Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 – Stage 8 – SAVINI CONQUERS FRASER’S BUT IVANOV SNATCHES YELLOW

FRASER’S HILL (16 Feb, 2008) – The stage might have gone to Filippo Savini but the day belonged to Ruslan Ivanov as he snatched the yellow jersey at the end of Stage Eight from Temerloh to Fraser’s Hill to ensure his Serramenti PVC team ends Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 on a high note tomorrow.

Ruslan Ivanov

And with a 29-second lead going into tomorrow’s KL Criterium, Ivanov and Serramenti are all set to claim the silverware at the Dataran Merdeka tomorrow evening.

Serramenti, which won the pivotal climb up Genting Highlands in 2006 and 2007 but failed to win the General Classification, had their fortunes reversed this time round when they sacrificed the stage to Savini (CSF Group Navigare) to concentrate on winning the overall title.

“We explained to the riders this morning that we are faced with a choice since we have two riders in the GC – we can either allow Jose Serpa (the climber who had won in 2006 and 2007) to win in Fraser’s Hill or we concentrate on the GC. The team chose the latter,” said Serramenti PVC team manager Gianni Savio after the race.

“And since Jackson (Rodriguez) was not in the best of conditions, it was up to Ruslan to win the GC and he did a fantastic job.”

Added Ivanov: “the last three or four kilometers was all Serpa when he stopped (in the breakaway with Savini) to help me. I gained 40 seconds from his pace and I dedicate this win to the whole team.”

fr03-small.jpg

The first hour of the race out of Temerloh saw Li Fuyu (Trek Marco Polo) in front and even though he managed a lead of over a minute lead over the peloton, the hard work by Drapac Porsche and Serramenti PVC made sure that they were all together before the climb up Fraser’s Hill.

Jai Crawford (Trek Marco Polo) was the first to be away but was caught by the AG2R-led bunch as Serpa, Rodriguez, Johann Tschopp (Bouygues Telecom) and Savini went off.

Rodriguez then dropped off as Savini went off at the one kilometer mark to claim his first win.

“The tactic was to stay in front and making sure that there are no dangerous breakaways,” added Savini, who also took the red jersey for the king of the mountain classification.

“The climb was not too hard and it suited me. So when Serpa went ahead, I responded before going solo.

Aurelien Clerc (Bouygues Telecom) extended his hold of the sprinter’s green jersey to 83 points while Shinichi Fukushima (Meitan Hompo) regained the blue jersey for the best Asian rider.

“I am very happy to win this jersey back but the climb was very hard and I thought that I did not win because I had dropped off at one time,” added Shinichi.


STAGE EIGHT RESULTS

1. Savini, Filippo (CSF Group-Navigare) 3h12’32”
2. Ivanov, Ruslan (Serramenti PVC) 3h12’47”
3. Serpa Perez, Jose (Serramenti PVC) 3h12’47”
4. Ochoa, Carlos Jos (Serramenti PVC) 3h13’15”
5. Pedraza, Walter (Tinkoff Credt Systems) 3h13’15”
6. Yates, Jeremy (New Zealand) 3h13’23”
7. Cesar, Gustavo (Karpin Galicia) 3h13’23”
8. Sprick, Matthiue (Bouygues Telecom) 3h13’23”
9. Fahridi, Kovij Mehdi (Islamic Azad University) 3h13’23”
10. Clement, Stef (Bouygues Telecom) 3h13’23”

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1. Ivanov, Ruslan (Serramenti PVC) 29h49’06”
2. Sprick, Matthieu (Bouygues Telecom) 29h49’35”
3. Cesar, Gustavo (Karpin Galicia) 29h49’38”
4. Yates, Jeremy (New Zealand) 29h49’42”
5. Sobal Yohan (Tinkoff Credit System) 29h49’54”
6. Mitchell, Docker (Drapac Porsche) 29h50’02”
7. Rodriguez, Jackson (Serramenti PVC) 29h50’09”
8. Marino, Jean-Marc (Credit Agricole) 29h50’15”
9. Ian McCleod (South Africa) 29h50’50”
10. Matt Wilson (Team type 1) 29h50’54”

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