Sweeny holds onto third overall after Langkawi queen stageThu 22 Mar 2018
A tough queen stage over the Cameron Highlands at Le Tour de Langkawi saw 19-year-old Harry Sweeny maintain his third place on the general classification for Mitchelton-BikeExchange after fighting hard up to the HC category summit finish in Malaysia.
Expected to shake up the general classification and shed some of the sprinters from the top ten an early breakaway held the reign over the rolling roads that led to the back to back ascents up to the finish.
Sweeny formed part of a reduced elite chasing group with 15kilometres to go as the break began to splinter up ahead and the gradient started to steepen, but the young Australian just lost contact over the closing couple of kilometres with Artem Ovechkin (Terengganu-Cycling-Team) taking the stage win and race lead.
Harry Sweeny – 3rd GC:
“It was a big day for us defending third place on GC and we had some pretty big aspirations to try and take the leader’s yellow jersey on the stage.”
“I was feeling pretty good and made it into the favourites group, but I am not a pure climber so when the big attacks came with around four kilometres to go I couldn’t stay with them.
“I ended up hanging in and kind of grovelled home and I definitely paid for my earlier efforts. In hindsight I should have paced myself a little better, but I am happy to still be in third overall and I am sure it will be tough over the next stages to hold on, because it’s only matter of seconds that separate the riders behind me.
“This is a big moment for a young team like ourselves and we will fight hard and give everything to maintain our third place and that means getting involved in the scraps for the intermediate sprints and going for stage results.”
Tour of Langkawi stage five results:
1. Artem Ovechkin (Terengganu-Cycling-Team) 04:24:29
2. Benjamin Dyball (St.George-Cycling-Team) +0:28
3. Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Dimension-Data) +0:55
16. Callum Scotson (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +1:23
General classification after stage five:
1. Artem Ovechkin (Terengganu-Cycling-Team) 21:21:34
2. Benjamin Dyball (St.George-Cycling-Team) +0:32
3. Harry Sweeny (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +0:59