Stage 3 of TDL is another 145km stage from Taiping to Sitiawan. Today were 3 more intermediate sprints at 32k, 77k and 100k mark and 4th cat KOM just 17k into the race. The weather was much cooler as morning shower just passing through during the start of the race. Right of the start, attacks started almost immediately from the gun. Riders must still be nervous from yesterday’s multiple crashes plus damped road made the condition worse for the riders. Just after 10km into the race, there was a big crash involved three Terengganu Pro-Asia riders, including Shinichi, Mat Amin and Harrif Salleh, while all three riders did not suffer serious injury, Shinichi’s bike saddle was twisted during the crash, while trying to fix the saddle during the chase back, he hit a bump and landed hard on his shoulder and back. With blood dripping from his arm, he got back on the spare bike immediately to chase back to the peloton.
While on the front Skil Shimano team was controlling the front to keep the KOM jersey for one more day before tomorrow the real climbing starts. But Skil could not control till the end as Androni Giocattoli and Iran TPT riders attacked, Terengganu Pro-Asia Thai climber followed the attack, took 3rd on the KOM sprint and additional KOM point. The peloton descended quickly to the 1st intermediate sprint at 32k mark. Anuar strike hard to take the 1st position ahead of the yellow jersey Guardini. Another crash happened at 50k mark which brought down a few more riders, but luckily no TSG riders was involved this time. Before the 60km mark, 2 riders Pollock of Drapac and Low Sea Keong of Malaysian national team managed to escape the peloton. The two men stayed away for 80km and built up a time gap of over 4 minutes before finally reeled in with just 5km to the finish. But at 120km mark, another crash brought down a big group of riders including Shinichi, Harrif and Anuar, Harrif landed hard on his hip but literally bounced right back up and leaped back on the bike in cyclo cross style.
Despite the blood and bruises over Shinichi’s arm and body, he still lead both Anuar and Harrif back to the peloton, in fact he said later he wanted to attack at that point! The speed through out the day was blistering averaging 45kph and at some point peloton was flying through rolling hills at close to 60kph. At the last 1k mark, another crash which brought down some more riders. While Anuar and yellow jersey were marking each other to the finish while Skil Shimano rider Marcel Kittel took the opportunity and got a perfect lead out by a very experienced team mate Kenny Van Hummel to cross the line 1st. Anuar cross the line in 2nd edged out the yellow jersey. Despite 2 crashes, Harrif still cross the line in respectable 16th position which help to keep Terengganu Pro Asia number 1 in both day’s and overall team placing on team’s 3rd day of racing
Anuar retained his 2nd overall position and Asia leader jersey while still equaling Guardini in points standing. With performance of Team Terengganu Pro-Asia’s performance, Anuar not only getting hours of media attention in Malaysia daily, but as well as by European media : http://www.tuttobiciweb.it/index.php?page=news&cod=35678&tp=n . Hope your Italian is as good as mine!
Pro Asia Sports Management
Terengganu Pro-Asia Cycling Team
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missjewelz wishes the best to all LTDL riders and teams for stage 4 and 5 — mountain stages ..!!! *tengok terrain profile pon dah penat..*
Special shout to all local teams ; Terengganu ProAsia, LeTua cycling team and the national team, keep going, don’t give up and don’t lose focus in your pursuit for the best. We the Malaysia cycling fans are rooting for you and your team !!
More pics and stories from stage 3 in the next post (hopefully i have time to update later lah..). Ok, cau cin ciao.. gottago to work ! Have a nice day folks !