Friday, March 13, 2015

LTdL: Seo pulls off surprise victory in stage five

KUANTAN: South Korean National champion, Seo Joon Yong of KSPO Cycling Team pulled off a sensational victory in stage five of the 2015 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL), involving the longest distance of a 200km from Kuala Terengganu to Kuantan, today.


Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) rider, Mohd Adiq Husainie Othman finished in third place in the stage five, Le Tour de Langkawi 2015. Pix by Muhd Asyraf Sawal


The result saw the 26-year old rider became the 11th Asian rider to claim a stage victory in the history of the country’s most prestigious cycling race.

For the record, the previous Asian riders to win LTdL stages are Wong Kam Po of Hong Kong in 2000; Japan’s Koji Fukushima (2005); Japan’s Shinichi Fukushima (2007); Lee-Won Jae of South Korea (2008); Samai Samai of Indonesia (2009); Japan’s Taiji Nishitani and Anuar Manan of Malaysia (2010); Japan’s Takeaki Ayabe (2011); Wang Meiyin of China (2013) and 2014 yellow jersey winner, Mirsamad Pourseyedigolakhour of Iran.

Indonesian rider, Jamalidin Novardianto of Pegasus Continental Cycling Team and Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) rider, Mohd Adiq Husainie Othman finished in second and third place respectively but clocked an identical time of 4 hours and 19 minutes.

Three riders– Japan’s Yasuharu Nakajima of Aisan Racing Team; Indonesian rider, Patria Rastra of Pegasus Continental Cycling Team and also Tunisian rider, Meher Hasnaoui of Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team also clocked the same time.

In today’s race, Seo made a bold move by attacking an eight-man breakaway group before making a solo sprint to the finishing line in 4 hours 18 minutes and 47 minutes, leaving the rest behind.
On the victory, Seo who finished in second place behind Italian rider, Marco Canola in stage seven in Kuantan, three years ago, said the race was very tough as the peloton group had to chase the breakaway group, mostly comprising Asian riders who increased the time gap up to 14 minutes in the last 10km.

“Today I’m finally happy to finish in first place after numerous attempts, so I’m proud with my achievement...Looking at a breakaway group, I said to myself that I need to speed up my ride to catch them and finally it worked,” he said.

Australian rider, Caleb Ewan of Orica GreenEdge on the other hand, feels lucky to retain the yellow jersey as overall leader and also the blue jersey as King of Sprint despite finishing in 12th place out of 125 riders in today’s race.

“It’s always nice to wear this jersey for a couple of days but the race is not over yet, so I do not want to put so much hope to keep both jerseys,” said the nippy Australian.

Tomorrow, all 124 riders set to competes in the short distance of 96.6km stretching from Maran to Karak in stage six, involving three sprint zones at Chenor, Temerloh and Mentakab.



 -- Bernama

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