KUCHING: Yevgeniy Fedorov of Kazakhstan stole the limelight in the opening stage of the 25th Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2020 cycling race yesterday when he made an almost clean sweep of the honours.
The 19-year old Vino-Astana Motors rider clocked 1:51:01 to win the 85.6km race ahead of Thai rider Thurakit Boonratanathanakorn of Thailand Continental Cycling Team (1:51:54) and Turkish rider Ahmet Orken who represented Team Sapura Cycling (1:52:18).
German rider Maximilian Richard Walscheid of NTT Pro Cycling Team, who won the Kota Kinabalu International Criterium on Thursday, ended up in fourth place in 1:52:18.
The best Malaysian finisher was Kota Kinabalu International Criterium first runner-up Harrif Salleh of Terengganu Inc-TSG Cycling Team who was placed ninth.
Fedorov, the reigning Asian U23 individual time trial champion, did not only don the yellow jersey after topping the Petronas Individual General Classification but also the white jersey as the Best Asian Rider and the green jersey as the winner of the Petronas Best Sprinter Classification after collecting 21 points.
“This is a victory not only for me but also for the Vino-Astana Motors team. This is a big result for us,” said Fedorov.
“I am very happy and proud to have won today and I was surprised to win it,” he added.
“I used to train in the mountains in Kazakhstan so I usually do not expect to win in the flat stages,” said Fedorov who was here in LTdL last year with teammate Vadim Pronsky.
Meanwhile, Thurakit said he decided to catch Fedorov who was leading the pack early in the race.
“I was trying to catch him and if I was able to catch him then I go together with him. Otherwise, I will rejoin the peloton.
“It is a great result for our team and I think this is the best result for our team in LTdL,” added Thurakit who added he will try his best in the second stage. Stage 2, covering 175.5km from Kuala Terengganu to Kerteh, will take place in Terengganu today before ending in Pulau Langkawi on Feb 14.
The Borneo Post, 7 February 2020