KUALA LUMPUR: Colombian rider Libardo Nino Corredor could not stop apologising to his Le Tua team-mates after the conclusion of the Tour of Langkawi at Dataran Merdeka yesterday.
The 43-year-old Corredor trailed eventual yellow jersey (individual general classification) winner Jonnatha Monsalve by five seconds at the start of the race from Shah Alam to Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
And the Colombian just could not bridge the time deficit.
Corredor had worn the yellow jersey atop Genting Highlands (Stage 5) and held it for two days with a two-second lead before Monsalve launched an attack to steal it in Stage 8 from Kuala Pilah to Jasin.
Corredor (30’09:02) finished the Tour second in the individual general classification behind Monsalve (30’08:57).
“He just couldn’t stop apologising to me after the race because he felt that he should have done better,” said Le Tua team manager ShukorYassin.
“His contribution to the team was immense and it has been a magical period for the team ... yet he apologised for losing the yellow jersey.”
Even the 21-year-old Monsalve was full of praise for Corredor.
“I take my hat off to Corredor because he is a good rider even though he’s a bit old. But I have been preparing thoroughly for this Tour since December and I really wanted to win it,” said Monsalve.
Meanwhile, Shukor hailed the hard work put in by the local lads in the team to help Corredor keep the yellow jersey for two days.
“I have to say that Corredor managed to retain the yellow jersey for two days because of the hard work put in by our riders like Ng Yong Li, Mohd Razif Salleh and Adrian Chuah Wye Kit,” said Shukor.
He said they would now turn their attention to the Tour of Malaysia in March.