Le Tour de Langkawi-2016. Andrea Guardini comments his stage victory
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Italy’s Andrea Guardini of Astana fended off new opponents at Le Tour de Langkawi to claim his nineteenth stage victory in six straight participations to the Malaysian race as he won stage 1 in Baling in a much expected bunch gallop. As they discovered the event for the first time, Australia’s Brenton Jones from Drapac and Skydive Dubai’s Andrea Palini who also hails from Italy came second and third respectively.
Like in 2011 and 20115, Guardini will start stage 2 in the yellow jersey but with an advantage of only two seconds over China’s Wang Meiyin who was the other top contender of the day.
“It’s always hard to win, especially when being the hot favourite. In stage 1, it’s also difficult to take control of the events. Everyone was waiting for my team to do it. Fortunately, Southeast collaborated with us to catch the breakaway. There were good riders at the front but a lot of head wind at the end. As a team, we’ve done a good job but we’ve also lost one rider [Ruslan Tleubayev] who broke a collarbone in a crash. It’s nice to have the jersey but it’ll be even more difficult to control the race with one rider less. For the first time I became an uncle last night so this win is for Robin, my niece. Le Tour de Langkawi isn’t a race like last year for me. I find some rivals who are new to me. I’ve already taken part in a lot of races [Dubai Tour, Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman] before coming here but I hope to keep a good condition from now until the last stage.”
P.S. Stage 2 from Sungai Petani to Georgetown, set to be 158km long, will mark the return of Le Tour de Langkawi on the island of Penang for the first time since 1999.
Le Tour de Langkawi press office
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