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11th Telekom Malaysia Tour de Langkawi - 2.HC
Malaysia, February 3-12, 2006
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
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 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).
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
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.
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.
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