The fourth stage, which flagged off from Sungai Koyan and ended in Tanah Rata, is the shortest (89.5km) in the tour but featured a lung-bursting hors categorie (the most difficult type of climb in a race) stage up Cameron Highlands.
And the Spaniard, together with teammate Thomas Lebas of France, proved they were the best on the day with a 1-2 finish for the Japanese team. Indonesia’s Odie Purnomo Setiawan (PGN Road Cycling Team) came in third.
Garcia crossed the finish line in 2’21:12 which was enough to grab the yellow jersey with a comfortable 3:02 advantage over the second-placed rider in the general classification.
Garcia said Kinan will do everything they can to assure he holds on to the jersey in the final stage today.
“We were very strong today and I have to thank my teammates for supporting me.
“Without them this would not be possible,” said Garcia.
“Today was incredible but tomorrow is another day. We have a good three-minute advantage and we will have to discuss what our strategy for tomorrow will be.
“I have full confidence in my team and 100% trust that they will do everything they can to help me keep this jersey until the end.”
Meanwhile, TSG’s Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki, who lost the jersey to Garcia, is hoping to keep his blue jersey (King of Sprint) until the end of the tour.
“The GC (general classification) will be tough now but I hope to keep the blue jersey. It will be tough as I’m on the same points as the second-placed rider (Rohan Du Plooy),” said Amirull.
Amirull and Du Plooy are on 44 points but the former has the jersey thanks to his higher finish positions in the tour so far.
TSG’s Harrif Saleh, however, will not be competing in the final stage. The sprinter dropped out yesterday due to diarrhoea.
The fifth and final stage will start in Kuala Lipis today and ends at Wangsa Walk in Setiawangsa, covering a distance of 151.4km.
Stage Four (89.5km): Marcos Garcia Fernandez (Spa) Kinan 2’21:12, 2. Thomas Lebas (Fra) Kinan 2’22:02, 3. Odie Purnomo Setiawan (Ina) PGN Road 2’22:53, 4. Edgar Nohales Nieto (Spa) Taiyuan Miogee 2’22:53, 5. Jesse Featonby (Aus) Oliver’s Real Food 2’24:24, 6. Metkel Eyob (Iri) Terengganu Inc TSG 2’24:24, 7. Igor Chzhan (Kaz) Vino Astana Motors 2’24:24, 8. Stepan Astafyev (Kaz) Vino Astana Motors 2’25:00, 9. Goh Choon Huat (Sin) Terengganu Inc TSG 2’25:22, 10. Mohd Zariff Mohd Nur Aiman (Mas) Team Sapura 2’25:08.
General Classification (Yellow Jersey): 1. Marcos Garcia Fernandez (Spa) Kinan 13’39:41, 2. Igor Chzhan (Kaz) Vino Astana Motors 13’42:43, 3. Metkel Eyob (Iri) 13’43:05.
Red Jersey (King of Mountain): 1. Marcos Garcia Fernandez (Spa) Kinan 37 points, 2. Thomas Lebas (Fra) Kinan 35 points, 3. Odie Purnomo Setiawan (Ina) PGN Road 24 points.
Blue jersey (King of Sprint): 1. Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki (Mas) Terengganu Inc TSG 44 points, 2. Rohan Du Plooy (Rsa) Protouch 44 points, 3. Mahdi Nateghi (Iri) Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan 27 points.
White jersey (Best Asian Rider): 1. Igor Chzhan (Kaz) Vino Astana Motors 13’42:43, 2. Goh Choon Huat (Sin) Terengganu Inc TSG 13’43:43, 3. Mohd Zariff Mohd Nur Aiman (Mas) Team Sapura 13’44:00.
Did you find this article insightful?