KUALA LUMPUR, October 12 - Colombian Juan Sebastian Molano of UAE Team Emirates claimed Stage 2 of the PETRONAS Le Tour de Langkawi 2022 winner’s medal but was disqualified afterwards due to what the jury said as “irregular sprinting”.
The decision was made by the President of Commissaire panel hours after Stage 2 had ended in Raub which saw a tight bunch sprint finish involving Molano, Australian Craig Wiggins and General Classification leader Gleb Syritsa of Astana.
With Molano’s disqualification, second-placed rider Craig Wiggins of ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast was promoted as Stage 2 winner while Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Jakub Mareczko took the third spot.
Molano’s victory was supposed to be a sweet feat following his recent stage win in this year’s Vuelta Espana.
Following the disqualification, Molano has been relegated to 109th position in the General Classification standings after two days of racing.
Except for the Proton King of Mountains jersey, there were no changes in three other jerseys with Astana’s Gleb Syritsa remaining in the leader’s yellow and sprint jerseys.
While Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team’s Jambaljamts Sanbayar, still leads the Asian Best rider category with Thailand Continental Team’s Peerapol Chanwchiangkwang trailing closely in second spot.
The Astana train was active in the last 5km, preparing Syrista for the final sprint but in the end, had to settle for the third spot despite being in a good position to repeat yesterday’s win in Kuala Lumpur.
Local rider Mohamad Izzat Hilmi Abdul Halil was the toast of the national team, bringing cheers to the Malaysian camp after emerging as the stage's Best Asian rider.
However, Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team’s Muhammad Nur Aiman Zariff, SEA Games gold medallist and LTdL 2020 King of Mountains winner, hogged the limelight after winning today’s two categorised climbs to snatch the mountains classification leader’s jersey from teammate Jambaljamts Sanbayar, and going into tomorrow’s crucial Genting stage with the red jersey on his back.
Nur Aiman rode well in the early part of the race, winning both categorised climbs at 8.2km in Petasih and Category 3 climb at Bukit Damar (122.8km).
Sanbayar remained as a leader in the Asian category after placing himself third overall in the general classification standings.
“Our plan worked well and I’m happy to be able to head for the decisive stage in Genting tomorrow with the red jersey on my back. I’ll give my all and hopefully, we will able to deliver good results tomorrow,” said Nur Aiman.
A total of 112 riders assembled at the start line at Kuala Klawang for the race’s longest stage with Gleb Syritsa of Astana Qazaqstan leading the peloton in Petronas yellow Jersey, along with Erlend Blikra (Uno-X) in Petronas green jersey as the second best sprinter, Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team’s (TSG) Jambaljamts in Proton red jersey and KBS white jersey wearer Peerapol Chanwchiangkwang (Thailand Continental Team) as Asia’s second best rider.
Tomorrow’s Stage 3 which starts from the administrative capital of Putrajaya, will likely be the decisive stage that could see changes in jersey wearers with the mythical summit of Genting Highlands coming at the end of the 123.7km stage.
With two climbs before the Gohtong Jaya categorised climb at the 110.6km mark, expect the peloton to split up even before arriving at Genting's foot.
Riders face the first intermediate sprint at 32 km mark, then two Category 2 summits at Tekali at 54km and Ampang Look Out Point at km67.2, before heading for Genting’s Hors summit at 1640 metres above sea level.
ABOUT LE TOUR de LANGKAWI
Le Tour de Langkawi is a stage race held in Malaysia mooted by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir, to put Malaysia on the world sporting and tourism map.
Held since 1996, the race usually begins in Langkawi and includes major landmarks such as Genting Highlands and Dataran Merdeka. The race is sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) as part of the UCI Asia Tour calendar and is the biggest cycle race in Asia.
Because of the reputation it holds, the race regularly attracts top teams from the World Tour as well as other pro continental, continental and national teams from Europe and Asia.
Established in 1974, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (“PETRONAS”) is Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas multinational ranked among the largest corporations on FORTUNE Global 500®.
As the custodian for Malaysia’s national oil and gas resources, we explore, produce and deliver energy to meet society’s growing needs. The growing demand for energy inspires and strengthens our purpose to steadily drive for new solutions and push boundaries towards a sustainable energy future.
For further information, please visit www.petronas.com
ABOUT HUMAN VOYAGE
Human Voyage (M) Sdn. Bhd is a sports event company that specialises in cycling events. The company has successfully organised the UCI MTB race in Langkawi (Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge) and has attracted many international top riders and repeat participants.
Previously, Human Voyage has also been entrusted with the responsibility of organising the 20th edition of LTdL in 2015 apart from 2019, 2020 and 2022 editions.
For further information, please visit www.ltdlangkawi.my