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Kristian Hynek (Ceska Sporitelna-Specialized) and Eva Lechner (Colnago-Suditrol) won at the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge on Thursday. Fabian Giger (Rabobank-Giant Offroad) and Lea Davison (Specialized) continue to lead the men’s and women’s overall, respectively, with two days remaining.
In the men’s third stage, Giger missed the win by 1:53 to Hynek, who finished with a time of 3:53:35. American Todd Wells (Specialized) was third on the stage, 6:17 down on Giger.
“This is the hardest race so far,” said Giger after the 63.9km Langkawi Marathon stage. “I am a cross-country rider, so a shorter race fits me better than today. It was a fast first lap between me, Emil Lindgren and Hynek. In the third lap I had to go on my own speed but I managed to close the gap on Hynek.”
Hynek’s win put him in second overall, 4:23 down on Giger. Karl Platt (Team Bulls) now sits third on GC, 9:52 down.
In the women’s tilt, Davison narrowly extended her overall lead by finishing second to Lechner, who won the women’s 42.6km stage in 3:06:52. Elisabeth Sveum of Norway finished third on the day to hold onto second in the general classification, 6:45 down on Davison.
“It was my strategy to stay in touch with the leading pack today,” said Davison. “I want to save up my energy today as I realized I have quite a comfortable time ahead of other riders. In this competition, it is important to know how to apply the right strategy.”
Racing continues with Friday’s stage 4, an Olympic-distance race, and concludes Saturday with a circuit along the beach at Pantai Kok.