Mitchelton-BikeExchange’s James Oram has animated the final day of racing at the Tour de Langkawi from the breakaway, searching for extra bonus seconds at the intermediate sprints.
An eight-rider breakaway which established within the first 10km of racing but with another short stage on the cards, the group, which contained Oram, never gained a huge advantage.
The peloton only allowed the group a maximum two-minute 20second advantage before beginning to peg it back on the finishing circuits.
Whilst eventually caught by the peloton, Oram managed to collect bonus seconds from the three intermediate sprints to move up four places and finish 17th on the general classification.
“Your first race as a team is always a hard one, especially when if you lose riders on the first day.
“Learning how each rider racers, their strengths, weaknesses, and how they handle themselves off the bike is a big learning curve, but I feel by the end of the week here we’ve made some great progression, which will make getting that elusive result possible.”
Dave Sanders – Sport Director:
“James Oram was in break all day and contested the intermediate sprints really strongly to move up to 17th on the general classification. In the end it all came back for a bunch sprint and Brayan punctured in the final but are four remaining riders made it through OK.”
“To summarise the week, we had a disappointing first day with a major crash and riders losing time but after that we were in every major move of the race and represented the team very well.
“All the guys put in the best of their ability and we had a couple of very near misses for major results. The first event of the year is always a challenge but with that in their legs now I believe they will all lift towards successful results throughout the season to come.”
Tour de Langkawi – Stage 8 Results:
1. Marco Benfatto (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) 2:17:42
2. Blake Quick (St George Continental Cycling Team) ST
3. Matteo Pelucchi (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) ST
Tour de Langkawi – FINAL General Classification:
1. Benjamin Dyball (Team Sapura) 29:15:53
2. Keegan Swirbull (Floyd’s Pro Cycling) +0:50
3. Vadim Pronskiy (Vino-Astana Motors) +1:05