KUALA TERENGGANU: Italian Alberto Loddo was clearly in a class of his own en route to claiming his third stage victory in the Tour of Langkawi here yesterday but his efforts were still not enough to replace Frenchman Anthony Charteau as the overall leader.
Loddo, winner of the opening stage in Langkawi and Stage 4 on Monday, completed the 167km Stage 5 race from Kota Baru in 3’55:07.
Stage 2 winner, Richeze Maximiliano of Ceramiche Panaria, finished second and SouthAustralia.com’s Nicholas Sanderson was third.
“First of all, I would like to thank my team-mates for their great work. Just like yesterday, we knew that there was going to be another sprint finish,” said Loddo, who rides for Selle Italia-Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni.
“With 500m to go, we set the pace and with 300m to the finish line, I rediscovered myself and went on to win the race.”
As in previous days, the race started fast and the first of the breakaways occurred around the 4km point with 14 riders racing ahead.
The most significant breakaway of Stage 5 was at the 60km mark and it involved six riders – Franck Renier (Bouygues Telecom), Julio Perez Cuapio (Panaria), Nikoloi Trusov (Tinkoff), Johannes Kachelhoffer (South Africa ), Miyataka Shimizu (Nippo-Meitan) and Sergio Barbero (Selle Italia).
The six achieved a maximum lead of 5:05 around the 100km mark from the trailing bunch. But, thanks to the efforts of the Selle Italia riders, who were a part of the first trailing pack, the six leaders were reeled in with about 4km remaining. The stage was finally decided in a mass sprint in the last 150m.