Travis McCabe took a comfortable victory after an explosive lead-out by his Floyd’s Racing team in the final kilometre left the peloton trailing to win stage three of PETRONAS Le Tour de Langkawi ending in Putrajaya, Malaysia today.
In the 196.2km stage from Muar to Putrajaya, the 29-year old American McCabe will wrest the leader’s yellow jersey with added time bonuses.
After an early breakaway of three riders – Malaysia’s Sofian Nabil Omar Bakri, KSPO’s Kwon Soon Yeong and Giant Cycling Team’s Shi Hang – escaped from the start of the stage proper and bagged all intermediate sprints and mountains classification points, while opening up a maximum gap of more than 9 minutes at one point, the peloton began chasing them down at about 40 kilometres from the finish.
Malaysia National Team’s Sofian Nabil topped all three intermediate sprints, with 9 time bonus seconds launching him into the lead of the Asian riders’ classification.
But the day belonged to McCabe, with the peloton pulling back Shi and a late attack by St George Continental’s Mattheew Zenovich inside the final 3 kilometres, the Floyd’s Racing lead-out train surged to the front.
There was a misjudgment from the rest of the sprinters’ teams, as the Floyd’s Racing train opened up a sizeable lead at the final turn at 1km from the finish line.
Therefore, McCabe had a clear run to comfortably cross the finish line two seconds ahead of the rest of the pack led by Italian pair Matteo Pelucchi of Androni Gioccatoli in second and record stage winner Andrea Guardini of Bardiani-CSF in third.
The victory put McCabe in the general classification lead, four seconds ahead of Culey, with Pro Racing Sunshine Coast’s Michael Freiberg in third, 13 seconds adrift, level on time with Sofian Nabil in fourth.
McCabe said this victory, his third in LTdL after two stages in 2017 with the United Healthcare team, honoured the proud tradition of Floyd’s Racing founder, former Tour de France provisional winner Floyd Landis. Landis made his professional debut in this race with the Mercury team in 1999 and sporting director Gordon Fraser, a former stage winner and 2004 points classification winner.
“I’m very happy with this win. We knew how technical the finish was going to be, so my teammates worked very hard coming into the last corner, so we were able to jump early for a comfortable win,” said McCabe.
With the Queen stage from Shah Alam to the summit of Genting Highlands coming tomorrow, McCabe knows his time in the yellow jersey would not go beyond tomorrow’s stage, but said he would be happy to play domestique in service of the climbers in his team.
Sofian Nabil, 28, was happy to have finally got to wear the white jersey as the leading Asian rider in the race after four attempts.
“This was part of our plans which I discussed with coach Yusof Nasir. I had to make an early breakaway as I was not too far from the Korean rider’s GC time. So, I worked hard to win all three intermediate sprints,” said Sofian Nabil.
“I will try to defend this jersey tomorrow and we are confident, having prepared two months for this race.”
- Results after Stage 3
- General Classification (GC) Leader: Travis McCabe (Floyd’s Pro Racing)
- Sprint Leader: Travis McCabe (Floyd’s Pro Racing)
- Best Climber (KOM): Angus Lyons (Oliver’s Real Food Racing)
- Best Asian Rider: Sofian Nabil Omar (Malaysia National Team)
- Best Malaysian Rider: Sofian Nabil Omar MOHD BAKRI (Malaysia National Team)
- Best Team: Protouch (South Africa)
- Best Asian Team: Vino-Astana Motors (Kazakhstan)
ABOUT LE TOUR de LANGKAWI
Le Tour de Langkawi is a multiple stage bicycle race held in Malaysia conceived by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, with the objective of putting Malaysia on the world sporting and tourism map. Held since the 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 a 2.HC (hors category) race 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 continental and national teams from Europe and Asia. This year’s race will take place from the 6th of April to the 13th of April.