GERMAN rider Maximilian Richard Walscheid (picture; centre) of NTT Pro Cycling Team scored another sensational victory in the 2020 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) after winning the third stage of the Asian premier cycling race from Dataran Temerloh to Petronas Twin Towers Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The 26-year-old towering sprinter, who won the 2020 LTdL curtain-raiser, Kota Kinabalu International Criterium Race in Sabah on Feb 6, edged nine other top finishers in a bunch sprint to snatch victory in yesterday’s 162.5km race.
Italian rider Riccardo Minali of Nippo Delko Provence and Team Sapura Cycling rider Ahmet Orken of Turkey came in second and third respectively.
The chief judge awarded the same time of three hours 51 minutes and 42 seconds to the top 10 finishers who crossed the finish line in a bunch.
Yesterday’s victory enabled Walscheid to wrest the Green Jersey as Best Sprinter from the overnight leader, Kazakhstan’s Yevgeniy Fedorov of Vino-Astana Motors, by collecting 34 points from three races.
Fedorov, who won the first stage in Kuching two days ago, however, still keeps the Yellow Jersey as overall leader with a three-stage total time of nine hours 47 minutes and 56 seconds, while Malaysian rider Muhamad Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff of Team Sapura Cycling clinched the Red Jersey as King of Mountain by collecting 16 points.
Indonesian rider Jamalidin Novardianto of PGN Road Cycling Team won the White Jersey as Best Asian Rider by finishing seventh in yesterday’s race with a time of three hours 51 minutes and 42 seconds.
Speaking to reporters, Walscheid said he was extremely delighted with the victory as he had to push his legs to the limit in three climbing zones, besides warding off a stiff challenge from a bunch of riders towards the finishing line.
“It was a crazy effort from all of my teammates. Riding as the last guy in the final lap of the race, I knew that I had to bring it to the finishing line and I’m glad that I did it.
“We had several guys who helped me out in a few climbing zones. I did not have a big gap with the other riders. The three riders upfront who made a breakaway are very strong and the peloton group managed to catch the breakaway riders,” he said.
Today’s stage four, dubbed the Queen Stage, covers a total distance of 156.1km from Putrajaya to Genting Highlands, Pahang, featuring three sprint zones in Segambut, Serendah and Batang Kali, besides five climbing zones in Tekali, Ampang Look Out, Selayang, Rawang and also Genting Highlands, which is the Class Hors climb zone. — Bernama
The Malaysian Reserve, 10 February 2020