Pro Cycling

2012 Tour de Langkawi | Stage 4: Batu Pahat to Muar

On paper, today’s 169.4km fourth stage from Batu Pahat to Muar could have been easily underestimated as another springboard for a bunch sprint. In fact the general sentiment was exactly that. There was probably no point in getting excited if a break went up the road; it would only be reeled in. All so predictable.

So nobody – well, perhaps somebody, but certainly not myself nor Champion System GM Ed Beamon, whose car I was riding in – became too excited when Rhys Pollock (Drapac) peeled off the front of the bunch within the first ten kilometres of racing. Kevin Reza (Europcar), Shinichi Fukushima (Terengganu Cycling), and Louis Crosby (New Zealand National Team) joined Pollock shortly after.

The four-man break quickly built an advantage of over one minute on an inert peloton; possibly due to the precedent set in the previous two stages where a commanding lead of several minutes was easily whittled down in the closing kilometres with a modest increase in pace by the main bunch.

After 25km of racing, Pollock – who started the day at 3’18 behind Zabriskie in the general classification – became virtual race leader, as the peloton continued to display no interest whatsoever in the developing race ahead.  Evidence of heavy rainfall that swept the start village earlier had now also disappeared.

By this time, Beamon was reflecting on what could have been as one of his two Malaysian riders, Adiq Othman, had initially responded to Pollock’s first attack before deciding to rejoin the peloton – proving the sentiment of how the stage was likely to unfold was not only limited to punters. Champion System’s other Malaysian rider, Anuar Manar – widely expected to win a stage this year – had suffered two snails-pace wheel changes by this point, necessitating two separate high-speed chases amongst the team cars to rejoin the peloton.

Up front, the four leading riders had stretched their lead over the peloton to more than five minutes, covering almost 87km in the first two hours of racing. Unsurprisingly, given the size of the gap and high pace, no riders attempted to bridge across to the break.

At 30km to go, and with the breakaway still five minutes up the road, Beamon was growing nervous about Manan missing the opportunity for a bunch sprint. Andrea Guardini’s Farnese Vini – Selle Italia team had taken sole responsibility for reeling the break in, with little progress made in closing the yawning gap to the fast-moving breakaway. Beamon sought co-operation from United Healthcare to join Champion System in the chase, but the American ProContinental team’s on-road director wasn’t interested. Moments later, race radio announced Astana had joined the front and the time gap started to fall rapidly.

At 5km to go, the breakaway’s lead had been clawed back to 1’10, though the quartet was able to hold this for the next kilometre. Unfortunately, Europcar’s Reza initiated cat-and-mouse tactics at 4km, which shifted the advantage strongly in favour of the 124-man peloton.

In a tantalising finish, Crosby and Reza were duelling towards the finishing line only to be overtaken in the final 200m by a charging peloton, led by Guardini. The Italian took his third stage of Tour de Langkawi, and the four aggressors were left empty-handed after their 160km odyssey.

Tomorrow’s stage five from Ayer Keroh to Pandan Indah, Ampang contains three categorised climbs (2, 2, 3) and spans 190km on a northwest heading back towards Kuala Lumpur. Riders will no doubt be much happier to return to the cyclist-friendly menus of the Concorde Hotel – their home for the first two nights of Tour de Langkawi – following the stage. More than one team manager has expressed disappointment at the quality and diversity of cuisine during the last two stages.

POST-STAGE

Anuar Manan (Champion System,  7th place in stage)
Maybe lucky for me today, I was in front at that last dangerous corner. I was on the wheel of someone from Europcar, but someone else caught my handlebar and I almost crashed into the barrier. After the earlier wheel changes, I stayed at the back of the group to recover my legs but I was tired – maybe it was hard to recover for the sprint.

Tomorrow will be hard for the sprinters like Andrea and me but tomorrow I want to get in a good position and maybe if I have good energy I can stay in the first group. It’s only stage four; it’s still early. I think there are still many chances for me to get points for the sprinter’s jersey and to try to win a stage. I’ll work hard to get my target.

John Harris (Sports Director, NZ National Team)
We wanted to put a guy in an early break which we did. We thought we might as well have a go at the finish so I said “Louis, lay it all out on the line” because our main aim was to get to the sprint and then set up. We were unlucky not to get that stage.  At 20km out, the bigger teams definitely went to sleep. Garmin obviously wanted to say “hey we’ve had enough of chasing”; which they had done and they put the weight on the other team’s shoulders.

You couldn’t have asked for anything more from Crosby. There’s no question, this was his day to have a go at it – he’s going to get hammered in the mountains. It’s going to be a hard day through Genting Highlands. Danielson and all those guys are just waiting. Our mountain climber (Michael Torckler, at 5’24 in GC after stage 4) punctured at 7-8km out today, but I’ve always said we’re not here to win the tour, we’re here to win a day.

Louis Crosby (NZ National Team, 18th place in stage)
It was a hard day. The break started with a guy from Drapac, Rhys Pollock; he was just hovering out the front of the bunch. I went across and four of us formed a break and basically just rode a high tempo for most of the day. The bunch seemed happy to let us go. It wasn’t until the last 30km that we realised it was going to be close and the bunch motored in. They must have been going fast [Note: the bunch was travelling at 60pkh] because the last 10km we were probably sitting over 50kph the whole time.

The good thing about the breakaway is that we respected one another and were all pretty honest. I knew what I was dealing with and the other guys have obviously been riding for a long time. Reza, well anyone from that team is going to be pretty good. Rhys Pollock I’ve seen a few results that he’s gotten, and I’ve raced him a few times.

I thought we had it until 4km to go. We started to play a bit of cat and mouse and probably lost 20-25 seconds due to that. We weren’t getting tired, it purely came down to tactics. Reza and me were sprinting at 400m to go and then with about 200m to go we got caught. Not ideal, but… to be honest, I was watching the Europcar guy and I figured with his experience he would know how it was going to play out. We’d been up the road all day so he wanted to win as much as anybody. I followed him. If we had five more seconds it would have been me and him coming across the line, instead of in the bunch.

Shen Wei (Manager, Max Success)
Yesterday, two of our riders crashed. Our top rider, Ming Xing Xue, now has to recover for the Genting Highlands stage. For five of our riders, it is their first time at Tour de Langkawi; but they will try to push in the Genting Highlands stage and keep the top three in Asia (teams classification). Even with the crashes, all of the riders are healthy. They are all working hard in the race.

STAGE 4 RESULTS

PLACE NAME TEAM TIME
1 Guardini, Andrea (ITA) FAR @ 3h57’11″
2 Keough, Jacobe (USA) UHC @ 3h57’11″
3 Harrif, Salleh (MAS) TSG @ 3h57’11″
4 Gene, Yohann (FRA) EUC @ 3h57’11″
5 Iglinskiy, Valentin (KAZ) AST @ 3h57’11″
6 Colbrelli, Sonny (ITA) COG @ 3h57’11″
7 Manan, Anuar (MAS) CSS @ 3h57’11″
8 Reza, Kevin (FRA) EUC @ 3h57’11″
9 Tewelde, Jani (ERI) MTN @ 3h57’11″
10 Nateghi, Hossein (IRI) TPT @ 3h57’11″
11 M. Nor Rizuan, Zainal (MAS) MAS @ 3h57’11″
12 Williamson, James (NZL) NZL @ 3h57’11″
13 Jang, Chan Jae (KOR) TSG @ 3h57’11″
14 Seo, Joon Yong (KOR) SCT @ 3h57’11″
15 Fukushima, Shinichi (JPN) TSG @ 3h57’11″
16 Van Uden, Roman (NZL) NZL @ 3h57’11″
17 Maleki Mizan, Ramin (IRI) TPT @ 3h57’11″
18 Crosby, Louis (NZL) NZL @ 3h57’11″
19 Suhardi, Hassan (MAS) MAS @ 3h57’11″
20 Gonzalez, Freddy (COL) AZC @ 3h57’11″
21 Rodriguez, Jackson (VEN) AND @ 3h57’11″
22 Khalili , Behnam (IRI) TPT @ 3h57’11″
23 Serpa, Jose (COL) AND @ 3h57’11″
24 Habtemariam, Tesfay (ERI) MTN @ 3h57’11″
25 Russom, Meron (ERI) MTN @ 3h57’11″
26 Van Niekerk, Dennis (RSA) MTN @ 3h57’11″
27 Dyachenko, Alexandr (KAZ) AST @ 3h57’11″
28 Mori, Kazuhiro (JPN) AIS @ 3h57’11″
29 Kemps, Aaron (AUS) CSS @ 3h57’11″
30 Rudolph, Malcom (AUS) DPC @ 3h57’11″
31 Huang, Chin Lung (TPE) RTS @ 3h57’11″
32 Haghi, Alireza (IRI) AZC @ 3h57’11″
33 Mohd Zamri, Salleh (MAS) TSG @ 3h57’11″
34 Askari, Hossein (IRI) TPT @ 3h57’11″
35 Lee, Seung Kwon (KOR) SCT @ 3h57’11″
36 Ovechkin, Artem (RUS) RVL @ 3h57’11″
37 Claude, Mathieu (FRA) EUC @ 3h57’11″
38 Shinagawa, Masahiro (JPN) AIS @ 3h57’11″
39 Setiawan, Iwan (INA) INA @ 3h57’11″
40 Iswana, Arin (INA) INA @ 3h57’11″
41 Monsalve, Yonnatta (VEN) AND @ 3h57’11″
42 Nino Corridor, Miguel (COL) AZC @ 3h57’11″
43 Danielson, Thomas (USA) GRM @ 3h57’11″
44 J.V. Rensburg, Jacques (RSA) MTN @ 3h57’11″
45 M.Fauzan, Ahmad Lutfi (MAS) MAS @ 3h57’11″
46 Endra, Wijaya (INA) INA @ 3h57’11″
47 Menzies, Karl (AUS) UHC @ 3h57’11″
48 Rujano, Jose (VEN) AND @ 3h57’11″
49 Lapthorne, Darren (AUS) DPC @ 3h57’11″
50 Zeits, Andrey (KAZ) AST @ 3h57’11″
51 De Marchi, Alessandro (ITA) AND @ 3h57’11″
52 Amir Mustafa, Rusli (MAS) MAS @ 3h57’11″
53 Gruzdev, Dmitriy (KAZ) AST @ 3h57’11″
54 Locatelli, Stefano (ITA) COG @ 3h57’11″
55 Peterson, Thomas (USA) GRM @ 3h57’11″
56 Liu, Hao (CHN) MSS @ 3h57’11″
57 Nishitani, Taiji (JPN) AIS @ 3h57’11″
58 Clarke, Jonathan (AUS) UHC @ 3h57’11″
59 Saeiditanha, Abbas (IRI) AZC @ 3h57’11″
60 Lee, Rodgers (GBR) RTS @ 3h57’11″
61 Valynin, Valery (RUS) RVL @ 3h57’11″
62 Butler, Chris (USA) CSS @ 3h57’11″
63 Klimov, Serguy (RUS) RVL @ 3h57’11″
64 M. Saufi, Mat Senan (MAS) TSG @ 3h57’11″
65 Othman, Adiq (MAS) CSS @ 3h57’11″
66 Qi, Pengfei (CHN) MSS @ 3h57’11″
67 Charteau, Anthony (FRA) EUC @ 3h57’11″
68 Ito, Masakazu (JPN) AIS @ 3h57’11″
69 Kim, Junbin (KOR) SCT @ 3h57’11″
70 Zabriskie, David (USA) GRM @ 3h57’11″
71 Alizadeh, Hossein (IRI) TPT @ 3h57’11″
72 Phelan, Adam (AUS) DPC @ 3h57’11″
73 Mizbani, Ghader (IRI) TPT @ 3h57’11″
74 M. Shahrul, Mat Amin (MAS) TSG @ 3h57’11″
75 Kozonchuk, Dmitry (RUS) RVL @ 3h57’11″
76 Lewis, Craig (USA) CSS @ 3h57’11″
77 Parno, – (INA) INA @ 3h57’11″
78 Ali Sahbana, Agung (INA) INA @ 3h57’11″
79 Youm, Jung Hwan (KOR) SCT @ 3h57’11″
80 Goesinnen, Floris (NED) DPC @ 3h57’11″
81 Pollock, Rhys (AUS) DPC @ 3h57’11″
82 Khatuntsev, Alexander (RUS) RVL @ 3h57’11″
83 Crawford, Jai (AUS) RTS @ 3h57’11″
84 Haas, Nathan (AUS) GRM @ 3h57’11″
85 Ochoa, Carlos (VEN) AND @ 3h57’11″
86 Balloni, Alfredo (ITA) FAR @ 3h57’11″
87 Ho, Junrong (SIN) TSI @ 3h57’11″
88 Nino Corridor, Victor (COL) AZC @ 3h57’11″
89 Cooper, Joseph (NZL) NZL @ 3h57’11″
90 M. Rauf Nur, Misbah (MAS) MAS @ 3h57’11″
91 Semple, Adam (AUS) DPC @ 3h57’11″
92 Goh, Choon Huat (SIN) TSI @ 3h57’11″
93 Coutts, Alex (GBR) RTS @ 3h57’11″
94 Dadi, Suryadi (INA) INA @ 3h57’11″
95 Bazayev, Assan (KAZ) AST @ 3h57’11″
96 Suzuki, Kenichi (JPN) AIS @ 3h57’11″
97 Deng, Ting (CHN) MSS @ 3h57’11″
98 Di Corrado, Andrea (ITA) COG @ 3h57’11″
99 Delle Stelle, Christian (ITA) COG @ 3h57’11″
100 Ng, Yong Li (MAS) AZC @ 3h57’11″
101 Lee, Won Jae (KOR) SCT @ 3h57’11″
102 Ahmad Fallanie, Ali (MAS) MAS @ 3h57’29″
103 Benenati, Cristian (ITA) FAR @ 3h57’31″
104 Kirsipuu, Jaan (EST) CSS @ 3h57’31″
105 Kreder, Raymond (NED) GRM @ 3h57’31″
106 Canola, Marco (ITA) COG @ 3h57’31″
107 Forster, Robert (GER) UHC @ 3h57’31″
108 Kang, Suk Ho (KOR) SCT @ 3h57’31″
109 Bewley, Sam (NZL) NZL @ 3h57’38″
110 Squillari, Nicholas (AUS) TSI @ 3h57’42″
111 Loh, Sea Keong (MAS) TSI @ 3h57’42″
112 Nakajima, Yasuharu (JPN) AIS @ 3h57’42″
113 Clarke, Hilton (AUS) UHC @ 3h57’53″
114 Pelucchi, Matteo (ITA) EUC @ 3h57’53″
115 Bertolini, Thomas (ITA) FAR @ 3h57’53″
116 Leong, Yong Yi Marcus (SIN) TSI @ 3h57’55″
117 Kern, Christophe (FRA) EUC @ 3h57’55″
118 Vinokurov, Alexandre (KAZ) AST @ 3h58’09″
119 Hegyvary, Adrian (USA) UHC @ 3h58’48″
120 Howes, Alex (USA) GRM @ 3h58’56″
121 Locatelli, Paolo (ITA) COG @ 3h59’09″
122 Xue, Ming Xing (CHN) MSS @ 3h57’11″
123 Rabottini, Matteo (ITA) FAR @ 3h59’22″
124 McCann, David (IRL) RTS @ 3h59’30″
125 Niyonshuti, Adrien (RWA) MTN @ 3h59’48″
126 Torckler, Michael (NZL) NZL @ 3h59’48″
127 Huang, Wan Chung (TPE) RTS @ 4h00’59″
128 Huang, En (CHN) MSS @ 4h05’03″
129 Danielson,  Thomas (USA) GRM @ 4h30’11″

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE FOUR

PLACE NAME TEAM TIME
1 Zabriskie, David (USA) GRM 12h27’15″
2 Phelan, Adam (AUS) DPC @ 01’00″
3 Lapthorne, Darren (AUS) DPC @ 01’10″
4 Danielson, Thomas (USA) GRM @ 01’17″
5 Rujano, Jose (VEN) AND @ 01’26″
6 Cooper, Joseph (NZL) NZL @ 01’31″
7 Gruzdev, Dmitriy (KAZ) AST @ 01’33″
8 Dyachenko, Alexandr (KAZ) AST @ 01’39″
9 Khalili , Behnam (IRI) TPT @ 01’46″
10 Goesinnen, Floris (NED) DPC @ 01’50″
11 Ovechkin, Artem (RUS) RVL @ 01’51″
12 Gene, Yohann (FRA) EUC @ 01’52″
13 Haas, Nathan (AUS) GRM @ 01’54″
14 Balloni, Alfredo (ITA) FAR @ 01’57″
15 Lewis, Craig (USA) CSS @ 01’57″
16 De Marchi, Alessandro (ITA) AND @ 02’00″
17 Mizbani, Ghader (IRI) TPT @ 02’12″
18 Van Uden, Roman (NZL) NZL @ 02’12″
19 Rudolph, Malcom (AUS) DPC @ 02’13″
20 Ochoa, Carlos (VEN) AND @ 02’14″
21 Serpa, Jose (COL) AND @ 02’22″
22 Russom, Meron (ERI) MTN @ 02’23″
23 J.V. Rensburg, Jacques (RSA) MTN @ 02’23″
24 Askari, Hossein (IRI) TPT @ 02’24″
25 Clarke, Jonathan (AUS) UHC @ 02’25″
26 Rodriguez, Jackson (VEN) AND @ 02’28″
27 Tewelde, Jani (ERI) MTN @ 02’30″
28 Di Corrado, Andrea (ITA) COG @ 02’31″
29 Van Niekerk, Dennis (RSA) MTN @ 02’36″
30 Peterson, Thomas (USA) GRM @ 02’36″
31 Monsalve, Yonnatta (VEN) AND @ 02’36″
32 Kozonchuk, Dmitry (RUS) RVL @ 02’37″
33 Zeits, Andrey (KAZ) AST @ 02’38″
34 Othman, Adiq (MAS) CSS @ 02’43″
35 Bazayev, Assan (KAZ) AST @ 02’50″
36 Nino Corridor, Victor (COL) AZC @ 02’51″
37 Xue, Ming Xing (CHN) MSS @ 02’52″
38 Maleki Mizan, Ramin (IRI) TPT @ 02’57″
39 Alizadeh, Hossein (IRI) TPT @ 02’59″
40 Locatelli, Stefano (ITA) COG @ 03’00″
41 Semple, Adam (AUS) DPC @ 03’05″
42 Crawford, Jai (AUS) RTS @ 03’05″
43 Haghi, Alireza (IRI) AZC @ 03’05″
44 Habtemariam, Tesfay (ERI) MTN @ 03’06″
45 Kemps, Aaron (AUS) CSS @ 03’12″
46 Iglinskiy, Valentin (KAZ) AST @ 03’13″
47 Menzies, Karl (AUS) UHC @ 03’13″
48 Mohd Zamri, Salleh (MAS) TSG @ 03’15″
49 Canola, Marco (ITA) COG @ 03’15″
50 Pollock, Rhys (AUS) DPC @ 03’15″
51 M.Fauzan, Ahmad Lutfi (MAS) MAS @ 03’17″
52 Colbrelli, Sonny (ITA) COG @ 03’20″
53 Ito, Masakazu (JPN) AIS @ 03’21″
54 Butler, Chris (USA) CSS @ 03’21″
55 Harrif, Salleh (MAS) TSG @ 03’22″
56 Nateghi, Hossein (IRI) TPT @ 03’27″
57 Gonzalez, Freddy (COL) AZC @ 03’29″
58 Nishitani, Taiji (JPN) AIS @ 03’30″
59 Reza, Kevin (FRA) EUC @ 03’34″
60 Youm, Jung Hwan (KOR) SCT @ 03’36″
61 Guardini, Andrea (ITA) FAR @ 03’39″
62 Benenati, Cristian (ITA) FAR @ 03’42″
63 Mori, Kazuhiro (JPN) AIS @ 03’43″
64 Klimov, Serguy (RUS) RVL @ 03’43″
65 Keough, Jacobe (USA) UHC @ 03’47″
66 Seo, Joon Yong (KOR) SCT @ 03’53″
67 Saeiditanha, Abbas (IRI) AZC @ 03’54″
68 Suzuki, Kenichi (JPN) AIS @ 03’55″
69 Nino Corridor, Miguel (COL) AZC @ 03’55″
70 M. Saufi, Mat Senan (MAS) TSG @ 03’57″
71 Charteau, Anthony (FRA) EUC @ 03’58″
72 Williamson, James (NZL) NZL @ 03’59″
73 Claude, Mathieu (FRA) EUC @ 03’59″
74 Shinagawa, Masahiro (JPN) AIS @ 04’01″
75 Manan, Anuar (MAS) CSS @ 04’08″
76 Lee, Rodgers (GBR) RTS @ 04’10″
77 Delle Stelle, Christian (ITA) COG @ 04’10″
78 Lee, Seung Kwon (KOR) SCT @ 04’12″
79 Amir Mustafa, Rusli (MAS) MAS @ 04’15″
80 Bertolini, Thomas (ITA) FAR @ 04’15″
81 Kreder, Raymond (NED) GRM @ 04’16″
82 Ho, Junrong (SIN) TSI @ 04’21″
83 Nakajima, Yasuharu (JPN) AIS @ 04’22″
84 Khatuntsev, Alexander (RUS) RVL @ 04’24″
85 Iswana, Arin (INA) INA @ 04’27″
86 Ng, Yong Li (MAS) AZC @ 04’29″
87 Endra, Wijaya (INA) INA @ 04’35″
88 Kang, Suk Ho (KOR) SCT @ 04’41″
89 Setiawan, Iwan (INA) INA @ 04’55″
90 Dadi, Suryadi (INA) INA @ 04’57″
91 Jang, Chan Jae (KOR) TSG @ 04’57″
92 Vinokurov, Alexandre (KAZ) AST @ 04’58″
93 Coutts, Alex (GBR) RTS @ 05’02″
94 Ali Sahbana, Agung (INA) INA @ 05’03″
95 M. Rauf Nur, Misbah (MAS) MAS @ 05’03″
96 Fukushima, Shinichi (JPN) TSG @ 05’03″
97 M. Shahrul, Mat Amin (MAS) TSG @ 05’13″
98 Suhardi, Hassan (MAS) MAS @ 05’19″
99 Torckler, Michael (NZL) NZL @ 05’24″
100 Kim, Junbin (KOR) SCT @ 05’35″
101 Goh, Choon Huat (SIN) TSI @ 05’37″
102 M. Nor Rizuan, Zainal (MAS) MAS @ 05’39″
103 Kirsipuu, Jaan (EST) CSS @ 05’39″
104 Niyonshuti, Adrien (RWA) MTN @ 05’44″
105 Squillari, Nicholas (AUS) TSI @ 05’53″
106 Liu, Hao (CHN) MSS @ 05’56″
107 Valynin, Valery (RUS) RVL @ 05’58″
108 Parno, – (INA) INA @ 06’05″
109 Rabottini, Matteo (ITA) FAR @ 06’18″
110 Howes, Alex (USA) GRM @ 06’21″
111 Ahmad Fallanie, Ali (MAS) MAS @ 06’24″
112 Lee, Won Jae (KOR) SCT @ 06’40″
113 Qi, Pengfei (CHN) MSS @ 06’43″
114 Leong, Yong Yi Marcus (SIN) TSI @ 06’44″
115 Pelucchi, Matteo (ITA) EUC @ 06’46″
116 Deng, Ting (CHN) MSS @ 06’49″
117 Forster, Robert (GER) UHC @ 07’15″
118 Locatelli, Paolo (ITA) COG @ 07’27″
119 Clarke, Hilton (AUS) UHC @ 07’28″
120 McCann, David (IRL) RTS @ 07’32″
121 Huang, Chin Lung (TPE) RTS @ 08’46″
122 Loh, Sea Keong (MAS) TSI @ 10’32″
123 Huang, Wan Chung (TPE) RTS @ 10’44″
124 Huang, En (CHN) MSS @ 12’03″
125 Crosby, Louis (NZL) NZL @ 12’39″
126 Hegyvary, Adrian (USA) UHC @ 12’40″
127 Kern, Christophe (FRA) EUC @ 12’56″
128 Bewley, Sam (NZL) NZL @ 15’38″
129 Bewley,  Sam (NZL) NZL @ 15’11″

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