In His Own Words: Sport Director Matt Wilson on Tour de Langkawi Stage 5

Tue 26 Feb 2013

ORICA-GreenEDGE dominated stage five of the Tour de Langkawi from start to finish. Travis Meyer featured in a solo breakaway and Pieter Weening attacked an elite front group on the Genting Highlands summit finish. Weening went on to finish second on the stage and move up to second overall. In his own words, Sport Director Matt Wilson reviews the day.

We had known that Trav was our guy for the escape group today, but we didn’t anticipate having him out there alone! Unfortunately, no one came with him when he went down the road, and he was struck out there solo. At that point, we decided to roll the dice and see what happens.

Travis built up a maximum advantage of 9:13 right around the 60 kilometre mark. The peloton, led by Hengxiang, started to chip into his advantage. As the bunch came closer to the final climb, other teams began to contribute to the chase. That’s when Travis’ gap began to tumble. He started the climb up Genting with a two minute head start on the field.

With Travis away, the team concentrated on looking after Pieter to keep him fresh for the final. Their hard work set him up for the ride he had in the end. The climb up Genting was brutal. It’s very steep and continuous for nearly 15 kilometres. It’s equal to any major climb we’d encounter in Europe.

Travis was caught on the lower slopes of the summit finish. The bunch slowly whittled down as the climb went on. Overnight race leader Wang Meiyin (Hengxiang) lost contact with the group as the pace increased.

Pete was the first in the front group to attack. He made his move with about three kilometres to go, and Julian Arredondo (Nippo – De Rosa) came across to him. Eventually, the Columbian dropped Pete. Arredondo won the stage and assumed the race lead. Pete crossed the line in second, 26 seconds behind Arredondo, and moved up to second overall.

Pieter is 1:22 down on Arredondo at the moment with Sergio Pardilla (MTN Qhubeka) in third at 2:10. There’s still five days left to race and anything can happen for the general classification.

I remain very happy with how the team continues to perform. I’m impressed with the way they repeatedly back each other. Although we haven’t won a stage yet, I’m sure it will come during the second half of the race if they continue to ride as they rode during the first five stages.