The Colombians shined but a calculated ride from South African Brendon Davids saw him retaining his lead in the penultimate stage of Jelajah Malaysia today.
Team Sapura Cycling lived up to their reputation as climbing specialists after securing a 1-3 finish in the fourth stage from Kulim to Gunung Jerai (101.3km). Wilmar Jahir Perez Munoz won in 2:50:41s with teammate and compatriot Victor Nino Corredor (+1:50s) taking third.
Samuel Volkers impressed during the climb up Gunung Jerai but lost the lead to Nunez, just 800m from the finish. He settled for second, 41s behind Nunez while Davids (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) came in fourth (+3:59s). Davids, who won the third stage, remains in control with a 24 second lead in the general classification.
Perez said he was happy with his performance today.
“I felt really good, the climbs here are just like what we have back home in Colombia. I knew Volkers was in pain and just stuck to my own pace and managed to catch him just before the finish.”
Davids disclosed that he was careful not to overexert himself on the climb.
“The Colombian’s were just too good. I felt I was climbing really well but I was still some way behind the winner (Perez). I just stuck to my own rhythm and rode at threshold all the way up.”
“The Sapura riders have great acceleration and it was important not to get caught up trying to chase them down, they are just too good. I will try my best to defend my lead tomorrow but 24 seconds is not much, especially here is Malaysia.” added the race leader.
Davids thanked his teammates who did all the work until the base of Gunung Jerai, which boasts an
elevation of 1,217m. The final stage had riders starting and finishing in Alor Setar, Kedah. The riders rode through Jitra, Pokok Sena and Wang Tepus, covering 132.8km in the final stage.