Colombian Brayan Chaves has put in a strong and aggressive performance in the breakaway on the Queen stage four at the Tour de Langkawi today.
After some initial resistance to a move, the peloton let a group of 12 ride off the front, including Mitchelton-BikeExchange’s Chaves and race leader Travis McCabe (Flloyd’s Pro Cycling).
The breakaway was never allowed much freedom, their advantage kept stable at around two minutes with just 114k to cover and the decisive Genting Highlands to come.
The group held a two-minute 30-second lead heading onto the final climb, but the tough ramps began to take their toll on the group.
Chaves was amongst those who began to lose contact before recovering to join the front of racing and then immediately attacked the lead group and the peloton continued to close on them, sitting less than a minute behind.
The Colombian was eventually pulled back as the elite climbers from the bunch took over the front of the race, the stage eventually won by Ben Dyball (Team Sapura).
Mitchelton-BikeExchange eventually finished with Chaves in 58th position and team leader James Oram in 21st.
“The stage at the start was quite hard. The initial plan was to put me in the breakaway and that’s what we did.
“The peloton kept all the control, so breakaway couldn’t get more that 2’45” advantage.
“The last climb was super steep. There were some attacks at start the climb and four guys, including me, could survive, but the first 20 guys to finish today were really fast.”
“I made it comfortably to seven kilometres to go, then drifted off the front group a bit and had to ride the final few km as a time trial. I am a bit too big to stay with the climbers on the steep ramps.
“The boys were great today. Having Brayan in the break meant we could relax in the bunch, with Niu and Liu helping looking after me really well, a big thanks to them.
“Now Genting is done we can be more aggressive and aim to look for more breakaways as we don’t have a general classification spot to defend so to speak. But, I’m now only two minutes off the top 10, so it’s not out of the picture.”
Dave Sanders – Sport Director:
“We planned to try to put Chaves in the early break today hoping they would be allowed some time gap before the long brutal climb. He missed the initial move going away but Liu helped him get half way across and he joined them to make a front group of riders.
“They never had more than 2’30” but set a solid pace all day. Chaves was second in the solid Cat.3 KOM and his group still held a two-minute advantage into the final 29km climb.
“The front group broke up but Chaves was still with the remaining five. He rode his own pace and dropped off them for a while before re-joining and launching an attack into the final super steep 10km. He was eventually caught but hung in until the remnants of the chasing peloton caught him in the final three kilometres. A courageous effort indeed.
“James Oram was in this main group and hung on well until the gradient ramped up around 18% at times which shattered the remaining groups into ones and twos crawling up the slopes. He was well inside the top 20 until the final 500m wall when a few guys slipped past him.
“Liu was next up from us and Niu struggled up after doing the bidon runs all day. He’s carrying some heavy injuries following his crash a couple of days ago. So they all did the best they could do on the day and that’s all we could ask of them.”
Tour de Langkawi – Stage 4 Results:
1. Ben Dyball (Team Sapura Cycling) 3:22:02
2. Hernan Aguirre (Interpro Cycling Academy) +0:23
3. Keegan Swirbul (Floyd’s Pro Cycling) +0:44
22. James Oram (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +4:33
Tour de Langkawi – General Classification after Stage 4:
1. Ben Dyball (Team Sapura Cycling)
2. Hernan Aguirre (Interpro Cycling Academy) +0:27
3. Keegan Swirbul (Floyd’s Pro Cycling) +0:50
21. James Oram (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +4:33