Dutch rider Theo Bos (left), who took the Le Tour de Langkawi Stage Two win in Taiping, won the 230.1km Stage Seven in 5’33:12. – Bernama Photo
PEKAN: Dutch sprinter Theo Bos of team Belkin took his second stage win as Iranian cyclist Mirsamad Poursayedigolakhour of Tabriz Petrochemical fought tooth and nail to keep the race lead in Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) Stage Seven from Kota Tinggi to Pekan.
Bos, who took the Stage Two win in Taiping last Friday, had a comfortable finish after navigating the tricky 500 metres to the finish. The Dutchman won the 230.1km stage in 5’33:12. Lithuanian rider Aidis Kruopis of Orica GreenEdge was second while Leonardo Duque of Colombia came in third. All were credited with the same time.
Mirsamad finished in the main bunch to retain the race lead, with only an eight-second advantage over Eritrean rider Merhawi Kudus of MTN Qhubeka. Colombian Isaac Bolivar of UnitedHealthcare was a further 11 seconds back.
It was a big relief for Belkin as they take their stage win tally to two this year in LTdL after being denied in several stages before.
“There was a sense of frustation in the team as we were denied the fight in the sprint several times before because of a breakaway, or we just didn’t do a good sprint,” said Bos, who won six stages in the Tour of Hainan last year.
Many expected sprinters to win big in the LTdL this year because of the many flat stages, but Bos is the only rider with a double win after seven stages.
“The level of competition here is much higher than in Hainan. Tomorrow, we will work as a team again and hopefully get another stage win,” said Bos.
Meanwhile, Mirsamad sported a weary face at the press conference after his team were tasked with chasing breakaway Venezuelan rider Yonathan Monsalve of Yellow Fluo, who was 2:20 behind the Iranian.
“It was a long stage and a hard one because of the weather. It is still winter in Iran and here it is very hot. Me and my team-mates are really tired from chasing the breakaway,” he said.