KUCHING: Young Kazakh rider Yevgeniy Fedorov pulled off a sensational victory for pro team Vino-Astana Motors in the opening stage of the 2020 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) cycling race at Padang Merdeka here, Friday.
The 19-year-old rider who is a mountain specialist, defeated SEA Games individual time trial champion, Thurakit Boonratanathanakorn of Thailand, in the final 500 metres to the finish line in Friday’s race, involving a distance of 85.6 kilometres with four loops around Kuching city.
Fedorov clocked 1 hour, 51 minutes and 01 seconds, followed by Boonratanathanakorn in second place (1:51.04 seconds), while Team Sapura Cycling rider, Ahmet Orken of Turkey, came in third place out of 123 riders overall, by clocking 1:52.18s with the remaining top seven finishers.
To add icing on the cake, Fedorov, who is also the reigning Asian under-23 individual time trial champion, claimed three jerseys - Yellow Jersey (overall leader), Green Jersey (king of sprint), and the White Jersey (Best Asian Rider).
“In Kazakhstan, I usually train in the mountains, so I did not expect to win in the flat stages. It was quite a surprise, but I’m proud of this victory. It is for the whole Vino-Astana Motors team. The team is excited about this,” he told a post-race press conference.
“I was here last year in this race, and my teammate, Vadim Pronskiy finished second, so this time, we expect to mount a bigger challenge,” added the Kazakh, who finished 63rd overall in the 2019 LTdL race.
Equally exuberant was Boonratanathanakorn who was delighted with the podium finish in Friday’s race under the blazing heat.
“This is my biggest win so far in the LTdL since my debut in 2010, and I hope to get another positive result in tomorrow’s race,” said the 30-year-old Thai who has featured in three previous editions - 2010, 2018 and 2019.
The second stage of the 2020 LTdL to be held Saturday, involves a distance of 175.5km, featuring three sprint zones in Chendering, Rantau Abang and Bandar Al Muktafi Billah Shah. – Bernama
Daily Express, 8 February 2020