PETALING JAYA: Nathan Earle of Genesys Wealth Advisers bagged his second stage victory in the Tour of Borneo, winning the penultimate stage from Sepilok to Kundasang.
It was a race of attrition for Earle who was gunning for the general classification (GC) lead held by Michael Torckler of Pure Black Racing. But Torckler produced an amazing feat to keep the yellow jersey after finishing second yesterday.
Bambang Suryadi of Polygon Sweet Nice rounded up the podium spots in third place.
The 214.8km stage was the Queen stage of the Tour, boasting a hill-top finish at the foot of Mount Kinabalu with a category one climb.
Seven riders had escaped the bunch and as the group of 13 chasers, which included Torckler and Earle, reached the final 15km mark, they caught the remnants of the first group — Mark John Lexer Galedo (7-Eleven) and Genesys’ Jonathan Lovelock.
With three kilometres to go, it was Earle, Torckler and Bambang who pushed up another gear towards the finish line.
As Earle put the hammer down, Torckler was forced to dig deep into his reserves and Bambang was soon left behind.
“I’ve not ridden in such a long stage for a long time so I’m happy that my body kept up with it,” said Torckler.
“Tomorrow, I hope all of my team-mates are in good shape for the final stage. We need to control the race and bring the yellow jersey to the finish.”
Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin of Terengganu Cycling was the best Malaysian finisher in fourth place. The result saw him leapfrog from 21st to sixth in the GC — 1:16 behind Torckler.