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Tour Of Langkawi – Stage 1

February 3, 2006 – Here are the results from the first stage of the Tour of Langkawi, in Malaysia. 24 riders escaped and finished almost 8 minutes ahead, inlcuding Canada’s Mark Walters (Navigators). The overall GC winner could, and should, come from those riders – with a week still of riding left…

Stage 1
1 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 1.43.53 (46.78 km/h)
2 Erki Pütsep (Est) Ag2r Prevoyance
3 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Japan
4 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Wiesenhof Akud
5 Angel Vallejo Dominguez (Spa) Relax-Gam
6 Elio Aggiano (Ita) LPR
7 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni
8 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Credit Agricole
9 Jean Claude Lebeau (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
10 Cesar Grajales (Col) Navigators Insurance
11 Walter Pedraza (Col) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni
12 Raul Garcia De Mateos (Spa) Relax-Gam
13 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
14 David George (RSA) South Africa
15 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Insurance

1 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 1.43.43
2 Erki Pütsep (Est) Ag2r Prevoyance
3 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Wiesenhof Akud 0.04
4 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Japan 0.06
5 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Insurance 0.09
6 Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole
7 Sergiy Matveyev (Ukr) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare
8 Angel Vallejo Dominguez (Spa) Relax-Gam 0.10
9 Elio Aggiano (Ita) LPR
10 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni

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Tour of Langkawi – Stage 1

January 27, 2005 – Stage one of the much-anticipated 10th edition of le Tour de Langkawi began today on the beautiful Malaysian island of Langkawi. A 106 km course circled the perimeter of the island, using virtually every available sealed road. Two KOM and two points sprints would provide incentive for the riders to test their legs before the fast finish down the main street of Langkawi’s principal village.

Almost from the starting gun, Irelands leprechaun warrior, Paidi O’Brien, and the Japanese Anchor team’s aggressor, Koji Fukushima hit out on the long break. In spite of a hard chase by Ryan Cox’s Barloworld team, the two escapees worked well together and established a two-minute gap. O’Brien was soon to crack, but Fukushima pressed on, and it was not until after 50km that he was caught by 17 chasers. Oleg Grishkine and Mark Walters represented the Navigators Insurance team, while the Barloworld team had the best representation including Ryan Cox, last years runner up. Other GC candidates in the break included Liberty’s Joseba Beloki, and Selle Italia’s Jose Rujano. Most of the bigger teams were represented, but as the gap grew to near 2 minutes, the Panaria team took up chase. They chased for about 15km, but seemed to be loosing steam when the Discovery Channel team stepped in to assist, sensing that several CG threats may be getting too much of an advantage in what should have been a sprinters stage. The gap hovered at just over a minute, and appeared to have the right chemistry to stay away, when the Mr. Bookmaker team came up to join the chase with about 20km to go. Although the Belgian team had two riders in the break, they were clearly hoping to put their hopes in sprinter Stefan Van Dijck, and the gap began to drop.

The field was about to be caught with just over 10km to go, and the final KOM of the day just ahead, when a counter attack from the break released five riders including Cox and his Barloworld team mate Kannemeyer, Domina Vacanze’s Maxime Iglinsky, Navigators Walters, and Great Britain’s Ken House. Cox attacked the top of the climb and went solo building a 25 second lead by the bottom of the decent, and 4km to the finish. The field was full gas now, with many riders, including Beloki, dropped on the hard effort over the climb.

As the field sped into town, the sprinters were jostling for position, and a touch of wheels sent several riders to the ground about two km from the line, including Discovery’s Antonio Cruz and Japanese neo-pro Fumi Beppu. Cox was caught in the final kilometer, and Panaria’s Guillermo Bongiorno delivered a blistering lead-out for Olympic gold medalist Graeme Brown who finished in front of his teammate with Navigators Insurance’s Oleg Grishkine in third.

Navigators’ sprinter Hilton Clarke succumbed to an overnight stomach ailment, and had to retire from the race.

Stage 1:
1. Graeme Brown (Panaria)
2. Guillermo Bongiorno (Panaria)
3. Oleg Grishkine (Navigators Insurance)

1. Graeme Brown (Panaria)
2. Guillermo Bongiorno (Panaria) @ :04
3. Oleg Grishkine (Navigators Insurance) @ :06

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