Stage 6 to Final Classification
Stage 1 to 5
1. Luca Scinto (Ita) MG 2.19.04 2. Paolo Bettini (Ita) MG 3. Nicola Loda (Ita) MG 4. Philippe Bordenave (Fra) Casino 5. Jens Voigt, Jens (Ger) Giant-AIS 6. Andrei Mizourov (Kaz) 7. Serguei Lavrenenko (Kaz) 8. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino 9. Volker Ordowski (Ger) 10. Andrew Richard McLean (Rsa) 11. Lecchi, Angelo MAG 12. Larsen, Rune DEN 13. Mitchell, Glen NZ 14. Ryder, Douglas RSA 15. Fujino, Tomakazu JPN 16. Pistore, Roberto MAG 17. Streel, Marc CSO 18. Kivilev, Andrey KAZ 19. Meier, Roland POS 20. Vinokourov, Alexandr KAZ all s.t.
1. Luca Scinto (Ita) MG 13.33.31 2. Nicola Loda (Ita) MG + 1.52 3. Paolo Bettini (Ita) MG + 1.57 4. Jens Voigt (Ger) Giant-AIS + 2.24 5. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino + 2.29 6. Angelo Lecchi (Ita) MG + 2.31 7. Andrew Richard McLean (Rsa) + 2.46 8. Serguei Lavrenenko (Kaz) + 2.46 9. Philippe Bordenave (Fra) Casino + 3.27 10. Volker Ordowski (Ger) + 3.34 11. Kravchenko, Vadim KAZ + 4:40 12. Mizourov, Andrei KAZ + 4:55 13. McCormack Frank M. Jr. SAT + 4:59 14. Meier, Roland POS + 5:13 15. Streel, Marc CSO + 5:15 16. Wohlberg, Eric CAN + 5:26 17. Vinokourov, Alexandr KAZ + 5:31 18. Fujino, Tomakazu JPN + 5:32 19. Green, Roland CAN + 5:35 20. Larsen, Rune DEN + 5:50
Stage 6 ReportMG Technogym of Italy made a clean top three sweep of the stage six, the 71.3km Bukit Kiara to Genting route at the RM 1 million Le Tour de Langkawi today.
The Italians led by Luca Scinto not only captured the stage in a time of 2:19.04, but in the process, he managed to wrest the prized yellow jersey from Frank McCormack of professional outfit Saturn of the US.
Its other riders Paolo Bettini and Nicola Loda managed to finish the course in a time of 2:20.23 and 2.20.30 respectively to end the race at the picturesque mountain resort, some 2,000 metres above sea level.
With the sterling performance today, MG Technogym shoots itself to the top of the team overall classification after six stages, leaving the other competing teams well six minutes behind.
Despite winning the stage, Scinto admitted that it was one of the toughest climbs of his life and something that he never quite expected.
"Although Giro de Italia has some stages which is similar to this mountain, I never expected it to be so tough especially under the humid weather," said Scinto.
"I made a tactical mistake by breaking away too soon in the race and it took its toll on me. But this is one of the most satisfying stage win nonetheless."
Matthew Postle of Great Britain took the title of King of the Mountains and is now 11 points ahead of the second placed Scinto, who has accumulated 15 points so far.
"It was a nightmare climb and the hardest I've done in my life," said the 26-year-old who prefers to ride as an amateur rather than a professional.
"The demands are just too great as a professional rider and I am getting old. I should have made the decision to turn pro about three years ago but nevertheless I am quite satisfied with what I've achieved."
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan continued its domination of the best Asian rider when Serguei Lavrenenko finished the race in a time of 2:21.47 to be placed in the seventh overall position for this stage while at the same time taking the orange jersey away from team-mates Vadim Kravachenko.
1. Frank McCormack (USA) Saturn 4.41.25 2. Gerardus Kemper (Ned) 3. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei 4. Graeme Miller (NZ) 5. Christian Andersen (Den) 6. Andrus Aug (Fin) 7. John Tanner (GB) 8. Pascal Dufourni (Bel) Cedico 9. Heinrich Trumheller (Ger) 10. Jay Sweet (Aus) Giant-AIS all s.t.
1. Luca Scinto (Ita) MG 18.14.56 2. Jens Voigt (Ger) Giant-AIS + 2.24 3. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino + 2.29 4. Angelo Lecchi (Ita) MG + 2.31 5. Andrew Richard McLean (Rsa) + 2.46 6. Serguei Lavrenenko (Kaz) + 2.46 7. Paolo Bettini (Ita) MG + 2.53 8. Philippe Bordenave (Fra) Casino + 3.27 9. Volker Ordowski (Ger) + 3.34 10. Nicola Loda (Ita) MG + 3.57
Stage 7 ReportFrank McCormack of the professional outfit Saturn of the United States out-sprinted the rest of the pack to take stage 7 of the 198km Bentong-Kuantan route in a time of 4:41.25 here today.
On a day when Luca Scinto continued his domination of the prized yellow jersey for the second consecutive day, McCormack was relentless in his effort to recapture at least another stage in what was a rolling route.
"The cyclists did not attack much as the Mapei riders set a fast pace to the finish," said McCormack, who added that he would be satisfied just to maintain the green jersey rather than think of recapturing the yellow.
"At this point, it is more realistic to aim for the green that the yellow as Luca has afterall a four and a half minute advantage over the second placed rider. and I don't think that he would be giving that up easily.
"I will take it one day at a time as I do not want to put unnecessary pressure on myself," added the 26-year-old McCormack.
But while he may have failed to land the overall classification title, McCormack however did well enough in the sprint to take the green jersey away from Nicola Loda.
McCormack scored an emphatical 40 accumulated points for the title today - just one point more than Loda.
Meanwhile, Matthew Postle of Great Britain continued his iron grip of the red jersey as he maintained his form at the top with 26 points - 11 points adrift of the second-placed Scinto.
The 26-year-old Postle who is in Malaysia to check out the local weather prior to the 1998 Commonwealth Games which will be held here said that the professional teams were calling the shots all through the race.
"They were intimidating the rest of us all the way to the finish line," said Postle, who tied the knot recently.
"But I plan to take things easy for a while and just to survive for the next few stages.
"There are no hill until the 10th stage and I intend to stay fresh for that challenge."
1. Brian Walton (Can) Saturn 5.03.35 2. Jay Sweet (Aus) ZVVZ Giant + 1.42 3. Gerardus Kemper (Ned) 4. Pascal Dufourni (Bel) Cedico 5. Davide Bramati (Ita) Mapei 6. Juris Silovs (Ger) 7. Mark Vlijm (Ned) 8. Heinrich Trumheller (Ger) 9. Pavol Zaduban (Svk) 10. Jun Dae-Hong (Kor) 11. McCormack, Frank M. Jr. SAT 12. Bettini, Paolo MAG 13. Tanner, John GBR 14. Voigt, Jens Giant-AIS 15. Chassot, Richard POS 16. Walzer, Andreas GER 17. Mizutani, Takehiro JPN 18. Mitchell, Glen NZ 19. Butler, Paul IRL 20. Rokia, Anthony CED all s.t.
Overall after Stage 8:
1. Luca Scinto (Ita) MG 23.20.13 2. Jens Voigt (Ger) Giant-AIS + 2.24 3. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino + 2.29 4. Angelo Lecchi (Ita) MG + 2.31 5. Andrew Richard McLean (Rsa) + 2.46 6. Serguei Lavrenenko (Kaz) + 2.46 7. Nicola Loda (Ita) MG + 2.48 8. Paolo Bettini (Ita) MG + 2.53 9. Philippe Bordenave (Fra) Casino + 3.27 10. Volker Ordowski (Ger) + 3.34 11. Kravchenko, Vadim KAZ + 4:40 12. McCormack, Frank M. Jr. SAT + 4:49 13. Mizourov, Andrei KAZ + 4:55 14. Wohlberg, Eric CAN + 5:26 15. Fujino, Tomakazu JPN + 5:32 16. Green, Roland CAN + 5:35 17. Larsen, Rune DEN + 5:50 18. Streel, Marc CSO + 5:51 19. Jaskula, Zenon MAP + 7:04 20. Meier, Roland POS + 7:11
Stage 8 reportIn a field of world class riders, Brian Walton of the professional outfit, Saturn of the US, gave his more illustrious peers a run for their money when he emerged as winner in stage 8 from Kuantan to Kuala Terengganu.
Walton managed to make a clean break about 120km into the race and had a comfortable four minute lead over the others some 50km from the finish line together with a Japanese rider, Makato Ijima.
However while Mizutani could not hold on to whatever lead he had, Walton remains steadfast as he maintain a consistent pace for his first stage win of the Tour in a time of 5:03.35 sec while Jay Sweet of ZVVZ Giant-AIS took the second spot in a time of 5:05.17.
Walton said that his break from the pack was part of the game plan by his teammates and something which he personally had wanted - a big break to the finish in the 204.9km race today.
"My teammates gave me the chance to take the lead," said Walton, who turned professional some nine years ago and who have been racing In Europe for the past four.
"I gave everything I had and I'm glad that I managed to hang on to the lead for this satisfying win. But tomorrow is going to be a very trying day as I am very tired," said Walton, a Canadian but who has been riding for the US-based club due to the unavailability of top level competition in his own country.
Luca Scinto of MC Technogym of Italy held on to the yellow jersey for the third consecutive day although his four over minutes advantage has been slashed to just above two minutes at the start of tomorrow's stage 9 from Kuala Terengganu to Kota Bharu.
ZVVZ-Giant AIS Jens Voigt meanwhile is on second in the overall classification. Said Scinto: "The heat is intense. When I left Italy, the temperature was about five to six degrees."
England's Matthew Postle maintained the red jersey for the fifth consecutive day, while Walton's team-mate Frank McMormack held on to keep the green jersey which he won yesterday.
Race director Hugo Steinegger said that this was one of the best races so far in the Tour where the initial hitches have completely disappeared.
"There were no technical hitches and the distant markers were placed where it should be and it was exciting all the way," said Steinegger.
"All the cyclists were waiting for the professionals to launch their attack to catch the leader but no one wanted to make the first move until the end."
1. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei 3.37.11 2. Mark McCormack (Usa) Saturn s.t. 3. Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Casino + 0.03 4. Davide Bramati (Ita) Mapei + 0.16 5. Gerardus Kemper (Ned) 6. Pascal Dufourni (Bel) Cedico 7. Nicola Loda (Ita) MG 8. Martin Weichert (Ger) 9. Frank McCormack (Usa) Saturn 10. Takehiro Mizutani (Jap) all s.t.
Overall after Stage 9
1. Luca Scinto (Ita) MG 26.57.40 2. Jens Voigt (Ger) ZVVZ Giant + 2.24 3. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino + 2.29 4. Angelo Lecchi (Ita) MG + 2.31 5. Andrew Richard McLean (Rsa) + 2.46 6. Serguei Lavrenenko (Kaz) + 2.46 7. Nicola Loda (Ita) MG + 2.47 8. Paolo Bettini (Ita) MG + 2.53 9. Philippe Bordenave (Fra) Casino + 3.27 10. Volker Ordowski (Ger) + 3.54
Stage 9 ReportAndrea Tafi of Mapei GB from Italy made a remarkable come back to capture stage 9, a 164.3 km ride from Kuala Terengganu to Kota Baru in Le Tour de Langkawi, today.
The win however was not enough to dislodge Luca Scinto of MG Technogym of the yellow jersey, who's two and a half minute lead allowed him to be the leader of the Tour for the fourth consecutive day.
Tafi, who is ranked 11th in the world and who is in effect the top rider to participate in the Tour thus far, said that he has adjusted well to the local whether and is expecting more success from now on.
"I'm feeling good, in fact I have been enjoying the ride for the past three days already," said the 30-year-old Tafi, who added that he has been putting in an extra 70km after each race for the past two stages as part of his weight losing effort.
"I have to lost some weight in preparation for the European races and am looking forward to the next stage to catch up on lost time," added Tafi, who also won the 3rd stage - the 92km Batu Pahat-Bandar Malacca route.
In a more touching note, the riders observed a minute silence before the start of the race this morning while Tafi, at the end of it, dedicated his win to 35-year-old Manuel Abreau, a talented Portuguese rider with the club Maia, who died of heart attack yesterday.
Meanwhile, Matthew Postle of England, continued his domination of the red jersey and is only a race away from making it his own - the 132km stage 10 from Jeli to Grik.
Postle has accumulated 26 points and is 11 points ahead of his nearest rival Scinto, who has collected 15 points so far.
"I am wary of the professional riders," said the 26-year-old Postle.
"They are very intimidating and are quite capable of stopping me but the 11 points cushion should see me through although I have to score a few points just to make sure."
"But then again, this is cycling and you'll never know the outcome until the finish line."
Meanwhile, Nicola Loda of MG-Technogym gained sweet revenge on American Frank McCormack of Saturn when he managed to take over the title of sprint king, to don the green jersey.
However the only disappointment of the Tour thus far is the performance of Mapei-GB team, reputed to be the No 1 team in the world.
So far, they have been able to produce only glimpses of what their true capabilities are while for the moment they are placed somewhere in the middle half of the overall team classification.
With the conclusion of Stage 9 and hopefully after the win today, they have another three more stages left to make amends.
1. Gianni Bugno (Ita) Mapei 3.01.26 2. John Tanner (Gbr) s.t. 3. Franz Hotz (Sch) Post Swiss + 0.15 4. Frank McCormack (Usa) Saturn 5. Nicola Loda (Ita) MG 6. Christian Andersen (Den) 7. Davide Bramati (Ita) Mapei 8. Paolo Bettini (Ita) MG 9. Heinrich Trumheller (Ger) 10. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei all s.t.
1. Luca Scinto (Ita) MG 29.59.21 2. Jens Voigt (Ger) ZVVZ Giant-AIS + 2.24 3. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino + 2.29 4. Angelo Lecchi (Ita) MG + 2.31 5. Andrew Richard McLean (Rsa) + 2.46 6. Serguei Lavrenenko (Kaz) + 2.46 7. Nicola Loda (Ita) MG + 2.47 8. Paolo Bettini (Ita) MG + 2.53 9. Philippe Bordenave (Fra) Casino + 3.27 10. Volker Ordowski (Ger) + 3.54
Stage 10 ReportAfter dominating the red jersey for six consecutive days, Matthew Postle of the UK failed when it mattered most when dark horse German Heinrich Trumheller of Schauff Oschelbronn sizzled in the mid-day heat to snatched the title during stage 10 in the picture perfect and enticing 132km Jeli-Grik route.
Trumheller collected 25 points in the two stages of the climb for a total of 32 points - four better than that of Postle.
It was also high drama in the mountains as the Italian professional outfit of Mapei-GB and MG Technogym calling the shots from the start where Gianni Bugno finally clinching his first ever stage win in the Tour.
And that too in front of about 4,000 spectators in the hollow town of Grik - the biggest turn out so far in the Tour.
Postle, who came so close to winning his first ever major title, said that he had a very hard job of warding off three German riders - Andreas Walzer, Matt Reto and Juris Silovs - from the start.
"It was a case of three against one," said a clearly disappointed Postle after the race.
"They were simply intimidating and set the pace which allowed Trumheller to take the lead in the mountain stages. Anyway all is not lost. I will help my teammates for a better finishing in the overall team classifications instead tomorrow."
Trumheller said that it was a do or die mission for him.
"I knew exactly what had to be done, that is to win both the mountain stages with the help of my teammates."
Two time world champion Bugno, one of the top riders in the world, said that he has been riding well lately and was in a position to go for a stage win.
Although he admitted that at the start of the tour, he was having problems with his stomach.
"It is wrong to say that the whole thing has been fixed for me to win. Today, I felt that I could take the rest of the riders and my teammates just paved the way for me," said the 32-year-old Bugno who will be competing for his third world championship in a few months.
Meanwhile, Luca Scinto from MG-Technogym held on to the yellow and is all set to make it his own as he still have some three minute advantage from the rest of the pack.
There are only two more stages left and its looks just impossible that any other rider will have the chance to cancel such a huge lead.
1. Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita) MG 4.31.11 2. Jay Sweet (Aus) ZVVZ Giant + 0.03 3. Martin Weichert (Ger) 4. Gerardus Kemper (Ned) 5. Frank McCormack (Usa) Saturn 6. Paolo Bettini (Ita) MG 7. Davide Bramati (Ita) Mapei 8. Graeme Miller (Nzl) 9. Nicola Loda (Ita) MG 10. Takehiro Mizutani (Jap) all s.t. 11. Walzer, Andreas GER 12. Silovs, Juris GER 13. Lange, Malcolm RSA 14. Dufouri, Pascal DEC 15. Tanner, John GB 16. Dae-Hong, Jun KOR 17. Fullard, Jacques RSA 18. Slagter, Jeroen NED 19. Liska, Tornas SVK 20. Tafi, Andrea MAP all s.t.
GC after Stage 11
1. Luca Scinto (Ita) MG 34.30.35 2. Jens Voigt (Ger) ZVVZ Giant + 2.24 3. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino + 2.29 4. Angelo Lecchi (Ita) MG + 2.31 5. Andrew Richard McLean (Rsa) + 2.46 6. Serguei Lavrenenko (Kaz) + 2.46 7. Nicola Loda (Ita) MG + 2.47 8. Paolo Bettini (Ita) MG + 2.53 9. Philippe Bordenave (Fra) Casino + 3.27 10. Volker Ordowski (Ger) + 3.54 11. Kravchenko, Vadim KAZ 4:40 12. McCormack, Frank M. Jr. SAT 4:49 13. Mizourov, Andrei KAZ 4:55 14. Wohlberg, Eric CAN 5:26 15. Fujino, Tomakazu JPN 5:32 16. Larsen, Rune DEN 5:50 17. Streel, Marc CSO 5:51 18. Jaskula, Zenon MAP 7:04 19. Meier, Roland POS 7:11 20. Hotz, Franz POS 8:02
Stage 11 ReportFabiano Fontanelli of Italy may have won stage 11 of the 189.4km route from Kangar to Penang but team-mate Luca Scinto will have a hard time tomorrow in clinching his first ever overall title in the Tour de Langkawi.
The MG Technogym rider is just a stage away from winning the much sought after yellow jersey and would be under tremendous pressure in the final stage the 60.5km round Langkawi Island.
And while some felt that the two and half minute lead would be enough for Scinto to make sure that the jersey follows him back to Italy, he is not about to take anything for granted.
"All I need is a puncture, a hole in the road or even an accident to deprive me of the yellow jersey," said Scinto after the race.
"It has happened to me a couple of times before and I'm not about to open the champagne bottle until the final results have been announced tomorrow."
Scinto added that bad things have happened which struck just at the time when he is sure of something and that always reminded him to be careful that there is no guarantee things would not happen again.
His pessimism stems from his bad experience during one of his amateur races earlier in his career, specifically the baby Giro d'Italia.
"After having worn the red jersey for eight consecutive days, I lost it in the final gasp when I fell unconscious on the last day," added Fontanelli.
"And another time when I was leading about 200km in the 1995 world championship in Zurich, I was overtaken in some two km to the finish.
"As such it is still too early to say what will happen tomorrow and whether I will win or otherwise."
While the fight for the yellow rages on, the ding dong battle for the green jersey between American Frank McCormack and Italian Nicola Loda continues.
McCormack of Saturn took over the title of sprint king from Loda of MG Technogym today and is looking forward to his first win in that category.
"I have never won the green jersey before," said McCormack who added that he is looking forward to the final stage tomorrow.
"It is going to be a fast race as the terrain is flat for an exciting conclusion to the Tour."
While he said that his team-mates are likely to cover him and made sure that he gets just the right break, Saturn is likely not going to just sit by and watch.
Scinto said that it all boils down to tactic and waiting for the right opportunity to come along and being one of the strongest teams to emerge from the tour, the Americans are likely to work harder to prevent an all-Italian sweep at the podium.
Meanwhile the winner of the orange jersey, a category created specially for the best Asian rider, was won by Serguei Laverenenko of Kazakhstan for the third consecutive day and he looks likely to be the overall winner tomorrow.
1. Fontanelli, Fabiano MAG 1:13:50 2. Kemper, Gerardus NL 3. 4Aug, Andrus FIN 4. Bramati, Davide MAP 5. Loda, NicolaMAG 6. Tafi, Andrea MAP 7. Weichert, MartinGER 8. Dufourni, PAscal CED 9. Sweet, Jay Giant-AIS 10. Lauk, Andres FIN 11. Brnicky, Miroslav SVK 12. Tanner, John GB 13. Andersen, Christian DEN 14. Silovs, Juris GER 15. Moriarty, Eugene IRL 16. Voigt, Jens Giant-AIS 17. Mizutani, Takehiro JPN 18. Kumaresan, M. MAS 19. Zaduban, Pavol SVK 20. Trumheller, Heinrich GER all s.t.
1. Scinto, Luca MAG 35:44:25 2. Voigt, Jens Giant-AIS 2:24 3. Elli, Alberto CSO 2:29 4. Lecchi, Angelo MAG 2:31 5. Loda, Nicola MAG 2:45 6. McLean, Andrew Richard RSA 2:46 7. Lavrenenko, Serguei KAZ 8. Bettini, Paolo MAG 3:11 9. Bordenave, Philippe CSO 3:45 10. Ordowshi, Volker GER 3:54 11. Kravchenko, Vadim KAZ 4:40 12. McCormack, Frank M. Jr. SAT 4:46 13. Mizourov, Andrei KAZ 4:55 14. Wohlberg, Eric CAN 5:26 15. Fujino, Tomakazu JPN 5:32 16. Larsen, Rune DEN 5:50 17. Streel, Marc CSO 5:51 18. Jaskula, Zenon MAP 7:22 19. Ryder, Douglas RSA 8:25 20. Green, Roland CAN 8:36
Stage 12 ReportAs expected, Italian Luca Scinto won the second edition of the RM 1 million Le Tour de Langkawi after the final stage 12 of the 60.5km route round Langkawi Island today.
His marvellous win also helped his MG Technogym team to clinch the overall team classification ahead of Kazakhstan.
The much feared MG Technogym boys almost made it an all Italian affair when Fabio Fontanelli and Nicola Loda won the stage and the green jersey respectively.
The only other category which escaped their grasp was the red jersey won by German Heinrich Trumheller from the professional outfit Schauff Oschelbronn.
Scinto said that winning the yellow jersey here has given him a morale booster and he is looking forward to a fruitful season this year.
"The win here will spur me to do better in other competitions in Europe," said the 29-year-old Scinto.
Scinto who was out of action for the better half of last year due to a chronic knee surgery and added that the prize money won will go towards the repayment of a car loan which he bought last year.
"Since I have been out of action for almost a year due to a knee injury, my income has suffered. And it feels good to be winning races again," he added.
Scinto also said that since the Tour is still in its infant stage, it has a tremendous potential to become one of the biggest races in the world.
"When it happen, then I can tell my grandchildren that I was one of the early winners of the Tour," added Scinto who felt that the prize money offered in the Tour is a major attraction for the best cyclists in the Tour.
It was a battle to the grind for the green jersey when both Nicola Loda, also of MG Technogym and American Frank McCormack of Saturn were separated with a two point difference.
After winning the first stage, a puncture put paid to Frank's hopes of winning the category where Loda taking full advantage to race to the finish with glee.
Loda, forever magnamious however felt that it was unfortunate that the puncture had to happen to Frank just the last gasp.
"But that is cycling you will never know what will happen till the end but nevertheless I'm glad to have it and I can now look forward to other races with renewed confidence," said Loda.
The Tour which was flagged off at Kota Kinabalu in Sabah on Feb 19, covered almost all states in the Peninsular before ending here in the mystic island of Langkawi after covering a total distance of 1,608km.
Meanwhile the orange jersey, a special category created for the best Asian rider, was won by Serguei Lavrenenko of Kazakhstan.
The prizes were given away by the patron and the prime mover of the race, prime minister, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who also said in his luncheon speech that despite the initial hiccups he was satisfied with the overall organisation of the tour and hoped that more teams will come here for the next Tour.