Weening sixth on queen stage of LangkawiSat 14 Mar 2015
2014 Giro d’Italia stage winner Pieter Weening has finished sixth in a select group finish on stage six, the queen stage, of the Tour de Langkawi.
Weening attacked a surviving group of 15 riders 500metres before the finish of the penultimate day of racing, but was countered by Youcef Reguigui (MTN-Qhubeka) for the victory on Fraser’s Hill.
“Pieter felt really good today and was very disappointed in the finish that he didn’t know the roads better,” sport director Matt Wilson said.
“The roads were very twisty and windy and he thought that it was going to be like that all of the way to the finish and he attacked according to that.
“But he came out and there was a big block of road, he got mowed down and he is a bit frustrated by that, but it was a good ride none the less.”
After hold the yellow jersey since his first victory on stage three, neo-pro sprinter Caleb Ewan relinquished it to Reguigui after loosing touch to the Tour’s biggest climb.
“Caleb felt really bad today,” Wilson said. “He woke up with a sore throat and a head cold and I think that took the edge off him on a pretty long hard day.”
“He was just happy to get to the finish in the end. It’s always a little disappointing to slip out of yellow but these things happen.”
Today’s 2015 Tour of Langkawi queen stage was re-routed following a storm in the week prior that cause damage to the roads the race would travel.
The difficult Genting Highlands were placed by Fraser’s Hill – not quite the size of the original climb, but still a challenge and touted as D-day for general classification riders.
A break of four riders were allowed to make their move within the first 15km and for the first time we saw the general classification teams move to the front to control the peloton.
Tinkoff-Saxo and Skydive Dubai were the first to patrol, later joined by Team Sky. The deficit reached over seven minutes before they really responded to reel the quartet in.
As they moved towards Fraser’s Hill, considered 29km long but with an 8km hard section, just one lone rider, Liam Bertazzo (Southeast) remained in front with a two-minute advantage.
Halfway up the climb Caleb Ewan drifted off the back with Andrea Guardini for company whilst Bertazzo was swept up as the front group, diminishing in numbers, pushed towards the finish.
With three kilometres to go, 15 riders remained with Team Sky with numbers on the front pushing the pace before the challenges came from the group in the last kilometre, Reguigui successful.