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Tourism Malaysia Tour of Langkawi Stage 8
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 2/10/2006
Tourism Malaysia Tour of Langkawi Stage 8

Tourism Malaysia Tour of Langkawi Stage 8
Time is running out for the contenders all within 2 minutes of David George. A crash denies Great Britain rider Cavendish victory, at the line: Hinault, Cavendish, Marzoli.

Tour of Langkawi: Stage 8 (2.HC)
Stage 8: Yong Peng…Feb 10th…72.7 km
Time is running out for the four contenders who still have a shot at taking the yellow jersey off the seemingly strong back of South Africa’s David George. George has held the jersey since taking second place in the difficult stage three climb to Cameron Highlands, and although tomorrow’s 16.2 km TT will provide some shake up in the top placing’s, it is unlikely that any of the top contenders will take time out of George who is a handy TT rider, capable of a high finishing place in the stage.

Today’s stage 8, at only 73 km of flat wide roads, would not likely provide much opportunity to put George or his team in trouble, and in fact it was expected to be a stage controlled by the sprinter’s teams. True to expectation, the race started aggressively, with a blistering volley of attacks that created an endless acceleration at the front of the peloton until a group of 8 finally established a reliable margin. The field settled down, and the escapees immediately set to work. With Panaria and South Africa keeping the pace steady in the field, the gap never grew past 1’15”, and it was clear that the sprinting teams were in control. First Relax, and then Navigators joined the chase with 25 km to go, and the break was caught as they crossed the third and final time sprint at 63 km.

Seven km to go, and it was all lead-out from here. One team after another pushed the pace at the front with the combined British efforts of Recycling and Team Great Britain doing the largest turn. Three tight turns in the last 400 meters would make the American cycling fan smile at the thought of a classic criterium finish. But today had a special treat to add to the excitement…a steady downpour had soaked the diesel covered streets, and carnage was in the forecast.
With Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish in excellent position after his countrymen’s work, a crash in the last turn sent bodies flying. Credit Agricole’s Sebastian Hinault was able to swing wide, and cruised in jubilantly enjoying the opportunistic win. Cavendish recovered and held on for second with Samuele Marzoli of LPR in third. The General Classification remained unchanged.

1 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Credit Agricole 1.33.33 (40.98 km/h)
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Great Britain
3 Samuele Marzoli (Ita) LPR

Overall GC:
1 David George (RSA) South Africa 26.22.58
2 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni 1.57
3 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Credit Agricole 2.19
4 Walter Pedraza (Col) Selle Italia Diquigiovanni
5 Cesar Grajales (Col) Navigators Insurance
report courtesy Navigators Insurance cycling team

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