PANDAN INDAH, Malaysia (VN) – He was billed as a dark horse after his superlative performance in the opening time trial, where he finished third to Garmin’s TT specialist Dave Zabriskie.
Now, at the race’s midway point, Darren Lapthorne (Drapac-Porsche) has come good on his promise and following an audacious move with Colombian José Serpa (Androni Giocattoli) in the final kilometers of the fifth stage, the Australian has taken command of the Tour de Langkawi.
However with the stage to Genting Highlands looming large and overnight leader Tom Danielson (Garmin Barracuda) second overall, 37 seconds behind, Lapthorne will need to produce the ride of his life on the 17-kilometer climb if he is to stand any chance of overall victory when the race concludes Sunday in Kuala Terengganu.
Realizing life in advertising was nothing like Mad Men and buoyed by the Olympic Games in his Australian hometown of Sydney, Anthony Tan turned his back on a lucrative copywriting career in 2000 in pursuit of something more cerebral. Combining wordsmithing with his experiences as an A-Grade club racer and an underwhelming season competing in Europe, a career as a cycling scribe beckoned… More than a dozen Grand Tours and countless Classics later, it’s where he still is today. He has been a contributor to VeloNews since 2006. In 2010, he won Cycling Australia’s media award for best story. Follow him on Twitter: @anthony_tan