Young Aussie stuns favourites to snatch victory in stage two

KEMAMAN, Young Australian rider Taj Jones of the Ara Pro Cycling Sunshine Coast team beat several favourite riders in a bunch sprint to win the second stage of 2020 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) cycling race from Dataran Batu Buruk to Bandar Baru Kerteh here today.

The 19-year-old defeated fancied sprinters like the 2020 LTdL curtain-raiser winner, Germany’s Maximilian Richard Walscheid of NTT Pro Cycling Team, and Italians Riccardo Minali, Matteo Pelucchi and Luca Pacioni to win the 261.1km race, the longest route in the championship.

The chief judge awarded the same time of 4 hours 5 minutes and 29 seconds to the top 10 finishers after they crossed the finish line in a bunch.

Today’s victory propelled Jones to third place from 11th out of the 123 riders overall.

“This is the longest route that I’ve ever raced so far, and I’m very proud with my teammates to clinch today’s victory.

“It was a tight battle at the end of the finishing line; the routes were mostly flat and I enjoyed the race.The strategy in today’s race was to stay within the peloton group before we made an attack towards the finishing line and we finally made it,” he told reporters.

Overnight leader of the Yellow Jersey, Yevgeniy Fedorov of Vino-Astana Motors, is bracing himself for a rough ride in stage three tomorrow, which features a few climbing zones.

“It would be a tough battle tomorrow as I’m a pure sprinter, but I hope my teammates can retain the Yellow Jersey for our team. I believe they can do it,” he said through an interpreter.

Stage three, which covers a distance of 162.5km from Dataran Temerloh to KLCC, features three sprint zones in Mentakab, Desa Bakti and Mempaga, besides three climbing zones in Bukit Damar, Bentong and Genting Highlands.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)