development Team. Azad led home Max Success and Tabriz Petrochemical in the Asian team competition.

The latter contest was something he said was a big target. “The most important thing is to win team general classification,” he explained. “We had a bad ride in Cameron Highlands. Our rider punctured in the last ten kilometres and crashed in the downhill and he lost two to three minutes.

“I am so happy with this result.” Ditto for Guardini and Monsalve, who leave the prestigious Asian race stronger, more experienced and more successful than they had been before.

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Tour de Langkawi (UCI WorldTour), Jan 23 – Feb 1:

Stage 10, Shah Alam to Kuala Lumpur:

1, Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Neri Sotttoli) 104.8 kilometres in 2 hours 24 mins 30 secs
2, Robert Forster (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)
3, Anuar Manan (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling)
4, Christoff Van Heerden (MTN Qhubeka)
5, Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano)
6, Boris Shpilevsky (Tabriz Petrochemical Team)
7, Joeri Stallaert (Landbouwkrediet)
8, André Schulze (CCC Polsat Polkowice)
9, Takeaki Ayabe (Aisan Racing Team)
10, Omar Lombardi (Colnago-CSF Inox)
11, Boy Van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)
12, Alireza Haghi (Azad University Cycling Team)
13, Hamid Shirisisan (Suren Cycling Team)
14, Shinpei Fukuda (Aisan Racing Team)
15, Stuart Shaw (Drapac Professional Cycling)
16, Raymond Kreder (Chipotle Development Team)
17, Adi Putera Yusof (Singapore National Team)
18, Chan Jae Jang (Korea National Team)
19, Puchong Sai-Udomsin (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling)
20, Luca Barla (Androni Giocattoli) all same time

Asian Rider Stage:

1, Anuar Manan (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling) 2 hours 24 mins 30 secs
2, Takeaki Ayabe (Aisan Racing Team)
3, Alireza Haghi (Azad University Cycling Team)
4, Hamid Shirisisan (Suren Cycling Team)
5, Shinpei Fukuda (Aisan Racing Team)
6, Adi Putera Yusof (Singapore National Team)
7, Chan Jae Jang (Korea National Team)
8, Puchong Sai-Udomsin (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling)
9, Meysam Ameli (Suren Cycling Team)
10, Ji Wen Low (Singapore National Team)

Team:

1, United Healthcare Pro Cycling, 7 hours 13 mins 30 secs
2, Aisan Racing Team
3, Suren Cycling Team
4, Colnago CSF INOX Pro
5, Tabriz Petrochemical Team
6, Androni Giocattoli
7, Singapore National Team
8, Azad University Cycling Team
9, MTN Qhubeka
10, Terengganu ProAsia Cycling

Asian Team:

1, Aisan Racing Team, 7 hours 13 mins 30 secs
2, Suren Cycling Team
3, Singapore National Team
4, Azad University Cycling Team
5, Terengganu ProAsia Cycling
6, Korea National Team
7, Malaysia National Team
8, Tabriz Petrochemical Team
9, Max Success Sports Cycling
10, Le Tua Cycling Team, at 1 min 23 secs

Primes:

Category 4 climb at Bukit Cahaya Alam (km 15.2):

1, Pengda Jiao (Max Success Sports Cycling) 4 pts
2, Mirsamad Pourseyedi G. (Azad University Cycling Team) 2
3, Albert Timmer (Skil-Shimano) 1

Category 4 climb at Puncak Alam (km 20.6):

1, Sea Keong Loh (Malaysia National Team) 4 pts
2, Mirsamad Pourseyedi G. (Azad University Cycling Team) 2
3, Puchong Sai-Udomsin (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling) 1

Proton intermediate sprint 1 at Paray Jaras (km 42.6):

1, Mohd Harrif Salleh (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling) 5 pts
2, Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Neri Sotttoli) 3
3, Anuar Manan (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling) 2
4, Boris Shpilevsky (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) 1

Proton intermediate sprint 2 (km 78.8):

1, Anuar Manan (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling) 5 pts
2, Boris Shpilevsky (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) 3
3, Mohd Harrif Salleh (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling) 2
4, Dennis Van Niekerk (MTN Qhubeka) 1

Proton intermediate sprint 3 (km 91.8):

1, Anuar Manan (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling) 5 pts
2, Boris Shpilevsky (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) 3
3, Mohd Harrif Salleh (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling) 2
4, Takashi Miyazawa (Farnese Vini-Neri Sotttoli) 1

Final general classification:

1, Jonathan Monsalve (Androni Giocattoli) 30 hours 8 mins 57 secs
2, Libardo Nino Corredor (Le Tua Cycling Team) at 5 secs
3, Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli) at 24 secs
4, Dennis Van Niekerk (MTN Qhubeka) at 25 secs
5, Rahim Emami (Azad University Cycling Team)
6, Lachlan Morton (Chipotle Development Team) at 32 secs
7, Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) at 49 secs
8, Hossein Askari (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) at 56 secs
9, Hyosuk Gong (Korea National Team) at 57 secs
10, Ghader Mizbani (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) at 1 min 15 secs
11, Jose Mendes (CCC Polsat Polkowice) at 1 min 30 secs
12, Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar) at 1 min 48 secs
13, Alex Howes (Chipotle Development Team) at 2 mins 3 secs
14, Amir Zargari (Azad University Cycling Team) at 2 mins 19 secs
15, Kirk Carlsen (Chipotle Development Team) at 2 mins 26 secs
16, Markus Eibegger (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) at 2 mins 40 secs
17, Alex Coutts (Giant Kenda Pro Cycling Team) at 3 mins 2 secs
18, Perrig Quemeneur (Team Europcar) at 3 mins 3 secs
19, Mirsamad Pourseyedi G. (Azad University Cycling Team) at 3 mins 20 secs
20, Gu Jang Kyung (Korea National Team) at 3 mins 33 secs

Asian Rider Overall:

1, Rahim Emami (Azad University Cycling Team 3) at 9 mins 22 secs
2, Hossein Askari (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) at 31 secs
3, Hyosuk Gong (Korea National Team) at 32 secs
4, Ghader Mizbani (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) at 50 secs
5, Amir Zargari (Azad University Cycling Team) at 1 min 54 secs
6, Mirsamad Pourseyedi G. (Azad University Cycling Team) at 2 mins 55 secs
7, Gu Jang Kyung (Korea National Team) at 3 mins 8 secs
8, Pengda Jiao (Max Success Sports Cycling) at 3 mins 28 secs
9, Gang Xu (Max Success Sports Cycling) at 3 mins 55 secs
10, Yukihiro Doi (Skil-Shimano) at 4 mins 48 secs

Points:

1, Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Neri Sotttoli) 117 pts
2, Anuar Manan (Terengganu ProAsia Cycling) 101
3, Boris Shpilevsky (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) 97

Mountains:

1, Jonathan Monsalve (Androni Giocattoli) 45 pts
2, Rahim Emami (Azad University Cycling Team) 35
3, Albert Timmer (Skil-Shimano) 31

Team General Classification:

1, Tabriz Petrochemical Team 90 hours 30 mins 59 secs
2, Azad University Cycling Team, at 11 secs
3, Chipotle Development Team, at 37 secs
4, Androni Giocattoli, at 6 mins 17 secs
5, Max Success Sports Cycling, at 10 mins 17 secs
6, Korea National Team, at 18 mins 14 secs
7, Team Europcar, at 20 mins 44 secs
8, Terengganu ProAsia Cycling, at 21 mins 37 secs
9, Skil Shimano Cycling Team, at 24 mins 48 secs
10, Giant Kenda Pro Cycling Team, at 25 mins 25 secs

Asian Team Overall:

1, Azad University Cycling Team, 90 hours 31 mins 10 secs
2, Max Success Sports Cycling, at 10 mins 6 secs
3, Tabriz Petrochemical Team, at 15 mins 56 secs
4, Korea National Team, at 18 mins 3 secs
5, Terengganu ProAsia Cycling, at 21 mins 26 secs
6, Suren Cycling Team, at 34 mins 46 secs
7, Aisan Racing Team, at 47 mins 35 secs
8, Malaysia National Team, at 1 hours 12 mins 30 secs
9, Singapore National Team, at 1 hours 17 mins 50 secs
10, Le Tua Cycling Team, at 1 hours 48 mins 29 secs

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