Nakane prevails in Penang photo-finish


Close call: Japan’s Hideto Nakane (right) pips Gleb Brussenskiy in a photo-finish to win Stage Six of the LTdL yesterday. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Japan’s Hideto Nakane needed a photo finish to claim his first professional victory after the Nippo Delko Provence rider edged Vino-Astana Motors’ Gleb Brussenskiy at the finish line to win Stage Six of the Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from Taiping to Penang.

The 29-year-old was part of a four-man breakaway that included B&B Hotels Vital Concept’s Pierre Rolland and reigning under-23 world champion Samuele Battistella of the NTT Pro Cycling team.

Nakane and Kazakhtan’s Brussenskiy, however, pushed on towards the finish line.

The peloton was spread out in several groups on a day that saw the yellow jersey on the back of Team Sapura Cycling’s Danilo Celano come under threat with second-placed Yevgeniy Federov of Vino-Astana Motors trying to make up a 30 second deficit.

Federov, who is also from Kazakhstan, eventually succeeded in shaving five seconds off the lead with a 13th place finish in a chase group that finished four seconds ahead of Celano’s group.

Fedorov retained his white jersey as the leader of the Asian riders classification but Sapura’s Nur Aiman Zariff, the surprise leader in the mountains classification, saw his lead cut to nine points as B&B Hotels Vitakl Concept’s Quentin Pacher took the maximum 10 points at the Category 1 climb at Teluk Bahang, moving him into second spot in the battle of the climbers on 20 points.

“I am very happy because this is my very first victory as a professional.

“I didn’t expect to win today because I thought it would be a bunch sprint,” said Nakane.

“I felt good because it was a little hilly with about three kilometres to go and I took my chance when the Kazakh rider attacked.

“I am also here to race for the general classification and I am happy to have gained one place today,” added Nakane, who moved up to sixth spot with a 1:34s deficit to leader Celano.

Nakane, interestingly, was part of the Aisan Racing Team squad nine years ago when Takeyaki Ayabe won a stage in LTdL – the last time a Japanese rider won a stage.

The penultimate stage from Bagan to Alor Setar today takes the field on a 130.4km route and will not feature any climbs.
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Hideto Nakane , Le Tour de Langkawi , LTdL

   

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