Ewan remains in yellow after bunch kick behind breakaway at Tour de Langkawi

Thu 12 Mar 2015

Neo-pro Caleb Ewan has retained his lead of the Tour de Langkawi, finishing at the head of the peloton behind a successful day’s break on stage five.

It is a rare sight to see an effective breakaway at the Malaysian race, but if there was to be one, today was the day.

ORICA-GreenEDGE worked hard early to be amongst the action but were not a popular choice for the peloton and when a group of eight riders, all well down in general classification, established after 50km of racing the group was finally content to allow their gap to extend.

At the conclusion on the 200km journey from Kuala Terengganu to Kuantan, the longest stage of the eight-day Tour, Ewan finished 12th, 13minutes 38seconds behind stage winner Joon Yong Seo (KSPO).

The result was enough to retain the 20-year-old’s yellow jersey and 17second advantage to Natnael Berhane (MTN – Qhuebeka).

“Today was definitely a good day for a breakaway,” sport director Matt Wilson said. “We tried early but couldn’t get away, there wasn’t many teams in the race that wanted to see us in the break today which is fair enough.”

“And then once that group went away, we weren’t interested in chasing for the stage and we were happy to let it go and have somewhat of a rest day.

“It’s great that we keep the jersey in the team. Everyday we keep it, it’s great publicity and a great thing for the team. Keeping it past Saturday is a long shot but we are happy to keep it in the team whilst we can.”

The first 40km of racing was fast as a variety of different combinations attempted to form the day’s breakaway.

Eventually, the group of eight who survived to the finish were deemed acceptable and allowed to go after 55km of racing.

They established a huge gap of 18minutes at the foot of the day’s only classified climb, one that was reduced by less than five minutes by the conclusion of racing.

With ten kilometres to race, Seo made his solo move from the front group and succeeded in taking his first professional victory, 13seconds ahead of his previous companions.

Various unsuccessful moves were made to bridge the gap, before Ewan lead Romain Feillu (Bretagne - Séché Environnement) in from the peloton.