Second for Ewan on stage two of Tour of LangkawiMon 9 Mar 2015
In a repeat of yesterday’s finale, up-and-coming sprinter Caleb Ewan has finished second to Andrea Guardini (Astana Pro Cycling) on stage two of the Tour de Langkawi.
In wet conditions, Guardini got a slight jump on Ewan in the final metres but in promising signs, the gap looks to be reducing.
“It was a little bit more chaotic today,” sport director Matt Wilson said. “It rained in the last 15 to 20km which made for really dangerous conditions that were hard to organise any proper lead out.”
“Guardini did a great job, jumped at the right time and Caleb was just off his wheel. I didn’t see exactly but it looked like it was a bit closer at the line than yesterday so that’s a positive sign.”
The victory marks Guardini’s 16th at the Tour de Langkawi, by far the most dominant rider in the race’s history, but Wilson says the ORICA-GreenEDGE outfit is confident.
“He is definitely beatable,” Wilson said of the Astana rider.
“You have to say that Guardini definitely has the edge at the moment but I think Caleb’s opportunity will come, he has to just keep knocking on the door.
“There are plenty more sprints to come and I am sure Caleb is going to have his day."
Despite an active first 20km, the race stayed together until ahead of the second intermediate sprint opportunity when six riders were eventually granted leeway to form the day’s breakaway.
Again it was the efforts of Astana and ORICA-GreenEDGE who kept the escapees in check, later joined by Bretagne-Séché.
The break held around a two and a half minute advantage over the peloton, a gap consistent for much of the day’s racing.
With 20km to go Loh Ses Keong (Malaysia) and Elgin Asadov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) fought for survival as their breakaway companions began to crumble.
At 17km to go they had two minutes 25seconds, but it was the start of the end as a roaring peloton tore into the gap with the race back together with just under ten kilometres remaining for the imminent sprint.