Andrea Guardini (Astana) sprinted to victory in stage 2 at the Tour de Langkawi on Monday and remains the overall leader at the eight-day race.
Guardini edged Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) and Jakub Mareczko (Southeast) in a bunch sprint to claim victory in the 185-kilometer second stage from Alor Setar to Sungai Petani at the Malaysian race.
Guardini leads Ewan and Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman (Terengganu Pro Asia Cycling Team) by 8 and 13 seconds, respectively.
A breakaway group of six riders spent much of the day at the front of the race, but the peloton started its charge to catch the escapees with 20km left in the stage. The group was swept up with 6km remaining as the teams in the main pack organized their leadouts ahead of the sprint finish in Sungai Petani.
As the dash for the finish line began, Guardini jumped first and was able to hold off Ewan and Mareczko. Guardini beat Ewan in stage 1 as well.
“Our team had to work hard to catch the breakaway today and we were only helped by the other teams in the final 20km, but then we had a good sprinter,” Guardini said in a press release from the race. “This time I had to make the move on my own and went to the front first, but I had good form and managed to stay ahead.”
The race continues with Tuesday’s stage 3, a 170km route from Gerik to Tanah Merah that includes a Category 1 climb in the opening half before a long downhill and then a flat 70km to the finish.