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Aggiano’s stage at Langkawi, Van Ulden gets close

Once again, the sprinters’ teams didn’t make it at Malaysia’s Tour de Langkawi. After being 11 seconds short of catching an eight-man break on Wednesday, they fell short by seven seconds on Thursday’s 188.2km stage 7 from Muar to Kota Tinggi won by Italian journeyman Elio Aggiano of team LPR. South Africa’s David George retained the yellow jersey with three days remaining in the 10-day race.

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By John Wilcockson

Once again, the sprinters’ teams didn’t make it at Malaysia’s Tour de Langkawi. After being 11 seconds short of catching an eight-man break on Wednesday, they fell short by seven seconds on Thursday’s 188.2km stage 7 from Muar to Kota Tinggi won by Italian journeyman Elio Aggiano of team LPR. South Africa’s David George retained the yellow jersey with three days remaining in the 10-day race.

The chasers did absorb six riders from an all-day nine-man break, but Aggiano, British champion Russell Downing and American Bernard Van Ulden of Navigators Insurance split from the break 2km from the finish to take the top three places.

In the post-stage press conference, Aggiano said, “In the final five kilometers, everybody in the break thought that we were going to be caught. I thought after a tough stage the previous day everybody would allow us to ride away, but that did not happen. In the final three kilometers, I thought I just had to go if there was any chance of winning, and the two other guys came with me.”

Aggiano, a swarthy 33-year-old from Brindisi on the “heel” of the Italian peninsula, knows something about winning stages from small breakaway groups. This was his seventh such victory in nine years. His previous stage wins came at Spain’s Majorca Trophy in 1998 and 2000, the Tour of Denmark and France’s Tour de Poitou-Charente in 2002, Italy’s Giro del Trentino in 2003 and, last year, at the Coppi and Bartali Week in Tuscany.

For the second day running at Langkawi, Navigators’ Van Ulden went with an early break. This time, after George’s team chased down a series of dangerous attacks in the opening 12km, Van Ulden went clear with Aggiano, Downing, Frenchmen Renaud Dion of AG2R and Yohann Gene of Bouygues Telecom, Brits Evan Oliphant of Recycling.co.uk and Matt Brammeier of Downing’s national team, Belgian Sven Renders of Landbouwkrediet-Colnago and Spaniard Raul Garcia of Relax-Gam.

The best placed on GC was Garcia, who started the day in 12th overall, 8:41 down on George. After 60km of riding well together on the undulating course through the Malaysian jungle, the nine were six minutes clear when they ran into a torrential downpour. Renders and Van Ulden both fell on the greasy road, but the others waited for them.

When the gap reached 7:10 with 58km remaining, and with Garcia knocking on George’s door on overall time, the South Africans increased the tempo, along with the Japan national team, to cut the lead to five minutes as they approached the second of two Cat. 4 climbs, at Bandar Tenggara, 35km from the finish.

There was an attack here from the peloton by two of the best climbers in the race, Colombian José Serpa of Selle Italia and Spaniard José Elias of Relax-Gam, who finished 1-2 on the giant Genting Highlands mountain two days ago. Within 10km of all-out chasing, Serpa and Elias — who are seventh and eighth on GC — closed to within three minutes of the break, but they never got more than a 22-second advantage on the South-African-led pack before they sat up.

Commenting on the challenges he and his teammates have faced since the Genting stage, George said, “The other teams just came at us and they were really trying to break us, but our team have also given everything they have…. I think we’ve been able to do a good job at keeping everything together and protecting the jersey.”

With the nine breakaways riders now starting to think about how to win the stage, the sprinters’ teams of Wiesenhof-Akud’s German points leader Steffen Radochla and Panaria-Navigare’s Argentinean Ruben Bongiorno helped close the gap to 45 seconds entering the final 10km.

With the peloton closing fast, the attacks from the break began 5km out, first from Recycling’s Oliphant, then from Great Britain’s Brammeier, and finally from the crafty Aggiano — who put everything into his attack 2km out. Downing and Van Ulden chased but were three seconds back at the line, while Radochla led in the pack another four seconds later.

Friday’s stage 8 is a short, flat 72.7km from Yong Peng to Segamat, which should produce the event’s only second field sprint, while the final standings in this 11th Tour de Langkawi should be decided in Saturday’s 16km time trial at Melaka.Results – Stage 7 – Muar – Kota Tinggi
1. Aggiano, Elio (ITA), LPR 4:21:36
2. Downing, Russell (GBR), Great Britain, at 03
3. Van Ulden, Bernard (USA), Navigators Insurance, s.t.
4. Radochla, Steffen (GER), Wiesenhof Akud, at 07
5. Cavendish, Mark (GBR), Great Britain, s.t.
6. Flickinger, Andy (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
7. Marzoli, Samuele (ITA), LPR, s.t.
8. Bongiorno, Ruben (ARG), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, s.t.
9. Pütsep, Erki (EST), Ag2r Prevoyance, s.t.
10. Hinault, Sébastien (FRA), Credit Agricole, s.t.FullResultsOverall
1. George, David (RSA), South Africa 24h49:25
2. Missaglia, Gabriele (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, at 01:57
3. Bellotti, Francesco (ITA), Credit Agricole, at 02:19
4. Pedraza, Walter (COL), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni = s/t
5. Grajales, Cesar (COL), Navigators Insurance, at 02:20
6. Sharman, Robin (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, at 04:20
7. Elias Galindo, Jose (ESP), Relax-Gam, at 04:23
8. Serpa, José (COL), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, at 04:44
9. Lefevre, Laurent (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, at 04:54
10. Poilvet, Benoit (FRA), Credit Agricole, at 05:42FullResults

Results

Results – Stage 7 – Muar – Kota Tinggi

1. Aggiano, Elio (ITA), LPR 4:21:36

2. Downing, Russell (GBR), Great Britain, at 03

3. Van Ulden, Bernard (USA), Navigators Insurance, s.t.

4. Radochla, Steffen (GER), Wiesenhof Akud, at 07

5. Cavendish, Mark (GBR), Great Britain, s.t.

6. Flickinger, Andy (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

7. Marzoli, Samuele (ITA), LPR, s.t.

8. Bongiorno, Ruben (ARG), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, s.t.

9. Pütsep, Erki (EST), Ag2r Prevoyance, s.t.

10. Hinault, Sébastien (FRA), Credit Agricole, s.t.

11. Sayuti, Zahit (MAS), Malaysia, s.t.

12. McCann, David (IRL), Giant-Asia, s.t.

13. Fauzan, Ahmad Lutfi (MAS), Malaysia, s.t.

14. Loddo, Alberto (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, s.t.

15. Meirhaeghe, Filip (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, s.t.

16. Elias Galindo, Jose (ESP), Relax-Gam, s.t.

17. Suhardi, Hassan (MAS), Malaysia, s.t.

18. Miyazawa, Takashi (JPN), Japan, s.t.

19. Grajales, Cesar (COL), Navigators Insurance, s.t.

20. Richeze, Maximiliano (ARG), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, s.t.

21. Grishkine, Oleg (RUS), Navigators Insurance, s.t.

22. Furlan, Angelo (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, s.t.

23. Lebeau, Jean Claude (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, s.t.

24. Walters, Mark (CAN), Navigators Insurance, s.t.

25. Missaglia, Gabriele (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, s.t.

26. Greenwood, Ben (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, s.t.

27. Sharman, Robin (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, s.t.

28. Habeaux, Gregory (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, s.t.

29. Garcia, Raul (ESP), Relax-Gam, s.t.

30. Bellotti, Francesco (ITA), Credit Agricole, s.t.

31. Penne, Frederik (BEL), Yawadoo Colba-Abm, s.t.

32. Thomas, Geraint (GBR), Great Britain, s.t.

33. Matveyev, Sergiy (UKR), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, s.t.

34. Clancy, Edward (GBR), Great Britain, s.t.

35. Md Saiful Anuar, Aziz (MAS), Équipe Asia, s.t.

36. Dietziker, Andreas (SUI), LPR, s.t.

37. Renders, Sven (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, s.t.

38. Serpa, José (COL), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, s.t.

39. Pedraza, Walter (COL), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, s.t.

40. Ravard, Anthony (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

41. Loubet, Julien (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance, s.t.

42. House, Kristian (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, s.t.

43. Loh, Sea Keong (MAS), Équipe Asia, s.t.

44. Askari, Hossein (IRI), Giant-Asia, s.t.

45. Beuchat, Roger (SUI), LPR, s.t.

46. Lefevre, Laurent (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

47. George, David (RSA), South Africa, s.t.

48. Raisin, Saul (USA), Credit Agricole, s.t.

49. Le Mevel, Christophe (FRA), Credit Agricole, s.t.

50. Primero, Albert (PHI), Casino Filipino, s.t.

51. Fukushima, Shinichi (JPN), Japan, s.t.

52. Dyadichkin, Vyacheslav (KAZ), Équipe Asia, s.t.

53. Fukushima, Koji (JPN), Japan, s.t.

54. Partridge, Robert (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, s.t.

55. Tondo Volpini, Xavier (ESP), Relax-Gam, s.t.

56. Cox, Ryan (RSA), South Africa, s.t.

57. Griffin, Paul (IRL), Giant-Asia, s.t.

58. Peng, Kuei Hsiang (TPE), Giant-Asia, s.t.

59. Poilvet, Benoit (FRA), Credit Agricole, s.t.

60. Vallejo, Angel (ESP), Relax-Gam, s.t.

61. Iannetti, Massimo (ITA), LPR, s.t.

62. Shahrulneeza, Razali (MAS), Malaysia, at 21

63. Lemoine, Cyril (FRA), Credit Agricole, at 23

64. Sulisttiyono, Sulisttiyono (INA), Wismilak, s.t.

65. Ahmad Falani, Ali (MAS), Malaysia, s.t.

66. Clement, Stef (NED), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

67. Setyo Budi, Wawan (INA), Wismilak, s.t.

68. Van Kuik, Frank (NED), Yawadoo Colba-Abm, s.t.

69. Lai, Kuan Hua (TPE), Giant-Asia, s.t.

70. Bates, Gene (AUS), LPR, s.t.

71. Tonton, Susanto (INA), Wismilak, s.t.

72. Mizbani, Ghader (IRI), Giant-Asia, s.t.

73. Riemslagh, Gianni (BEL), Yawadoo Colba-Abm, s.t.

74. Lill, Darren (RSA), South Africa, s.t.

75. Allegrini, Mirko (ITA), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, s.t.

76. Luzon, Bernardo (PHI), Casino Filipino, s.t.

77. Espiritu, Victor (PHI), Casino Filipino, s.t.

78. Oliphant, Evan (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, at 31

79. Schmidt, Torsten (GER), Wiesenhof Akud, s.t.

80. Verheyen, David (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 34

81. Brammeier, Matt (GBR), Great Britain, s.t.

82. Gene, Yohann (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, at 36

83. Verstrepen, Johan (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, s.t.

84. Dion, Renaud (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance, s.t.

85. Adi, Wilbowo (INA), Wismilak, at 40

86. Fitrianto, Hari (INA), Équipe Asia, s.t.

87. Belli, Wladimir (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, at 42

88. Perez, Julio Alberto (MEX), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 49

89. Fullard, Jacques (RSA), South Africa, s.t.

90. Mangel, Laurent (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 54

91. Naibo, Carl (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance, s.t.

92. Carrera, Sherwin (PHI), Casino Filipino, at 01:16

93. Konechy, Tomas (CZE), Wiesenhof Akud, s.t.

94. Riblon, Christophe (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance, s.t.

95. Le Boulanger, Yohann (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

96. Green, Rodney (RSA), South Africa, s.t.

97. Maartens, Jeremy (RSA), South Africa, s.t.

98. Sweet, Corey (AUS), Wiesenhof Akud, at 01:23

99. Retschke, Robert (GER), Wiesenhof Akud, at 01:25

100. Mori, Kazuhiro (JPN), Japan, at 01:37

101. Wackernagel, Lars (GER), Wiesenhof Akud, at 02:02

102. Beppu, Takum (JPN), Japan, at 03:12

103. Milne, Shawn (USA), Navigators Insurance, at 03:14

104. Swindlehurst, Burke (USA), Navigators Insurance, s.t.

105. Nishitani, Taiji (JPN), Japan, at 03:32

Overall

1. George, David (RSA), South Africa 24h49:25

2. Missaglia, Gabriele (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, at 01:57

3. Bellotti, Francesco (ITA), Credit Agricole, at 02:19

4. Pedraza, Walter (COL), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni = s/t

5. Grajales, Cesar (COL), Navigators Insurance, at 02:20

6. Sharman, Robin (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, at 04:20

7. Elias Galindo, Jose (ESP), Relax-Gam, at 04:23

8. Serpa, José (COL), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, at 04:44

9. Lefevre, Laurent (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, at 04:54

10. Poilvet, Benoit (FRA), Credit Agricole, at 05:42

11. Raisin, Saul (USA), Credit Agricole, at 07:49

12. Garcia, Raul (ESP), Relax-Gam, at 08:39

13. Walters, Mark (CAN), Navigators Insurance, at 08:46

14. Cox, Ryan (RSA), South Africa, at 09:12

15. McCann, David (IRL), Giant-Asia, at 09:35

16. Iannetti, Massimo (ITA), LPR, at 10:32

17. Lill, Darren (RSA), South Africa, at 10:44

18. Matveyev, Sergiy (UKR), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 11:35

19. Clancy, Edward (GBR), Great Britain, at 13:55

20. Askari, Hossein (IRI), Giant-Asia, at 14:09

21. Le Boulanger, Yohann (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, at 15:15

22. Miyazawa, Takashi (JPN), Japan, at 16:11

23. House, Kristian (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, at 17:33

24. Renders, Sven (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 17:54

25. Fukushima, Shinichi (JPN), Japan, at 18:14

26. Habeaux, Gregory (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 21:12

27. Loubet, Julien (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 21:29

28. Tonton, Susanto (INA), Wismilak, at 21:46

29. Greenwood, Ben (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, at 22:21

30. Mizbani, Ghader (IRI), Giant-Asia, at 24:17

31. Le Mevel, Christophe (FRA), Credit Agricole, at 24:22

32. Dyadichkin, Vyacheslav (KAZ), Équipe Asia, at 24:29

33. Suhardi, Hassan (MAS), Malaysia, at 25:47

34. Griffin, Paul (IRL), Giant-Asia, at 25:49

35. Bates, Gene (AUS), LPR, at 30:02

36. Dietziker, Andreas (SUI), LPR, at 31:20

37. Schmidt, Torsten (GER), Wiesenhof Akud, at 32:16

38. Shahrulneeza, Razali (MAS), Malaysia, at 32:21

39. Wackernagel, Lars (GER), Wiesenhof Akud, at 32:46

40. Lebeau, Jean Claude (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 33:52

41. Dion, Renaud (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 34:27

42. Flickinger, Andy (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, at 34:51

43. Setyo Budi, Wawan (INA), Wismilak, at 35:00

44. Aggiano, Elio (ITA), LPR, at 35:29

45. Ahmad Falani, Ali (MAS), Malaysia, at 35:32

46. Fauzan, Ahmad Lutfi (MAS), Malaysia, at 35:36

47. Espiritu, Victor (PHI), Casino Filipino, at 35:38

48. Oliphant, Evan (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, at 35:56

49. Clement, Stef (NED), Bouygues Telecom, at 36:27

50. Lai, Kuan Hua (TPE), Giant-Asia, at 37:08

51. Lemoine, Cyril (FRA), Credit Agricole, at 37:27

52. Richeze, Maximiliano (ARG), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 38:28

53. Loh, Sea Keong (MAS), Équipe Asia, at 39:50

54. Radochla, Steffen (GER), Wiesenhof Akud, at 40:27

55. Sulisttiyono, Sulisttiyono (INA), Wismilak, at 40:30

56. Partridge, Robert (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk, at 40:54

57. Fitrianto, Hari (INA), Équipe Asia, at 41:01

58. Tondo Volpini, Xavier (ESP), Relax-Gam, at 41:38

59. Thomas, Geraint (GBR), Great Britain, at 42:01

60. Perez, Julio Alberto (MEX), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 42:05

61. Beuchat, Roger (SUI), LPR, at 42:15

62. Gene, Yohann (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, at 42:23

63. Riemslagh, Gianni (BEL), Yawadoo Colba-Abm, at 42:25

64. Pütsep, Erki (EST), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 42:43

65. Vallejo, Angel (ESP), Relax-Gam, at 42:48

66. Downing, Russell (GBR), Great Britain, at 43:43

67. Peng, Kuei Hsiang (TPE), Giant-Asia, at 43:45

68. Belli, Wladimir (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, at 44:23

69. Verstrepen, Johan (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 45:19

70. Riblon, Christophe (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 45:24

71. Ravard, Anthony (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, at 45:32

72. Hinault, Sébastien (FRA), Credit Agricole, at 45:48

73. Fukushima, Koji (JPN), Japan, at 46:06

74. Meirhaeghe, Filip (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 46:27

75. Mangel, Laurent (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 46:46

76. Retschke, Robert (GER), Wiesenhof Akud, at 47:22

77. Md Saiful Anuar, Aziz (MAS), Équipe Asia, at 48:24

78. Swindlehurst, Burke (USA), Navigators Insurance, at 49:01

79. Allegrini, Mirko (ITA), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 49:18

80. Green, Rodney (RSA), South Africa, at 51:12

81. Van Kuik, Frank (NED), Yawadoo Colba-Abm, at 51:28

82. Loddo, Alberto (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, at 52:07

83. Konechy, Tomas (CZE), Wiesenhof Akud, at 52:35

84. Furlan, Angelo (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni, at 53:55

85. Brammeier, Matt (GBR), Great Britain, at 54:03

86. Verheyen, David (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 54:08

87. Carrera, Sherwin (PHI), Casino Filipino, at 54:14

88. Penne, Frederik (BEL), Yawadoo Colba-Abm, at 54:23

89. Naibo, Carl (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 55:00

90. Beppu, Takum (JPN), Japan, at 55:59

91. Marzoli, Samuele (ITA), LPR, at 56:42

92. Nishitani, Taiji (JPN), Japan, at 57:25

93. Milne, Shawn (USA), Navigators Insurance, at 57:31

94. Primero, Albert (PHI), Casino Filipino, at 58:45

95. Sayuti, Zahit (MAS), Malaysia, at 1h00:45

96. Maartens, Jeremy (RSA), South Africa, at 1h00:47

97. Luzon, Bernardo (PHI), Casino Filipino, at 1h01:21

98. Van Ulden, Bernard (USA), Navigators Insurance, at 1h01:28

99. Sweet, Corey (AUS), Wiesenhof Akud, at 1h02:30

100. Bongiorno, Ruben (ARG), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 1h02:48

101. Fullard, Jacques (RSA), South Africa, at 1h04:53

102. Adi, Wilbowo (INA), Wismilak, at 1h05:04

103. Mori, Kazuhiro (JPN), Japan, at 1h11:19

104. Cavendish, Mark (GBR), Great Britain, at 1h13:46

105. Grishkine, Oleg (RUS), Navigators Insurance, at 1h16:00