Cat and mouse tactics on the face of it look to be on the menu as the standings after day three of the Jelajah Malaysia Tour remain static as far as the leaders in the overall classifications are concerned! And, this suits Paul Griffin the Kerryman who spends 90% of his time racing on the Asian Continent.

Paul retains his fourth placing on general classification eight seconds adrift of race leader Li Fuyu the 30-year-old Chinese who is growing in confidence that he’ll come up trumps on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur.
‘Tactically, it looks as though the big hitters are keeping their powder dry for Saturdays’ stage up to Genting Highlands, 6000 above sea level. I have ridden up the steep gradient on a number of occasions and as far as I am concerned, I’ll give it wellie,’ said Paul.

Whilst Li Fuyu may getting all the plaudits as race leader, Anuar Manan is certainly the locals a lot to shout about. He is revelling in the conditions and the fact that he has repeated last year’s feat of two wins in the corresponding event is blstering his future aspirations as a participant in the 13th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi which starts next month.

Seemingly, the race leader is bolstering Manan confidence with gloing within and outside the peloton. He speaks particularly well of his team Le Tua who can’t be left out of the equation whe it comes to doing all the necessities of a team leader when in Manan’s case that of sprinting.

Evidently, Manan’s first aim in the first sprint of the day is to get his name on the bulletin and through the efforts of his team this is competed in a fashionable way. Naturally afte the sprint the peloton settles down to a routine, providing the leading contenders don’t rock the boat by galloping up the highway, thus leaving the peloton grovelling for shelter and splintering the stage passage.

Thankfully yesterday when the necessities of points in the bag, a fairly sizeable break seized the initiative to plough ahead. All told there was 16 riders ahead according to race radio: Thys Poelstra and René Ahrenkiel (Farso), Shahrul Mat Ami and Rauf Nor Misbah (Malaysia National Team), Hayoto Yoshida and Kohei Uchima (Japan National Team), Edi Purnomo (Indonesia Customs) and Suhardi Hassan (Kuala Lumpur), Tomoya Kano and Yoshinori Iino (Skil-Shimano), Herwin Jaya (Polygon Sweet Nice), Naoki Mukaigawa and Masaki Wakumoto (Matrix-Powertag), Hossein Askari and Hossein Nateghi (Tabriz), Akmal Amrun (Malaysia Continental Team).

Unfortunately for the lead group, Askari scuppered their aspirations as he was deemed to be a threat to the bone and withing kilometers their fate was sealed when they were tracked down.

Hardly had the dust settled with the peloton intact again! With seven originally making a forward move which included; Doi (Skil-Shimano), Takamitsu Tsuji and Mitsushiro Matsumura (Matrix-Powertag), Hossein Jahabanian (Tabriz), Faris Abd Razak (Malaysia national team), Maloto Iijima (Japan National Team) and Maruli Fajar Mulia (Indonesia Customs).
A brave effort by Salehian Farshad (Azad) and Patria Rastra (Benteng Muda Selangor) proved worthwhile when they tagged on to the leaders who now had built a commanding lead of three minutes plus after 124kms of racing.

But, it was noticeable that Trek Marco-Polo the race leaders outfit plus the Le Tua team on behalf of their sprinter ignited the pace, ending the charge of all and sundry before the finish in Batu Pahat.

As on Tuesday the points jersey of Manan burst through to take the win, preserving his lead in the points competition and the bonus for Fuyu was he still is on the throne as the event rolls on.

Stage 3/ Bandar Hilir – Batu Pahat, 163.8 Km

1 Anuar Manam (Malaysia) Le Tua Cycling Team,3hrs.55mins.35secs;
2 Hossein Nateghi (Iran) Tabriz Petrochemical Team, same time;
3 Sergey Kudentsov (Russia) Trek Marco Polo Team, st;
15 Fuyu Li (China) Trek Marco Polo Team, st;
35 David Mc Cann (Irl) Giant Asia Racing Team, st;
48 Paul Griffin (Irl) Giant Asia Racing Team, st.

General classification after stage 3

1 Fuyu Li (China) Trek Marco Polo Team,11.15.39;
2 Marcel Strauss (Switzerland) Team Stegcomputer – CKT – Cogeas, @4secs;
3 Jacob Nielsen (Denmark) Team Farso, @6;
4 Griffin, @8
26 McCann,@3.26.

Points classification

10 Griffin.

Mountains classification

1 Hossein Askari (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Team, 8 pts;
2 Paul Griffin (Irl) Giant Asia Racing Team,5;
3 Tonton Susanto (Ina) Le Tua Cycling Team,3.


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