Archive for February 10th, 2008

Source: LTdL Website

SITIAWAN (10 Feb, 2008) – Englishman Jeremy Hunt overcame an early two-man breakaway to win his first ever stage victory in the prestigious Le Tour de Langkawi on the second day of Asia’s biggest road race from Butterworth to Sitiawan here today.

ltdl 2008 stage 2

Japanese champion Yukiya Arashiro and Yoshimasa Hirose from Skil Shimano broke away at 85km but Hunt and his Credit Agricole teammates staged a frantic fightback and reeled the leaders in some 2km from the end.

Hunt completed the 159.7-kilometre stage in a time of 3 hours 34 minutes and 36 seconds. Italian Matteo Priamo from CSF Group-Navigare and Gustava Cesar from Karpin Galicia were second and third. Malaysian hopeful Annuar Manan from the Le Tua Racing Team performed remarkably, finishing 18th overall.

ltdl 2008 stage 2

“It has been more than a year ago since I last won a stage,” said Hunt. “I came here to get some conditioning for the Classics and was hoping for a stage win. And after the win today, I hope I can win more in the days ahead.”

Several early attacks saw the peloton settling down at the 12km mark as the South African national team set the pace.

The first sprint in Sungai Bakap was won by Aurlien Clerc (Bouygues Telecom) before LeTua Cycling team’s Bernard Sulzberger took Sprint Two in Bagan Serai.

After several attempts, a successful breakway was launched by Asahiro and Hirose. They managed to open up a gap of more than four minutes from the peloton which averaged speeds of 47kmh in the first two hours.

For his efforts, Asahiro took Sprint Three in Pantai Remis. Down the final 25km, Tinkoff Credit Systems paced the main bunch as Nicolas Roche (Credit Agricole) charged away to chase the two riders up front. Credit Agricole worked hard to reel in the duo and set up a grand finish for Hunt.

ltdl 2008 stage 2

Despite the win, Hunt was not able to overhaul Frenchman Matthieu Sprick for the leader’s yellow jersey.

“As a spectator, I would enjoy watching a change to the yellow jersey but not as a rider,” added Matthieu Sprick from Bouygues Telecom who is still in the leaders’s yellow jersey.

“There were a lot of attacks and I was a little happy to see the two riders going off as that allowed us to set a steady pace.”

Added new green jersey leader Gustavo Cesar of team Karpin Galicia: “we are in a good position at the moment and I believe that any change to a jersey can only mean that the race is good.”

Shinichi Fukushima, who still maintained his hold of Asia’s blue jersey, had a relatively quiet day although he did well to be second in the Second Sprint behind Sulzberger.

“Winning time in the sprint will be valuable in the final count and today, we could not do much. We will try again tomorrow,” said Shinichi.

Italian Star Sprinter wins his home race GP Costa degli Etruschi for the fourth time in a row

Dortmund, 09 February 2008. MILRAM’s Alessandro Petacchi has started the season with an impressive victory. The sprinter from the German ProTour team won his home race the GP Costa degli Etruschi (09.02/UCI 1.1) for the fourth time in a row on Saturday. With a win in the mass sprint over his countrymen Gabriele Balducci (Aqua e Sapone) and Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas), the 34 year-old Ligurian gave himself and his Team MILRAM the first victory of the 2008 road season.

MILRAM’s Alessandro Petacchi

“I felt very good during the whole race. I worked hard over the winter, and unlike last year, I had no problems with my knee,“ Alessandro Petacchi said. He broke his kneecap in a crash during the Giro d’Italia in May 2006 and suffered from problems associated with the injury for a long time. “My teammates did very good work. About one and a half km before the finish line I lost Marco Velo’s rear wheel. But in the last curve, Marco was back in front of me and in the last few meters set me up very well. ” Continue Reading »

Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 – Stage 2 . Stage winner, Jeremy Hunt crossed the finishing line:

Sprint stars Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) and Mark French (VIC) both claimed their second gold medals of the week on day five of the Australian Track Cycling Championships at Sydney’s Dunc Gray Velodrome while Commonwealth Games Champion, Sean Finning, delivered a lesson in tactics in the men’s points race.

Hot on the wheels of yesterday’s individual sprint win Mark French teamed up with Shane Kelly and Shane Perkins to win gold for Victoria in the team sprint battle with West Australia. The southern state trio qualified fastest in an Australian Championship best time (44.772sec) to go into the final for gold as favourities against Ryan Bayley, Jason Holloway and Scott Sunderland. Continue Reading »