Aidis Kruopis Sprints to Third on Stage Two of Tour de LangkawiFri 22 Feb 2013
It was a much improved day for ORICA-GreenEDGE at the Tour of Langkawi. Aidis Kruopis sprinted to third on stage two behind race leader Theo Bos (Blanco) and Andrea Guardini (Astana).
“We put Aidis in a really good position,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “He had much better legs than he did yesterday. We improved a lot from the first day, and the sprint was a lot closer today. It was a good day for us all around.”
An early breakaway escaped from the bunch two kilometres after the stage start in Serdang. Anuar Manan (Synergy Baku), Shahrul Mat Amin (Terengganu), Choon Huat Goh (OCBC), Joon Young Seo (KSPO) and Fuyu Li (Hengxiang) built up a small advantage during the first hour of racing.
“The five guys went straightaway,” said Wilson. “No one in the move was a threat, so the peloton was happy to let it go. Blanco controlled for Bos most of the day.”
The catch happened inside the final ten kilometres. Teams with an interest in the sprint came to fore as the peloton headed towards the finish line in Kuala Kangsar.
“We waited until about four kilometres to go to come to the front,” Wilson explained. “The boys had control in the final.”
Only able to manage 12th place on the opening stage, Kruopis had better legs on display on stage two. Bos opened the sprint to hold on for back-to-back victories in Malaysia. Guardini piped Kruopis for third.
Tomorrow the team will look to Travis Meyer and Pieter Weening to lead the team up the Cameron Highlands summit finish.
“I think Pieter may be our man for the Cameron Highlands,” said Wilson. “In the past, the riders come up one by one or in very small groups. This type of finish suits Pieter. It could be his day. We’ll know tomorrow.”