Tour of Langkawi

The 25th edition of the Tour of Langkawi, a UCI 2.HC race in the Langkawi archipelago in Malaysia. This year’s edition consists of 8 stages of varied Parcours. Look out for stage 4, a brutal stage starting in Putrajaya with a hilltop finish in the Genting Highlands.

Stage 01

The day started with yet another crash for us. When two motos were overtaking the peloton, the first suddenly broke causing the absent-minded

second to swerve hard and plough straight into JP, causing him to hit the deck. Fortunately, he was able to chase back on, demonstrating all his bike handling talent on the way. It was then absolute chaos on the finishing circuit, fast 65kms out and back and then a narrow 5km town centre circuit to finish which we did four laps of. A breakaway went after 40kms with two guys, and the gap went to 6 minutes. The peloton looked at NTT to do the chasing but it was left too late and the riders stayed away. Ben Van Dam got some early sprint bonus seconds, so moves him into 4th on GC.

Stage 02

Launching at the 20km mark, a quintet or riders pulled away featuring our very own Rylee Field. Working well together the break established a maximum gap of five minutes over the looming peloton. Towards the latter stages, the group began to disintegrate but, Rylee held strong. Soloing down to the final 3km; after being off the front for 153km he was finally caught. It was a heroic effort by Field but the peloton had regrettably learnt from their mistakes from stage 01.

Stage 03

Another Stage at the Tour of Langkawi, another impressive ride by Rylee Field. Stage 3 around Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur saw Rylee launched into the break for the second day in a row, attacking early with a strong group of 7. The break built a gap of nearly 4 minutes before Field decided to go solo, cresting the category 1 Genting Sempah climb alone. Not satisfied with just the KOM points on offer, he then went for the stage win, looking to upset the sprinters. It wasn’t until 2km to go that he was finally caught, another near-miss for a peloton that is now acutely aware of Rylee’s incredible form. Tristan Ward has a solid showing in the fast finish, bringing it home with a top 10 finish. Unfortunately, we have another crash to report on. Ben Van Dam came down on the decent after his wheel was taken out by another rider and Alastair has pulled out due to illness.

Stage 04

A tough day out in the Genting Highlands for the Queen Stage of the Tour of Langkawi’s queen stage. Rylee Field and JP Van Der Merwe were active early, making the day’s move. As it looked like the break would be caught, Field took matters into his own hand and attacked the break solo, building a gap of 4 minutes to the peloton. He may have taken one too many risks on a tough descent and crashed hard. JP had a solid climb but the breakaway efforts took their toll on his legs in the final. Time to reset for the last few days of racing here in Langkawi. A special shout out to Matt Zenovich giving Rylee a hand on the climb, a proper class act.

Stage 05

A stage that seemed set for a breakaway, had our Rylee Field marked where ever he went as he showed how strong he was the previous days. It took 75kms for a break to finally go clear after full gas racing. Ben Van Dam was joined by Tour de France stage winner Pierre Rolland, and two other strong riders. The break was caught over the final KOM of the day, with lots of tired legs it was aggressive racing along the beautiful Malaysian coast for the final 20kms. We tried multiple times to get away, but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. A missed opportunity in the end but we gave it our all.

Stage 06

A sprint stage which saw a breakaway including Ben Van Dam given 6 minutes on the peloton. The time gaps had us hoping, but a motivated peloton chased hard setting up a bunch finish with Wardy coming in 8th.

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