2009 Le Tour of Langkawi - Wrap Up & Index
This year’s Tour de Langkawi (9th to 15th February) may have been short, or “compact” if we are being unusually diplomatic, compared with previous years, but it was certainly sweet.
Many were certainly surprised and relieved that the race was taking place at all. Events of a similar size, including the 2009 Tour de Georgia, had already been cancelled with only good intentions offering hope for the future. With the race credit-crunched down to seven stages and 1031.7 km in length (2008 was an inflation busting 1377.4 km) would the options for a truly competitive event be narrowed, or in fact would the shortened timescale encourage those with a shot at glory to take greater risks – we would soon know.
The opening stage, 133.8km stage from Putrajaya to Senawang, ended in a traditional bunch sprint, with Mattia Gavazzi of Diquigiovanni-Androni , taking the win ahead of Aussie Chris Sutton (Garmin Slipstream) and Nolan Hoffman (South Africa). The win also gave Gavazzi the yellow jersey, to the delight of his manager the perennially dapper and cheerful Gianni Savio.
The next day, 160.9 km from Senawang to Melaka , once again boiled down to a bunch sprint and guess who found himself gracing the top step of the podium for a second day – none other than Mattia Gavazzi , this time with Nolan Hoffman in second place and Aurelian Clerc (AG2r) in third.
Day three arrived and while they certainly tried throughout the 180.9km from Melaka back to Melaka, none of his rivals in the peloton could prevent Gavazzi clinching a hat-trick of wins, this time ahead of a frustrated Sutton. The win gave Gavazzi his fourth win of the season overall and equaled his results for the entire 2008 season.
Gavazzi get's his hat-trick photo © Bruno Bade/LTDL
Stage four, a just when the headlines were starting to write themselves, along comes Indonesia’s Samei Samei, to break Gavazzi’s stranglehold on the results board. His win, at the end of a grueling 221km, Melaka - Bandar Baru Bangi gave Samai (Letua Cycling Team) not just his first stage win in the competition, but the blue jersey of the leader of the Best Asian Rider competition.
Gavazzi, who was only just squeezed into second place, maintained his grip on the yellow jersey, but only just. He was now living on borrowed time. It was beyond doubt that by the end of the next day’s assault on Genting somebody else would be tugging on the race leader’s jersey.
Stage five, 102km from Petaling Jaya to the mountain-top resort of the Genting Highlands, was never going to be easy. The rarified finish at 1679.2m above sea level is challenge enough in itself, but add in the steep climb and the stark contrast between the heat of the valley and the relative chill of the summit and riders are working at their limit.
At the start of the stage anyone of at least ten riders was in with a chance of the win, including South Africa’s Jacques Janse Van Rensburg, New Zealander Jeremy Yates, Aussie Jai Crawford, Fuji-Servetto’s Juan José Cobo, and Gavazzi’s teammates Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez and Carlos José Ochoa. Ochoa who had been suffering from a stomach bug looked a doubtful while Yates had been perhaps overly-prominent during the previous days’ racing.
At the finish it was Serpa who pulled off the victory, arriving alone but just 23 seconds ahead of Jai Crawford (Australia) and team-mate Rodriguez Jackson. With Ochoa in sixth, Savio’s boys had established their dominance of the 2009 edition. The stage win also gave Serpa custody of the yellow jersey which would have given Gavazzi some consolation for merely acting as porter to the jersey all day. Gavazzi wasn’t going away empty handed. He was still leading in the points competition, and duly pulled on the green jersey. In the Asian competition Tonton Susanto took over the blue jersey as leader from team-mate Samai.
Serpa wins stage 5 at Genting photo © Bruno Bade/LTDL
With just two stages to go the emphasis for Savio and his team was on containment. Neither stage offered any particular natural challenges so the job was to ensure that Serpa, who was also leading in the mountain climbers competition now, and Gavazzi were not troubled by rivals. With a healthy lead and scant mountain climbing points remaining Serpa’s job was the easier. Gavazzi on the hand theoretically could still be beaten. This risk was eliminated when he took stage 6 in a photo finish ahead of Aurélien Clerc and Chris Sutton. Short of not finishing at all the race was in the bag for Diquigiovanni-Androni.
Gavazzi clinches stage 6 and his 4th victory of LTDL photo © Bruno Bade/LTDL
The seventh and final stage, a criterium around downtown Kuala Lumpur, ended with victory to BBox Bouygues telecom rider Gene Yohann ahead of Rubens Bongiorno and Gavazzi. Apart from a bit of shuffling around of places in the lower orders the standings in the various competitions survived the day intact, with Serpa taking the overall victory and climber’s jersey, and with Gavazzi claiming victory in the points competition. The competition for best team went unsurprisingly to Gianni Savio and Diquigiovanni-Androni, whilst best Asian rider and team went to Tonton Susanto (LaTua) and Team Iran respectively.
Team and Jersey leaders, Diquigiovanni-Andronni & top Asian team - Iran National
team photo © Bruno
Diquigiovanni-Andronni duo, Serpa in the yellow jersey and Mattia Gavazzi in the
green jersey of sprint king. photo
© Bruno Bade/LTDL
It may have been short and for seven nights only but the 2009 Le Tour de Langkawi certainly hadn’t come up short on drama or action: Bike racing 1 - Credit Crunch 0
Race program & Index to Race and Team Previews, Race Reports and Photo Galleries of the Daily Peloton:
2009 Tour de Langkawi Race Reports
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Gavazzi wins Stage 1
Mattia Gavazzi of Diquigiovanni-Androni has out-sprinted Chris Sutton and Nolan Hoffman to clinch stage 1 of the 2009 Tour de Langkawi here in Senawang.
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009: Stage 1 Photo Gallery
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 1 Photographs
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Gavazzi 2 for 2 in Malaysia
Mattia Gavazzi has made it two from two at the 2009 Tour de Langkawi
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 3 Gavazzi Hat Trick
Gavazzi gets his hat trick of wins at the 2009 Tour de Langkawi
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 -Stage 3 Photographs
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 3 Photographs
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 4 Samai wins
At last! Someone else has won a stage at Le Tour de Langkawi 2009. After three straight wins Mattia Gavazzi has finally been bested on the line – this time by the Indonesian rider Samai (Letua Cycling Team)
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 4 Results & Photos
Le Tour de Langkawi: Stage 4 Results and Photos
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 5 Preview
Next Stop Genting. Everything is about to change as the tour as faces its biggest gravity challenge...
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 5 Serpa wins on Genting
Cometh the hour, cometh Serpa. In an act of climbing brilliance Columbian Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Diquigiovanni-Androni) has taken stage 5 on the iconic climb of Genting.
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 5 Results & Photos
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 5 Results & Photos
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 6 Report & Photos
Gianni Savio's riders continue domination of the podium - PMattia Gavazzi adds another stage to his palmares for 4!
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 6 Results & Photos
Diquigiovanni-Androni on a roll... in Shah Alam - Australia's Jai Crawford takes the climbers jersey only 27 seconds behind Serpa with one stage left.
LeTour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 7 Report & Photos
Jose Serpa finishes in yellow. Bbox's Yohann Gene wins the final stage speedfest... Gene Bates dominates stage primes for an exciting finish to the 14th edition of the Malaysian tour.
Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Stage 7 Results & Photos
Diquigiovanni-Andronni domination complete - The 14th edition of the Tour of Langkawi official results and photographs of stage 7 finale, the Kuala Lumpur Criterium.
2009 Tour de Langkawi Parcours & Team Previews
Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Return to Genting Highlands |
|Gianni Savio, “Of course, for us, the return to Genting is something positive; This is the queen-stage of Le Tour de Langkawi. The race is identified world wide because of this high altitude stage finish." Jose Serpa returns to Genting |
Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Sprinters |
|The battle for the Green Jersey: " All the usual supects" will fight for line honors in the Malaysian tou... Aurélien Clerc defends 2008 title - Mattia Gavazzi, Hilton Clarke, and Chris Sutton on the short list. |
Tour de Langkawi 2009 - G.C. Favorites |
|The Battle for the 'Jersi Kuning' of race leader heats up. Gianni Savio and his Diquigiovanni-Androni team return to defend the win of 2008 supporting climber Jose Serpa... |
Tour de Langkawi - Teams
Tour de Langkawi 2009 - Sponsor Presentation |
|Asia's biggest cycling event, Le Tour de Langkawi returns for its 14th edition with a new-look for the race, inspiring change and a better future under the guidance of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Sponsors breathe life into the UCI 2.0 Event. |
Tour de Langkawi 2009 - les Kangaroos |
|Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 - les Kangaroos Australian national team sends a strong and motivated squad of young and experienced riders hungry for stage and eager to show themselves on the international stage. |
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