Dutch sprinter Kenny Van Hummel of Androni Giocattoli won the 199.1km Stage Six of Le Tour de Langkawi in 4’29:46. – Bernama Photo
PONTIAN: It was sweet victory for Dutch sprinter Kenny Van Hummel of Androni Giocattoli as he took the first victory for his team this year in Stage Six of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from Malacca to Pontian.
Van Hummel denied top favourites like fellow Dutchman Theo Bos (Belkin) and Italian Andrea Guardini (Astana) to win the 199.1km stage in 4’29:46. Aidis Kruopis of Lithuania from team Orica GreenEdge came in second while American Ken Hanson of UnitedHealthcare finished third. All were credited with the same time as Van Hummel.
The best Malaysian finisher on Tuesday was Anuar Manan of Terengganu Cycling in 10th spot.
“It was a very long sprint and it was a clean battle with other sprinters. I chose the right side of the road because I was afraid to get boxed in on the left.
“After I saw the UnitedHealthcare rider (Hanson) open his sprint with about 300 metres to go, I just went after him and with 200 metres to go, I just put the hammer down,” said Van Hummel, who was the lead-out man for German sprinter Marcel Kittel in team Skil Shimano when the German won a stage at the 2011 LTdL.
Kittel is now with team Giant Shimano, the same team as Malaysian rider Loh Sea Keong.
Race leader Mirsamad Poursayedigolakhour of Iran remained in the lead after finishing in the main bunch.
“It was a bit busy for us at the start of the race because there were a lot of attacks and we had to cover them all.
“We are a team with good climbers but on a flat stage like this, it was a bit difficult. But I’m happy to retain the yellow jersey for tomorrow,” said the Tabriz Petrochemical rider.