Quiet Day of Racing for ORICA-GreenEDGE on Stage Eight of Tour de LangkawiThu 28 Feb 2013
After several stages in which they played the main aggressors, ORICA-GreenEDGE had a quiet day of racing in Malaysia. Having lost Aidis Kruopis to a crash in the opening kilometres, the team raced for Allan Davis in the sprint. A technical error in the final run-in towards the line cost Davis an opportunity to challenge for the stage win.
“It’s one of those things that can happen in sprinting,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “The guys started out doing a really good lead out, but coming into the last kilometre, they made an error. They slid off in one direction, and Allan went in the same direction. They were caught up a bit and never had a clear run to the line after that.”
The stage began with misfortune. Kruopis suffered his second crash of the Tour de Langkawi and was forced to withdraw from the race.
“The crash happened two or three kilometres into the stage,” said Wilson. “He and another guy went down. Aidis got the worse of it, and he couldn’t continue.”
It took slightly more than an hour for the day’s break to escape from the bunch. Ji Wen Low (OCBC Singapore Continental) and Liu Jianpeng (Hengxiang) built up an 11 minute advantage by the mid-point of the stage.
“The peloton gave the two guys that went away a lot of room,” noted Wilson. “There was a good chance they could have stayed away. Four or five teams all committed a few guys to the chase, and they finally got them at six or seven kilometres to go.”
The team lined things up in the sprint for Davis.
“We swapped Aidis for Allan,” explained Wilson. “We had been talking about changing it up even before Aidis crashed, and this made it clear that it’s what we needed to do. We put Allan in a good position in the sprint. It didn’t work out today.”
The sprint stage had no impact on the general classification. Pieter Weening remains in second overall, 1:15 down on race leader Julian Arredondo (Nippo – De Rosa), with two days left to race.