The stage 8 of TDL is the longest stage of this year’s race covering 156.5km. Riders and staffs woke up to pouring monsoon rain, everyone dreading the day ahead. The race started with 1st attack lunched by Terengganu Pro-Asia rider Harrif, followed by multiple attacks and counter attacks. However, the 2nd GC rider team Androni Gicattoli was determined to snatch the 2 second advantage from Nino Corredor of L2A cycling team through first two intermediate sprint time bonus. They set up a blistering pace in the rain covering 96km in 1st 2 hours of racing! The road surface was worst since the start of the race 8 days ago plus flooding in some sections of the road made the conditions almost impossible to ride…but the peloton marched on. One lone rider from Drapac tried a desperate solo move but only had 2 minutes before he was reel back.
Due to rain and poor road, the day was marked by punctures after punctures. TSG riders had 3 punctures including both Anuar, Harrif and Phuchong. Anuar had a mechanical due to excessive water, but our team mechanic was able to fix it on the fly. The last 20km, there were 9 riders managed to get away with 30+ second gap and they held a 15 second gap into the last 5km with a slim chance of succeeding. TSG riders were working hard at the front to set up Anuar for the stage win. Into the last 2km, the 8 remaining escapees still had 5 second before was finally caught before the last 1km mark, but at the same time the road became much narrow, the riders been caught broke up the sprinter train, Anuar and Harrif also lost out their position along with the point jersey Gardini and finished top 10 in the stage. Robert Foster from United Health took to the stage win.
Pro Asia Sports Management