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Thursday October 3, 2013 MYT 6:58:00 PM
Thursday October 3, 2013 MYT 8:10:40 PM
by loganath velloo
Kohei Yamamoto speeding down the trail in the third stage of the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge, which he won in 3’29:56.
LANGKAWI: Kohei Yamamoto of Specialized Racing Team became the first Asian to win a stage in the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge (LIMBC) on Thursday.
The Japanese rider, a five-time Asian Championships mountain bike champion, upstaged the world-class field to win the Stage 3 81km marathon in 3’29:56.
Thursday’s gruelling stage was deemed the toughest of the five stages in this year’s championship.
To add icing to the cake, the 28-year-old Yamamoto’s brilliant performance allowed him to take the overall leader’s yellow jersey from Stage 2 winner Emil Lindgren of Giant Pro XC Team.
It was the second time that Yamamoto had finished on the podium after a third-placing during Tuesday’s opening stage.
“My target in Langkawi was to win one of the stages. I have achieved the target, and will now turn my sights on competing for the overall title,” said Yamamoto.
“There is no such thing as an easy race and I had to work hard for this win. My bike setting was perfect today and I had a good feeling on the saddle throughout the race.”
The LIMBC organisers confirmed that prior to Yamamoto’s victory Thursday, no Asian rider had won a stage since the championship began in 2010.
In the race, Yamamoto was among the leading group of five riders at the end of the first loop (27km mark). He broke away with Team Goldwurst-power/Stockli rider Nicola Rohrbach in the second loop before moving clear at the front in the final part of the race.
Rohrbach settled for the silver after clocking 3’31:25, with Stephane Tempier of BH Brsuntour KMC finishing third on 3’33:06.
In the women’s race, defending overall champion Lea Davison of Specialized Factory Racing consolidated her hold on the leader’s pink jersey by capturing the Stage 3. The American rider, who also won Stage 2 on Wednesday, put on a dominant performance to win in 2’37:59.530.
Eva Lechner of Colnago Sudtirol (2’42:10.11) and Maja Wloszczowska of Giant Pro XC Team (2’45:08.584) settled for second and third positions respectively.
“My second consecutive stage victory brings me a bit closer to the overall title,” said Davison.
“There is more breathing space for me now. But I cannot relax because I am competing against strong girls who can punish me if I lose focus.”
Friday’s Stage 4 is a 4.5km cross-country race at the Langkawi Geopark.
Tags / Keywords:
cycling, cyclist, Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge, LIMBC, Kohei Yamamoto, Lea Davison
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