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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

11th Telekom Malaysia Tour de Langkawi - 2.HC

Malaysia, February 3-12, 2006

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Stage 10 - Sunday, February 12: KL Criterium , 60km

And that's a wrap

Cancelled stage sees George home comfortably

By Anthony Tan in Kuala Lumpur

The final podium
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

It was by no means an ideal way to end a bike race, but with the mid-afternoon downpour showing no sign of abating, race officials were faced with no alternative but to cancel the last stage of the 2006 Tour de Langkawi. Though it wasn't the first time - mother nature saw the final stage neutralised three years ago.

When the race was stopped for a restart with ten laps remaining, Angel Vallejo Dominguez (Relax-Gam) was away on his own, and after some deliberation, the Spaniard was declared the unofficial stage winner.

As the yellow jersey of David George slowed to a halt along with the peloton in pouring rain, the stress of having to defend his lead for the last seven days finally turned to a smile. Taking home the lion's share of the prize money - 25,000 Malaysian Ringgit (approx. 5,630 Euro) as overall winner and another RM 7,500 (approx. €1,690) for winning the mountains classification - made that grin just that little bit bigger.

The best Asian team
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

The question now is whether George can turn a win in one of Asia's most prestigious bike races into a pro contract. So far, that hasn't happened, and time's running out for the 29 year-old from Cape Town.

Other big beneficiaries were the various other classification victors: Steffen Radochla (Wiesenhof), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, Hossein Askari (Giant-Asia) and Japan - points, teams, Asian rider and Asian team winners respectively - all receiving RM 7,500 for their efforts. In addition, each stage winner will take home RM 6,000 (approx. €1,350) with Panaria again topping this list, courtesy of Maxmiliano Richeze (Stage 1), Ruben Bongiorno (Stage 2) and Sergiy Matveyev (Stage 9).

Steffen Radochla (Wiesenhof Akud),
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

While the Tour de Langkawi is wrapped up for another year, a small cloud of uncertainty follows. Last night, the team from Japan led by Shinichi Fukushima went hunting for media attention and threatened not to start as a result of monies owed to them from last year's race - 47,725 Malaysian Ringgit, they claimed. When we sat down with the race's managing director Imran Abdullah (a.k.a. Simon Donnellan) last night, he admitted to Cyclingnews there had been problems expediting payment and assured Fukushima and his team the balance owing would be transferred into their account by Monday.

On a positive note, one can say the change in race format has worked very well indeed. The standard of racing has been excellent, hospitality hospitable, and long transfers kept to a minimum. Should the riders leaving Malaysia go on to accomplish greater things later in the season, it will be proof that the Le Tour de Langkawi, defined now as a preparation race, is working in its revised state.

How it unfolded

American Saul Raisin (Credit Agricole)
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

Although this year's race has gone against tradition, one thing that remained constant was the final criterium in Kuala Lumpur. Leaving from the start/finish at Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square), the 102 riders - Wismilak's Susanto Tonton and Robert Retschke from Wiesenhof Akud did not start - were due to complete 18 anti-clockwise rectangular loops 3.1 km long for a total 55.8 kilometres.

Under darkened skies and keeping with the theme of the week, the final stage started off fast and furious. Naturally, one of the first to attack was Koji Fukushima on lap 2, although it soon came to nought, the Japanese rider enjoying little success compared to last year's race, where he came away a stage winner after a mammoth, day-long breakaway.

The peloton snake their way
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

Over the following five laps, the sprinkles of rain turned into a heavy downpour, but Relax-Gam rider Angel Vallejo Dominguez didn't seem to bothered, breaking away on his own midway through the seventh lap. However, unbeknown to the Spaniard, officials had called for a restart after a crash with ten laps to go, and only found out as he saw a the peloton en masse standing on the start line for the second time today.

As the riders got going again, Selle Italia Diquigiovanni rider Alberto Loddo, one of the riders involved in a pile-up in rain-soaked Segamat three days previously, called for all to take caution. That they did, but with flashes of lightning close by and after no more than two laps, the peloton stopped racing and turned in the direction of their team cars.

Riders exercise caution on slippery roads
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

Consequently, race officials were forced to call an end to the day's proceedings, and declared Dominguez the unofficial stage winner. Sadly for the spectators, who had waited hours to see Tour de Langkawi's final parade in KL, they also were faced with no option but to wait for a lull in the rain before returning home.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Shane Goss/www.licoricegallery.com


1 Angel Vallejo Dominguez (Spa) Relax-Gam*
DNS Susanto Tonton (Ina) Wismilak
DNS Robert Retschke (Ger) Wiesenhof Akud
* Stage cancelled; rider #86 declared stage winner at time of cancellation
Final general classification
1 David George (RSA) South Africa                         26.43.55
2 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Credit Agricole                    1.52
3 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni         1.56
4 Cesar Grajales (Col) Navigators Insurance                   2.31
5 Walter Pedraza (Col) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni             3.11
6 José Serpa (Col) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni                 4.20
7 Jose Miguel Elias Galindo (Spa) Relax-Gam                   4.41
8 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                      4.46
9 Robin Sharman (GBr) Recyling.Co.Uk                          4.57
10 Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole                       5.15
11 Saul Raisin (USA) Credit Agricole                          7.41
12 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Insurance                    8.30
13 David McCann (Irl) Giant-Asia                              8.50
14 Raul Garcia De Mateos (Spa) Relax-Gam                      9.30
15 Sergiy Matveyev (Ukr) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare           10.17
16 Ryan Cox (RSA) South Africa                               10.18
17 Darren Lill (RSA) South Africa                            11.46
18 Massimo Iannetti (Ita) LPR                                12.21
19 Edward Clancy (GBr) Great Britain                         13.32
20 Yohann Le Boulanger (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                15.14
21 Hossein Askari (IRI) Giant-Asia                           15.52
22 Kristian House (GBr) Recyling.Co.Uk                       18.00
23 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Japan                              18.03
24 Shinichi Fukushima (Jpn) Japan                            18.31
25 Sven Renders (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                19.05
26 Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance                       21.41
27 Ben Greenwood (GBr) Recyling.Co.Uk                        23.00
28 Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago             23.06
29 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole                 25.00
30 Ghader Mizbani (IRI) Giant-Asia                           25.08
31 Vyacheslav Dyadichkin (Kaz) Équipe Asia                   25.40
32 Paul Griffin (Irl) Giant-Asia                             27.49
33 Hassan Suhardi (Mas) Malaysia                             29.09
34 Gene Bates (Aus) LPR                                      30.58
35 Andreas Dietziker (Swi) LPR                               31.18
36 Lars Wackernagel (Ger) Wiesenhof Akud                     33.00
37 Torsten Schmidt (Ger) Wiesenhof Akud                      33.10
38 Razali Shahrulneeza (Mas) Malaysia                        33.52
39 Evan Oliphant (GBr) Recyling.Co.Uk                        35.45
40 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom                       35.46
41 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance                         35.57
42 Wawan Setyo Budi (Ina) Wismilak                           36.10
43 Jean Claude Lebeau (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago          36.18
44 Ahmad Lutfi Fauzan (Mas) Malaysia                         36.28
45 Victor Espiritu (Phi) Casino Filipino                     36.52
46 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Credit Agricole                       37.07
47 Elio Aggiano (Ita) LPR                                    37.16
48 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                    37.17
49 Ali Ahmad Falani (Mas) Malaysia                           37.47
50 Kuan Hua Lai (Tpe) Giant-Asia                             39.08
51 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare       39.55
52 Robert Partridge (GBr) Recyling.Co.Uk                     41.51
53 Xavier Tondi Volpini (Spa) Relax-Gam                      42.10
54 Sulisttiyono Sulisttiyono (Ina) Wismilak                  42.14
55 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Great Britain                        42.20
56 Sea Keong Loh (Mas) Équipe Asia                           42.26
57 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Wiesenhof Akud                     42.52
58 Hari Fitrianto (Ina) Équipe Asia                          42.58
59 Yohann Gene (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                        43.27
60 Erki Pütsep (Est) AG2R Prevoyance                         43.55
61 Gianni Riemslagh (Bel) Yawadoo Colba-Abm                  44.09
62 Russell Downing (GBr) Great Britain                       44.13
63 Julio Alberto Perez (Mex) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare       44.18
64 Roger Beuchat (Swi) LPR                                   44.21
65 Angel Vallejo Dominguez (Spa) Relax-Gam                   44.34
66 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni           44.38
67 Kuei Hsiang Peng (Tpe) Giant-Asia                         45.57
68 Johan Verstrepen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago            46.05
69 Koji Fukushima (Jpn) Japan                                46.42
70 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Credit Agricole                   46.46
71 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance                   46.51
72 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                     47.03
73 Laurent Mangel (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance                      47.09
74 Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago            47.32
75 Aziz Md Saiful Anuar (Mas) Équipe Asia                    50.09
76 Mirko Allegrini (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare           50.26
77 Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators Insurance             50.27
78 Frank Van Kuik (Ned) Yawadoo Colba-Abm                    52.52
79 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni            53.21
80 Rodney Green (RSA) South Africa                           53.38
81 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni            54.58
82 Carl Naibo (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance                          55.53
83 Tomas Konechy (Cze) Wiesenhof Akud                        55.59
84 Frederik Penne (Bel) Yawadoo Colba-Abm                    56.18
85 David Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago              56.32
86 Matt Brammeier (GBr) Great Britain                        57.17
87 Takum Beppu (Jpn) Japan                                   58.00
88 Samuele Marzoli (Ita) LPR                                 58.21
89 Shawn Milne (USA) Navigators Insurance                    58.48
90 Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) Japan                               59.10
91 Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Navigators Insurance            1.00.52
92 Jeremy Maartens (RSA) South Africa                      1.01.36
93 Zahit Sayuti (Mas) Malaysia                             1.02.13
94 Bernardo Luzon (Phi) Casino Filipino                    1.03.19
95 Albert Primero (Phi) Casino Filipino                    1.03.34
96 Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare         1.04.26
97 Corey Sweet (Aus) Wiesenhof Akud                        1.05.39
98 Wilbowo Adi (Ina) Wismilak                              1.06.20
99 Jacques Fullard (RSA) South Africa                      1.06.56
100 Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Japan                              1.13.25
101 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Great Britain                     1.13.35
102 Oleg Grishkine (Rus) Navigators Insurance              1.16.49
Points classification
1 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Wiesenhof Akud                         77 pts
2 José Serpa (Col) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni                   51
3 David McCann (Irl) Giant-Asia                                 46
4 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni           46
5 Samuele Marzoli (Ita) LPR                                     46
6 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Great Britain                            40
7 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Credit Agricole                      38
8 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Credit Agricole                       37
9 Erki Pütsep (Est) AG2R Prevoyance                             37
10 Elio Aggiano (Ita) LPR                                       35
11 Jose Miguel Elias Galindo (Spa) Relax-Gam                    32
12 Cesar Grajales (Col) Navigators Insurance                    32
13 Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare              30
14 Evan Oliphant (GBr) Recyling.Co.Uk                           30
15 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom                          30
16 Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Navigators Insurance                 28
17 Saul Raisin (USA) Credit Agricole                            26
18 Yohann Le Boulanger (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                   26
19 David George (RSA) South Africa                              25
20 Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                25
21 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare          24
22 Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Japan                                    23
23 Russell Downing (GBr) Great Britain                          23
24 Massimo Iannetti (Ita) LPR                                   23
25 Jean Claude Lebeau (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago             22
26 Walter Pedraza (Col) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni              22
27 Laurent Mangel (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance                         20
28 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Japan                                 20
29 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                        20
30 Xavier Tondi Volpini (Spa) Relax-Gam                         19
31 Sergiy Matveyev (Ukr) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare              17
32 Koji Fukushima (Jpn) Japan                                   17
33 Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago               17
34 Torsten Schmidt (Ger) Wiesenhof Akud                         16
Mountains classification
1 David George (RSA) South Africa                               37 pts
2 Darren Lill (RSA) South Africa                                35
3 Jose Miguel Elias Galindo (Spa) Relax-Gam                     30
4 David McCann (Irl) Giant-Asia                                 28
5 José Serpa (Col) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni                   25
Asian rider classification
1 Hossein Askari (IRI) Giant-Asia                         26.59.47
2 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Japan                                2.11
3 Shinichi Fukushima (Jpn) Japan                              2.39
4 Ghader Mizbani (IRI) Giant-Asia                             9.16
5 Vyacheslav Dyadichkin (Kaz) Équipe Asia                     9.48
6 Hassan Suhardi (Mas) Malaysia                              13.17
7 Razali Shahrulneeza (Mas) Malaysia                         18.00
8 Wawan Setyo Budi (Ina) Wismilak                            20.18
9 Ahmad Lutfi Fauzan (Mas) Malaysia                          20.36
10 Victor Espiritu (Phi) Casino Filipino                     21.00
11 Ali Ahmad Falani (Mas) Malaysia                           21.55
12 Kuan Hua Lai (Tpe) Giant-Asia                             23.16
13 Sulisttiyono Sulisttiyono (Ina) Wismilak                  26.22
14 Sea Keong Loh (Mas) Équipe Asia                           26.34
15 Hari Fitrianto (Ina) Équipe Asia                          27.06
16 Kuei Hsiang Peng (Tpe) Giant-Asia                         30.05
17 Koji Fukushima (Jpn) Japan                                30.50
18 Aziz Md Saiful Anuar (Mas) Équipe Asia                    34.17
19 Takum Beppu (Jpn) Japan                                   42.08
20 Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) Japan                               43.18
21 Zahit Sayuti (Mas) Malaysia                               46.21
22 Bernardo Luzon (Phi) Casino Filipino                      47.27
23 Albert Primero (Phi) Casino Filipino                      47.42
24 Wilbowo Adi (Ina) Wismilak                                50.28
25 Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Japan                                 57.33
Teams classification
1 Selle Italia Diquigiovanni                              80.21.01
2 Credit Agricole                                             2.46
3 South Africa                                               12.32
4 Recyling.Co.Uk                                             33.01
5 Bouygues Telecom                                           37.06
6 Relax-Gam                                                  39.57
7 Giant-Asia                                                 40.02
8 Navigators Insurance                                       47.00
9 LPR                                                        56.14
10 Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                                 1.04.39
11 Japan                                                   1.04.49
12 Ceramica Panaria-Navigare                               1.12.18
13 Ag2r Prevoyance                                         1.13.24
14 Wiesenhof Akud                                          1.21.27
15 Malaysia                                                1.22.44
16 Great Britain                                           1.29.41
17 Wismilak                                                1.30.26
18 Équipe Asia                                             1.38.06
19 Yawadoo Colba-Abm                                       2.10.06
20 Casino Filipino                                         2.22.50
Asian teams classification
1 Japan                                                   81.25.50
2 Giant-Asia                                                  4.57
3 Malaysia                                                   17.55
4 Wismilak                                                   25.37
5 Équipe Asia                                                33.17
6 Casino Filipino                                          1.18.01

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