Lanfranchi holds onto Langkawi lead

Paolo Lanfranchi (Mapei-Quick Step) has weathered the last serious threat to winning his second Tour de Langkawi by surviving the stage 10 time trial, while his team mate Paolo Bettini has moved into second and Chris Wherry salvaged some Mercury-Viatel pride with a superb ride that jumped him up two places into third overall. Australian Nathan O'Neill (Ceramiche Panaria) took the stage to give his team their third victory of the Tour.

Strong TT moves Wherry into third

By Rob Jones, VeloNews Correspondent

Wherry moved up two spots with a strong time trial

Wherry moved up two spots with a strong time trial

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Paolo Lanfranchi (Mapei-Quick Step) has weathered the last serious threat to winning his second Tour de Langkawi by surviving the stage 10 time trial, while his team mate Paolo Bettini has moved into second and Chris Wherry salvaged some Mercury-Viatel pride with a superb ride that jumped him up two places into third overall. Australian Nathan O’Neill (Ceramiche Panaria) took the stage to give his team their third victory of the Tour.

The 24-kilometer race against the clock (reduced from 26.6) took the riders around Shah Alam mosque – the largest of its kind in Asia. While there were numerous twists and turns on the circuit, most were of the sweeping variety and hardly slowed down the riders at all. Of more concern was the thunderstorm blowing in from the north, which threatened to soak the course for later riders.

O’Neill, a second year pro with Panaria, was one of the early riders on the circuit. He was actually part of the group containing Gord Fraser and Jans Koerts (Mercury-Viatel) that got eliminated in yesterday’s mountain stage. “I got nervous that the group was going too slow so I left them.” A smart move, as it turned out.

O’Neill’s margin of victory over favored Michael Rich (Gerolsteiner) was 8.4 seconds, and he agreed afterwards that he may have benefited from going early, when rain briefly soaked the course for Rich and others riders in the middle of the field. “Being before the rain certainly made a difference. Sometimes you get luck, and sometimes not.”

Horner

Horner

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Lanfranchi finished 13th on the stage, but it was enough to preserve his lead. Second place Paolo Bertoglio (Ceramiche Panaria) dropped to fourth after a poor showing, finishing 25th on the stage, while Lanfranchi’s team mate Paolo Bettini moved into second after finishing fourth on the stage.

However, the big story was Chris Wherry, who finished third on the stage and gained enough time to overtake Bertoglio for third overall. Mercury-Viatel had something to prove after losing the green jersey (Koerts), Fraser and Henk Vogels, and Wherry used it to fuel his ride.

“It wasn’t pressure today, it was anger. I carried a lot of energy from the boys and it made the difference.”

Wherry is having a superb Tour, riding at the front on the mountain stages and now finishing third in the time trial. He says that he came into the time trial confident. “As a junior I went through the U.S. junior time trial program and rode the Team Time Trial at the ’91 Worlds, so I knew that I could do well.”

Tomorrow the riders face a 162.9-kilometer stage that begins downtown in Kuala Lumpur and ends at Shah Alam.

Photo Gallery

Results

Stage 10 Shah Alam Time Trial

1. O’Neill, Nathan (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria, 24.17km in 29:18.20
2. Rich, Michael (G) Team Gerolsteiner 0:08.40
3. Wherry, Chris (USA) Mercury-Viatel 1:05.80
4. Bettini, Paolo (I) Mapei – Quick Step 1:43.10
5. Aggiano, Elio (I) Mapei – Quick Step 1:47.40
6. Moninger, Scott (USA) Mercury-Viatel 1:53.60
7. Ludewig, Jörg (G) Saeco Macchine Caffe 1:55.70
8. Horrilo Munoz, Pedro (Sp) Mapei – Quick Step 1:59.20
9. Flecha Giannoni, Juan (Sp) Colchon Relax 2:06.00
10. Decanio, Matthew (USA) Saturn 2:06.60
11. Horner, Chris (USA) Mercury-Viatel 2:07.10
12. Axelsson, Niklas (S) Mercury-Viatel 2:10.80
13. Lanfranchi, Paolo (I) Mapei – Quick Step 2:12.00
14. Tuft, Svein (Can) Canada 2:12.10
15. Voigt, Jens (G) Credit Agricole 2:14.60
16. Grabsch, Bert (G) Phonak 2:14.80
17. Jenner, Christopher (F) Credit Agricole 2:17.00
18. Rittsel, Martin (S) CSC World Online 2:17.50
19. Bermejo Siller, Andres (Sp) Colchon Relax 2:22.00
20. Nocentini, Rinaldo (I) Mapei – Quick Step 2:23.20

36. Van Velzen, Min (Can) Canada 3:04.20
39. Erker, Jacob (Can) Canada 3:07.80
43. Barry, Michael (Can) Saturn 3:13.80
44. Klasna, Trent (USA) Saturn 3:14.00

54. Petersen, Soren (Dk) Saturn 3:24.70
57. Seiniewicz, Greg (Can) Canada 3:34.70
79. Walters, Mark (Can) Canada 4:08.60
85. McCormack, Frank (USA) Saturn 4:21.00

Overall:
1. Lanfranchi, Paolo (I) Mapei – Quick Step 37:51:35
2. Bettini, Paolo (I) Mapei – Quick Step 0:54
3. Wherry, Chris (USA) Mercury-Viatel 1:57
4. Bertoglio, Paolo (I) Ceramiche Panaria 2:43
5. Jenner, Christopher (F) Credit Agricole 3:59
6. Herve, Pascal (F) Alexia Alluminio 4:21
7. Axelsson, Niklas (S) Mercury-Viatel 4:32
8. Ludewig, Jörg (G) Saeco Macchine Caffe 4:35
9. Tonetti, Gianluca (I) Selle Italia-Pacific 4:58
10. Joergensen, Renè (Dk) CSC World Online 5:05
11. Stadelmann, Renè (Swit) Phonak 5:27
12. Flecha Giannoni, Juan (Sp) Colchon Relax 6:15
13. Murn, Uros (Slo) Mobilvetta Trentini 6:28
14. Nocentini, Rinaldo (I) Mapei – Quick Step 7:05
15. Decanio, Matthew (USA) Saturn 7:17
16. Loubser, Jacobus (RSA) South Africa 7:30
17. Sauerborn, Andreas (G) Team Gerolsteiner 8:08
18. Pospyeyev, Kyrylo (Ukr) Cantina Tollo 8:08
19. Straumann, Uwe (Swit) Phonak 8:20
20. Scarselli, Leonardo (I) Selle Italia-Pacific 10:52

Others:
32. Barry, Michael (Can) Saturn 17:07
36. Erker, Jacob (Can) Canada 19:06
39. Petersen, Soren (Dk) Saturn 20:51
53. Moninger, Scott (USA) Mercury-Viatel 27:26
55. Horner, Chris (USA) Mercury-Viatel 27:47
67. Van Velzen, Min (Can) Canada 33:37
70. Klasna, Trent (USA) Saturn 34:42
72. McCormack, Frank (USA) Saturn 34:47
78. Seiniewicz, Greg (Can) Canada 36:47
81. Tuft, Svein (Can) Canada 38:13
82. Walters, Mark (Can) Canada 38:19