KUALA LUMPUR: Colombia’s Jose Serpa Perez of Diquigiovanni-Androni claimed a hat-trick of Genting Highlands victory when he won the 102km fifth stage of the Tour of Langkawi yesterday.
Winner of the Genting mountain stages in 2006 and 2007, Serpa Perez also snatched the yellow jersey for the overall race lead after his 2’58:56 victory. Australia national team’s Jai Crowford took second place, 23 seconds behind.
“This year I am in good condition. So I have no problem with the breakaway and am very happy with the win today,” said Perez.
Team manager Gianni Savio of his win yesterday: “For me, Jose Serpa is the lion of Bucaramanga town in Colombia.
“Last year the lion was sleeping during the race, so he was not in the breakaway. This year, the lion woke up.”
Perez’s overall time of 19’36:19 is 27 seconds ahead of Crawford. The Colombian is also leading the King of The Mountain race with 25 points.
Indonesian Tonton Susanto of local team Le Tua retained the blue jersey (Asian best riders) when he finished eighth.
In today’s penultimate stage, the riders will take on another challenging stretch from Batang Kali to Shah Alam, a route that covers 147.6km. — Agencies
Petaling Jaya to Genting Highlands (102km)
Selected Malaysians: 47. Ng Yong Li (Le Tua) 3’09:58, 51. Nor Rizuan Zainal (MNCF) 3’10:43, 59. Amir Mustafa Rusli (MNCF) 3’12:56.