BANTING (11 Feb, 2008) – Malaysia’s Anuar Manan created sporting history for the hosts when he sensationally finished second in Stage 3 today to claim the nation’s first-ever green jersey on a day when South Korean Lee Won Jae won his first stage in Le Tour de Langkawi.

Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 - Stage 3

Anuar won all three intermediate sprints and was aiming for a storming finish in Banting when he was caught by Won Jae one kilometer from the end. The duo paved the way for a remarkable day for the Asian riders who took up the top five spots today.

The five were part of a successful breakaway just before the first sprint in Sungai Besar at the 78.0 km mark.
“There is a feeling of dissatisfaction for sure as I thought that being the sprinter in the five-man breakaway, I could have done better than finishing second,” said Anuar.

“There was a breakaway at the last kilometer from Lee but by then, there was little that we could do. But at the same time, I must admit that I feel proud to wear the green jersey as this is the first time that a Malaysian is in it and I must thank my team for all the hard work.”

The early attacks from Loh See Keong (Trek Marco Polo), Mohd Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi (Malaysia) and later Yoshimasa Hirose (Skil Shimano) failed to make the early impression as the peloton stayed together for the first 50km which was covered in the first hour.

Further escapes from Danilo Hondo (Serramenti PVC), Yukiya Arashiro (Meitan Hompo), Li Fuuyu (Trek Marco Polo), Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche) hardly made a dent although Koji Fukushima (Meitan Hompo) did go off to stretch to a 40seconds lead at the front.

A second breakaway group saw Xing Yan Dong (Trek Marco Polo), Lee, Fauzan and Anuar catching up to the lone Japanese rider as the five then went off for Anuar to win his first sprint in Sungai Besar, the Second Sprint in Kuala Selangor and the Third Sprint in Kapar.

The peloton worked hard in the last 70km to chase the five riders in front with CSF Navigare and Tinkoff Credit Systems doing a lot of the work and despite the gallant effort from Credit Agricole in the last 20km, there was no hope of changing the inevitable as Won Jae made full use of his early sprint at the last kilometer to ride all the way home.

Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 - Stage 3

“Prior to coming to Malaysia, I only know of team Meitan Hompo who comes to Europe to ride in some of the races and I know that Asian riders are quite aggressive,” added Matthieu Sprick from team Bouygues Telecom who is still in the leader’s yellow jersey.

“The win for Lee is good for cycling and also for Le Tour de Langkawi.”

Added Won Jae: “I tried very hard in this race and I never thought about winning.”

“But when I saw the chance, my manager just told me to go for it.”

1. Lee, Won Jae (Seoul Cycling) 4h37’43”
2. Manan, Anuar (Letua Cycling Team) 4h37’48”
3. Xing, Yan Dong (Trek Marco Polo) 4h37’48”
4. Fukushima, Koji (Meitan Hompo) 4h37’48”
5. Ahmad Lutfi, M. Fauzan (Malaysia) 4h37’48”
6. Loddo, Alberto (Tinkoff Credit Systems) 4h38’52”
7. Clerc, Aurlien (Bouygues Telecom) 4h38’52”
8. Hoffman, Nolan (South African) 4h38’52”
9. Hondo, Danilo (Serramenti PVC) 4h38’52”
10. Corsini, Marco (NGC Medical – OTC) 4h38’52”

1. Sprick, Matthieu (Bouygues Telecom) 12h24’19”
2. Docker, Mitchell (Drapac Porcshe) 12h24’22”
3. Cesar, Gustavo (Karpin Galicia) 12h24’22”
4. Sulzberger, Bernard (Letua Cycling Team) 12h24’25”
5. Rodriguez, Jackson (Serramenti PVC) 12h24’26”
6. Wilson, Matt (Team Type 1)12h24’26”
7. Fukushima, Shinichi (Meitan Hompo – GDR) 12h24’27”
8. Nosotti, Diego (NGC Medical – OTC) 12h24’28”
9. Yates, Jeremy (New Zealand) 12h24’30”
10. Dempster, Zakkari (SouthAustralia.Com – AIS) 12h24’31”


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