A four-man breakaway went all the way to the finish line for Hong Kong’s Ko Siu Wai to emerge with his first ever UCI Asia Tour stage win in Stage 4 of the Jelajah Malaysia 2014, covering 147.3km from Paroi to Putrajaya today.
Ko, 27, sprinted to the line to beat Indonesian Jamalidin Novardianto of Team Pegasus, Mohd Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi of PDRM and Sergey Medvedev of Uzbekistan to the win after the quartet had launched the successful breakaway after 15km of the stage.
Despite the peloton led by yellow jersey Rafa Chtioui’s team Skydive Dubai piling on the pressure in the final kilometres, Ko and his breakaway partners managed to pull off the victory with the breakaway reaching the finish line 51 seconds ahead of the peloton.
“I’m very happy with this win, as I have not had many opportunities to go for victories. I’m not a good climber, so I had to sprint,” said Ko.
“We had an understanding in the breakaway that we would try our best to go all the way and everybody just pulled focused on that. I didn’t think about the intermediate sprints, we just focused on staying away from the peloton,” added Ko.
At the finish line, Ko was challenged by Novardianto, but he managed to stay ahead. Fauzan did just enough to beat Medvedev to third place.
The overall lead remained with Skydive Dubai’s Rafa Chtioui, who admitted the breakaway was too strong today. Chtioui still holds the lead in the General Classification by 9 seconds.
“We tried to catch them, but in the earlier part the other teams were not interested in the stage win, so we had to do the chase on our own and today the breakaway was going very fast. Only towards the end we got together with a few other teams, but it was too late,” said Chtioui.
Chtioui will have to keep things under control in the last stage of the race tomorrow which will provide a challenge with two climbs in Bukit Tangga and Bukit Putus.
The red jersey for the king of the mountains is also expected to come under attack tomorrow, but with no categorised climbs in today’s stage, Pegasus’ Dani Lesmana held on to that lead for another day, as did teammate and points classification leader Arin Iswana, who holds the green jersey by just one point from TSG’s Harrif Saleh.
Burr Ho of Hong Kong also held on to the lead in the blue jersey for the leading Asian rider after finishing 18th today.
TSG’s Saiful Anuar Abdul Aziz’s lead in the Malaysian riders’ classification was also unaffected after he finished 32nd in the same time as the peloton today.
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