Loddo claims second win; Charteau retains lead
Stage 4 of Le Tour de Langkawi finished in a bunch sprint in Kota Bharu, with Alberto Loddo (Selle I
PIC BY LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI Italian Alberto Loddo repeated his performance of the first day of Le Tour de Langkawi to claim his second stage victory in a bunch sprint that resulted in at least 10 riders crashing just 50 metres from the finish line. L beat stage 2 winner Maximiliano Richeze (Panaria) and South African Daryl Impey, while Anthony Charteau (Credit Agricole) kept the leader’s jersey. As the riders worked their way down the final stretch, the crash put a large hole in the bunch. Two cyclists, Amir Zargari and Lilian Jgou, appeared to be injured and were taken by ambulance to hospital. They were later found to have sustained only minor injuries, but it was uncertain whether they would start in stage 5. Today’s race started extremely fast with Jose Serpa and defending champion David George attempting the breakaways. But each time they tried, Credit Agricole would chase them down, which resulted in a very fast pace for the first part of the race. At the 80km mark, eight riders, led by Sergey Klimov (Tinkoff Credit Systems) and Pierre Drancourt (Bouygues Telecom), finally managed to break loose. Klimov and Drancourt dropped the rest and resisted for as long as they could, but with 10km to go, the gap was just a minute. The sprinters from Panaria and Selle Italia then took over and closed down the break. Loddo, from the Selle Italia-Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni team, completed the 178 kilometre race from Gua Musang to Kota Bahru, the longest stage this year, in a time of 4 hours and 58 seconds. “I would like to thank my teammates for this victory,” he said. “This win was not any easier than the first. Towards the end there was still one rider who was close, but somehow we managed to catch him and secure the stage.” Loddo added that he was unaware of the crash that took place behind him. Yesterday’s winner, Anthony Charteau, remains the race leader and holder of the yellow jersey. The four minutes lead he amassed in the third stage on the climb up Cameron Highlands, was enough to keep the others at bay. The Frenchman is not expected to do much tomorrow on the 167km long and flat fifth stage between Kota Bahru and Kuala Terengganu. “We do not have any plans to attack on the next few stages,” he said. “But we will try and control the pace.” Stage 4 results 1 Alberto Loddo (Ita, Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Selle Italia) 4:00:58 2 Maximilian Richeze (Arg, Ceramiche Panaria Navigare) 3 Daryl Impey (RSA, South Africa) 4 Brad Huff (USA, Team Slipstream) 5 Sung Baek Park (Kor, Korea National Team) 6 Msahiro Shinagawa (Jpn, Skil Shimano) 7 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn, Nippo-Meitan Hompo) 8 Nicholas Sanderson (Aus, SouthAustralia.com-AIS) 9 Anuar Manan (Mas, Letua Cycling Team) 10 Nickolay Trusov (Rus, Tinkoff Credit Systems) General classification after stage 4 1 Anthony Charteau (Fra, Crdit Agricole) 13:26:41 2 Walter Pedraza (Col, Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Selle Italia) 0:04:00 3 Thomas Voeckler (Fra, Equipe Bouygues Telecom) 0:04:39 4 Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa, Unibet.com) 0:04:43 5 Ian McLeod AFS Franaise des Jeux) 6 Pavel Brutt (Rus, Tinkoff Credit Systems) 7 Julien Loubet (Fra, AG2r Prvoyance) 8 Benoit Poilvet (Fra, Crdit Agricole) 9 Sergey Kolesnikov (Rus, Unibet.com) 0:04:45 10 Hossein Askari (Irn, Giant Asia Racing Team) 0:04:47 Official website: www.ltdl.com.my Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.