Two thumbs up: Iran’s Mirsamad Pourseyedigolakhour is all smiles after winning Stage Four of the LTdL which also propelled him to the top of the overall standings on Sunday. - BERNAMA
GENTING HIGHLANDS: Iran’s Mirsamad Pourseyedigolakhour pedalled his way to the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) summit by winning Stage Four.
The Tabriz Petrochemical rider completed the 110.9km stage from Subang to Genting Highlands in 2’54:44 to grab the overall lead from Colombian Duber Quintero.
Eritrean Merhawi Kudus finished second, four seconds behind Mirsamad. Rounding off the podium on Sunday was Isaac Bolivar of Colombia. Kudus also made a big move, climbing to second in the overall standings with an eight-second deficit.
“I’m just happy to win here and get the yellow jersey. I trained hard for this race in the mountainous area in Iran,” said Mirsamad, who won the high-altitude Tour of Qinghai Lake in China last year.
The race started with a flurry of attacks inside the first 20km. After that point, a break of 31 riders was established and was soon gaining a lead on the peloton.
The break, which consisted of notable contenders for the overall title like Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEdge), Carlos Quintero (Colombia), Bolivar and 2011 champion Yonathan Monsalve (Yellow Fluo), looked certain to maintain their lead at the front as they had over a two-minute gap when they reached the bottom of the Genting climb.
As they started their ascent, Mirsamad made his move from the peloton to chase down the leading group who by now was whittled down to 12 riders.
In the final 5km, Mirsamad managed to join the leading group. The others were Chaves, Kudus, Bolivar and Petr Ignatenko (Katusha). Kudus made an attack inside the 3km mark but Mirsamad stuck on his wheels.
In the final kilometre, the 20-year-old Kudus made another attack. Mirsamad responded and went on to go past Kudus to take the win.
“At the beginning of the climb I thought I’d attack as my legs were good. Then at the front, I saw everyone was tired. I decided to attack with 500m to go, but in the end Mirsamad caught me,” said Kudus.
The best Malaysian finisher was Adiq Husainie Othman of Terengganu Cycling, He finished 37th, 10:25 behind Mirsamad.