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Charteau closing in on Langkawi title as Tinkoff gets its first-ever win

Anthony Charteau is well on his way to winning the Le Tour de Langkawi overall title, following a largely tactical ride from Putrajaya to Seremban on Saturday. Although the ninth – and penultimate – stage of the Tour put the Crédit Agricole rider up against the winding roads of Kuala Klawang, he kept up with the leaders over the course of day’s many climbs to maintain his 1:02 over Jose Serpa (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovannio), who won Thursday’s decisive stage to the Genting Higlands.

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Tinkoff gets its first win

Tinkoff gets its first win

Photo:

Anthony Charteau is well on his way to winning the Le Tour de Langkawi overall title, following a largely tactical ride from Putrajaya to Seremban on Saturday.

Although the ninth – and penultimate – stage of the Tour put the Crédit Agricole rider up against the winding roads of Kuala Klawang, he kept up with the leaders over the course of day’s many climbs to maintain his 1:02 over Jose Serpa (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovannio), who won Thursday’s decisive stage to the Genting Higlands.

Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff Credit Systems) team took the 173.1km stage for what was the first-ever stage victory for the newly-formed Russian/Italian Continental pro team. But while Tinkoff was in the hunt for a stage win, Charteau and his Crédit Agricole teammates were concerned about protecting his hold on the jersey.

Anthony Charteau maintened his hold on the jersey Saturday.

Anthony Charteau maintened his hold on the jersey Saturday.

Photo:

“We have a team of good riders today and even though I was in the front pack, the stage was actually a lot harder than it looked,” said Charteau. “I have a good lead and although some had said that the heat was a problem, I love the heat so I felt really good in the last several kilometers.

“The tactic was to keep the boys from Serramenti close, so we were not too bothered when the Tinkoff rider took off. It should not be a problem to retain my lead tomorrow as I think that the Kuala Lumpur Criterium is more for spectacle than an actual GC race.”

As expected, the day did provide some semblance of a challenge to the riders after the punishing climb up Genting yesterday with more than ten riders making the early break which included Brutt, Thomas Voeckler (Equipe Bouyges Telecom), Tiann Kannemeyer (South Africa), Park Sung-baek (South Korea) and also two other new Russian riders Serguie Klimov (Tinkoff) and Sergey Kolesnikov (Unibet.com).

With more than a minute gap against the frontrunners, Crédit Agricole then sprung into action to lead the bunch before a second break took place at the start of the first climb through Luis Pasamontes (Unibet.com), Jose Rujano (Unibet.com), David George (South Africa), Salvatore Commesso (Tinkoff) and Charteau’s biggest concern, Serpa. With their nearest challenger in the mix, though, Crédit Agricole lit up the chase.

Charteau closing in on Langkawi title as Tinkoff gets its first-ever win

Charteau closing in on Langkawi title as Tinkoff gets its first-ever win

Photo:

Soon the breakaway group was left with just three riders — Brutt, Kolesnikov and George — as the others dropped back to rejoin the fast approaching peloton.

They were later joined by Drancourt before Rujano and Pasamontes rode up to give Unibet.com control of the breakaway group as they approached the second climb at Lenggeng.

The yellow jersey group then worked doubly hard to close in on the leaders, but the men in the break had enough of a gap to snag the day’s victory.

“I’m very happy to give Tinkoff its first win – I sprinted 800 meters from the line,” said Brutt. “In terms of difficulty of between one to ten, I would give the race today a nine.”

After stage nine today, Walter Pedraza (Serramenti) is still in the red polka dot jersey for the King of the Mountains Classification, Ghader Mizbani (Giant AIS) in the blue for the best Asian rider and Alberto Loddo (Serramenti) in the green for the sprints classification heading into the Sunday’s finale, the traditional Kuala Lumpur Criterium.

Dean leads the chase

Dean leads the chase

Photo: Jason Sumner

“I will try to win the Kuala Lumpur Criterium tomorrow but even if I could not, I will be happy if I can win the green jersey,” said Loddo.

Another win by the Italian would give him five wins in this Tour and tie him with Graham Brown for the most victories in a single edition of the race.

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Results

Stage 9 (Putrajaya to Seremban – 173.1km),
1. Pavel Brutt (Rus), Tinkoff Credit Systems, 4:07:08
2. Sergey Kolesnikov (Rus), Unibet.com, 4:07:11
3. Pierre Drancourt (F), Équipe Bouygues Telecom, 4:07:11
4. David George (RSA), South Africa, 4:07:11
5. Luis Pasamontes (Sp), Unibet.com, 4:07:13
6. Jose Rujano (Vz), Unibet.com, 4:07:18
7. Daryl Impey (RSA), South Africa, 4:07:42
8. Gene Bates (Aus), SouthAustralia.com, 4:07:42
9. Salvatore Commesso (I), Tinkoff Credit Systems, 4:07:42
10. Park Sung-baek (Kor), Korea National Team, 4:07:42Overall
1. Anthony Charteau (F), Crédit Agricole, 30:50:19
2. Jose Serpa (Col), Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni, 30:51:21
3. Walter Pedraza (Col), Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni, 30:51:53
4. David George (RSA), South Africa, 30:53:25
5. Jay Crawford (Aus), Giant Asia Racing Team, 30:54:24
6. Ghader Mizbani (Iran), Giant Asia Racing Team, 30:54:33
7. Pavel Brutt (Rus), Tinkoff Credit Systems, 30:54:40
8. Yokihiro Doi (Jpn), Skil Shimano, 30:55:02
9. Luis Pasamontes (Sp), Unibet.com, 30:55:12
10. Hossein Askari (Iran), Giant Asia Racing Team, 30:55:13CURRENT JERSEY HOLDERSYellow (Tour Leader), – Anthony Charteau (F), Credit AgricoleGreen (Sprint Competition), – Alberto Loddo (I), Serramenti PVC DiquigiovanniPolka Dot (King of the mountains), – Anthony Charteau (F), Credit AgricoleBlue (Asian rider), – Shinichi Fukushima (Jap), Nippo-Meitan Hompo