PETALING JAYA: Benjamin Dyball became the first Australian to take home the overall title at the Le Tour de Langkawi since its inauguration in 1996 when Damian McDonald won it.
On the final day, despite finishing 24th on the 103.8km Stage 8 route from Dataran Lang to Kuah, it was enough to see him keep the coveted yellow jersey which he grabbed hold of since he emerged victorious during the climb from Shah Alam to Genting Highlands in Stage 4.
The 29-year-old Team Sapura Cycling rider finished 50 seconds ahead of second placed American Keegan Swirbul of Floyd’s Pro Cycling.
“Everyday since winning in Genting, my teammates worked very hard in all stages, including today,” said Dyball, 29, who joined Sapura from Australian team St George Continental Cycling Team this season.
“I am happy with my new team and I had a good feeling throughout the tour and it was nice to see the Sapura fan club at every stage.”
But the final stage was another day for the Italians as Marco Benfatto of Androni Giocattoli claimed the fourth consecutive stage win for his countrymen.
He finished ahead of Australian Blake Quick of St George Continental Cycling Team, while coming in third was Italian Matteo Pelucchi of Androni Giocattoli who could not get his third stage win.
Meanwhile, the King of the Mountain title and the red jersey went to another Australian – Angus Lyons of Oliver’s Real Food – who finished with 59 points.
Behind him was South Korean Kwon Soon-young of KSPO Bianchi Asia Procycling who jumped up four spots to second place on the last day to finish with 27 points, and in doing so pushed Dyball down to third place who had 25 points.
“We came here without any expectations and I am happy with the king of the mountains title. Every day was challenging, it was super hot and wet but I had a good race,” said Lyons, who won his first-ever career jersey.
Floyd’s Pro Cycling’s Travis McCabe completed his victory in the points classification and the green jersey which he took hold of after winning Stage 3 on Monday.
McCabe finished with 91 points, ahead of Pelucchi on 68 points, while Terengganu Cycling Team rider Mohd Hariff Saleh of Malaysia finished third with 62 points.
“I’ve had an excellent race. I won two stages in 2017, but this time I won a stage and took the points classification.This is a good sign of better things to come for this new team,” said McCabe.
“LTdL this year has been beautiful but hard and I enjoyed it. Hope to be back again next year.”
American outfit Floyd’s Pro Cycling won the overall teams’ classification ahead of Malaysia’s Team Sapura Cycling, while Kazakhstan’s Vino Astana Motors finished third.
Stage 8 (103.8km Dataran Lang to Kuah): 1. Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 2’17:42, 2. Blake Quick (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team, 3. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, 4. Reguigui Youcef (Alg) Terengganu Cycling Team, 5. Travis McCabe (US) Floyd’s Pro Cycling all same time.
(Note: Race commissioner gives the same time of 2’17’42 after riders finish in a bunch)
General classification (Yellow jersey): 1 Benjamin Dyball (Aus) Team Sapura Cycling 29’15:53, 2. Keegan Swirbul (US) Floyd’s Pro Cycling 29’16:43, 3. Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Vino-Astana Motors 29’16:58.
Best Malaysian riders: 1. Muhammad Zawawi Azman Team Sapura Cycling 29’21:41, 2. Nik Mohamad Azman Zulkifli Malaysia National Team 29’24:00, 3. Muhamad Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff Team Sapura Cycling 29’26:14.
Green Jersey (King of Sprint): 1. Travis Mccabe (US) Floyd’s Pro Cycling 91 points, 2. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 68 points. 3. Mohd Hariff Saleh (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team 62 points.
Red Jersey (King of Mountain): 1. Angus Lyons (Aus) Oliver’s Real Food 59 points, 2. Kwon Soon-young (Kor) KSPO Bianchi Asia Procycling 27 points, 3. Benjamin Dyball (Aus) Team Sapura Cycling 25 points.
White Jersey (Best Asian Rider): 1. Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Vino-Astana Motors 29’16:58 , 2. Masuda Nariyuki (Jpn) Japan National Team 29’17:22, 3. Stepan Astafyev (Kaz) Vino-Astana Motors 29’20:31.
Team general classification: 1. Floyd’s Pro Cycling (Can) 87’54:20, 2. Team Sapura Cycling (Mas) 87’55:28, 3. Vino-Astana Motors (Kaz) 87’59:19.