Another Stage Podium for Aidis Kruopis in MalaysiaSun 24 Feb 2013
Aidis Kruopis sprinted to third on the fourth stage of Tour de Langkawi. It is the second stage podium in Malaysia for the Lithuanian who was also third on stage two. Francesco Chicci (Vini Fantini – Selle Italia) won the stage ahead of Andrea Guardini (Astana)
“The boys did a really good job again in the sprint,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “They dropped Aidis off exactly where he needed to be. It was a perfect finish for him. He loves fast sprints, and it was a roaring tailwind on very fast roads all the way to the line. He just wasn’t quite fast enough today.”
It was business as usual between Tapah and Kapar. An escape group once again dominated the early action.
“The break took a bit longer to go today,” noted Wilson. “With the general classification sort of set up at this point, some teams are a little frisky. They know if they’re out of contention on the overall and still want to do something in the race. Once the break went, it was a standard sort of day.”
Hengxiang, Astana, Blanco and Omega Pharma-QuickStep combined efforts in the chase to bring back the break just before the ten kilometre mark. ORICA-GreenEDGE heralded Kruopis safely towards the finish where they dropped him off 150 metres from the line. By the time he opened his sprint, Chicci and Guardini were already ahead of him, and he couldn’t make up the lost ground.
“I think it’s been great to see the work the team is doing here,” said Wilson. “The organization and teamwork they’re demonstrating is fantastic. We’re knocking on the door of a stage win. I’m confident that will get one by the end of the week.”