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Hinault snags soggy stage as Langkawi TT looms

With the overall leaders already focused on Saturday’s crucial time-trial stage that will decided the podium in this year’s Tour de Langkawi, the sprinters were expected to fight out the shortest road stage on Friday. Instead, the rain came tumbling down on a hot, muggy afternoon and French opportunist Sébastien Hinault gave Crédit Agricole its second stage win of the 10-day race.

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By John Wilcockson

With the overall leaders already focused on Saturday’s crucial time-trial stage that will decided the podium in this year’s Tour de Langkawi, the sprinters were expected to fight out the shortest road stage on Friday. Instead, the rain came tumbling down on a hot, muggy afternoon and French opportunist Sébastien Hinault gave Crédit Agricole its second stage win of the 10-day race.

Stage 8 from Yong Peng to Segamat was only 72.7km long, and though an eight-man break forced a 90-second lead with 30km to go, the pack led by Spanish outfit Relax-Gam closed things down as they hit the outskirts of Segamat 6km out.

Most active at the front were the two British teams, still in search of a stage win, and the Wiesenhof-Akud squad of points leader Steffen Radochla of Germany. But the finish was not one that favored a flat-out field sprint.

The final kilometer featured a long right curve, followed by a sharp right and two left turns before a 300-meter uphill to the line. It was a finish that Hinault, who has great bike-handling skills and a handy kick, had had his eyes on all race long.

“I like it a lot when it rains,” he said. “We already studied the finish and knew it would be tricky with twisting and winding roads. And when we got there I knew it would be dangerous on wet roads. I knew I had to be at the front to stay out of danger.”

Also fancying his chances was Great Britain national team rider Mark Cavendish, who appeared better placed than Hinault entering the last two turns. The 20-year-old Brit, who last year won a gold medal in the Madison at the track world’s in Los Angeles and was 14th in the under-23 road race at the Madrid world’s, was sharp from a couple of six-day races this winter. But his foot slipped from the pedal with 400 meters to go, and though he clicked back in, his desperate uphill chase left him about 10 lengths back of the jubilant Hinault.

This was the fifth opportunist win scored by the 31-year-old Hinault (no relation to the five-time Tour de France) in the past four years after going winless in his first five seasons as a pro.

With all but a dozen of the 104 riders finishing in the same time as Hinault, there were no major changes on GC, with South African David George going into Saturday’s TT with a 1:57 lead on Gabriel Missaglia of Selle Italia — whose runner-up spot is threatened by Crédit Agricole’s Francesco Bellotti, Selle Italia’s Walter Pedraza and Navigators Insurance’s Cesar Grajales, who are all within 23 seconds of Missaglia.

The 16.2km TT at the coastal town of Melaka is completely flat, but features a half-dozen sharp turns on a panhandle-shaped course that has a clockwise loop. The favorite for the stage win is Colombian sensation José Serpa, the winner of two stages this week, who took the time-trial stage of last month’s Vuelta a Tachira in Venezuela prior to signing a pro contract with the Selle Italia team.Results – Stage 8 – Yong Peng to Segamat
1. Hinault, Sébastien (FRA), Credit Agricole 1h33:33
2. Cavendish, Mark (GBR), Great Britain
3. Marzoli, Samuele (ITA), LPR
4. Missaglia, Gabriele (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni
5. Suhardi, Hassan (MAS), Malaysia
6. Pütsep, Erki (EST), Ag2r Prevoyance
7. Beuchat, Roger (SUI), LPR
8. Ravard, Anthony (FRA), Bouygues Telecom
9. Gene, Yohann (FRA), Bouygues Telecom
10. Radochla, Steffen (GER), Wiesenhof Akud 
FullResultsOVERALL
1. George, David (RSA), South Africa
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 
FullResults

Results

Results – Stage 8 – Yong Peng to Segamat

1. Hinault, Sébastien (FRA), Credit Agricole 1h33:33

2. Cavendish, Mark (GBR), Great Britain

3. Marzoli, Samuele (ITA), LPR

4. Missaglia, Gabriele (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni

5. Suhardi, Hassan (MAS), Malaysia

6. Pütsep, Erki (EST), Ag2r Prevoyance

7. Beuchat, Roger (SUI), LPR

8. Ravard, Anthony (FRA), Bouygues Telecom

9. Gene, Yohann (FRA), Bouygues Telecom

10. Radochla, Steffen (GER), Wiesenhof Akud

11. Meirhaeghe, Filip (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago

12. Grajales, Cesar (COL), Navigators Insurance

13. Fauzan, Ahmad Lutfi (MAS), Malaysia

14. Van Kuik, Frank (NED), Yawadoo Colba-Abm

15. Penne, Frederik (BEL), Yawadoo Colba-Abm

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

17. Iannetti, Massimo (ITA), LPR

18. Sharman, Robin (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk

19. Walters, Mark (CAN), Navigators Insurance

20. Pedraza, Walter (COL), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni

21. Garcia, Raul (ESP), Relax-Gam

22. McCann, David (IRL), Giant-Asia

23. Serpa, José (COL), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni

24. Peng, Kuei Hsiang (TPE), Giant-Asia

25. Md Saiful Anuar, Aziz (MAS), Équipe Asia

26. Primero, Albert (PHI), Casino Filipino

27. Loh, Sea Keong (MAS), Équipe Asia

28. Vallejo, Angel (ESP), Relax-Gam

29. Dion, Renaud (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance

30. Bellotti, Francesco (ITA), Credit Agricole

31. Lill, Darren (RSA), South Africa

32. Shahrulneeza, Razali (MAS), Malaysia

33. Dietziker, Andreas (SUI), LPR

34. Askari, Hossein (IRI), Giant-Asia

35. Clancy, Edward (GBR), Great Britain

36. Loubet, Julien (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance

37. Thomas, Geraint (GBR), Great Britain

38. Fukushima, Shinichi (JPN), Japan

39. Lefevre, Laurent (FRA), Bouygues Telecom

40. Grishkine, Oleg (RUS), Navigators Insurance

41. Griffin, Paul (IRL), Giant-Asia

42. Poilvet, Benoit (FRA), Credit Agricole

43. Raisin, Saul (USA), Credit Agricole

44. Dyadichkin, Vyacheslav (KAZ), Équipe Asia

45. Flickinger, Andy (FRA), Bouygues Telecom

46. Clement, Stef (NED), Bouygues Telecom

47. George, David (RSA), South Africa

48. Sulisttiyono, Sulisttiyono (INA), Wismilak

49. Greenwood, Ben (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk

50. Van Ulden, Bernard (USA), Navigators Insurance

51. Sayuti, Zahit (MAS), Malaysia

52. House, Kristian (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk

53. Ahmad Falani, Ali (MAS), Malaysia

54. Richeze, Maximiliano (ARG), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare

55. Cox, Ryan (RSA), South Africa

56. Lai, Kuan Hua (TPE), Giant-Asia

57. Lebeau, Jean Claude (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago

58. Maartens, Jeremy (RSA), South Africa

59. Matveyev, Sergiy (UKR), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare

60. Fullard, Jacques (RSA), South Africa

61. Lemoine, Cyril (FRA), Credit Agricole

62. Tondo Volpini, Xavier (ESP), Relax-Gam

63. Beppu, Takum (JPN), Japan

64. Mangel, Laurent (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance

65. Riemslagh, Gianni (BEL), Yawadoo Colba-Abm

66. Green, Rodney (RSA), South Africa

67. Setyo Budi, Wawan (INA), Wismilak

68. Fitrianto, Hari (INA), Équipe Asia

69. Belli, Wladimir (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni

70. Tonton, Susanto (INA), Wismilak

71. Le Mevel, Christophe (FRA), Credit Agricole

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

73. Allegrini, Mirko (ITA), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare

74. Downing, Russell (GBR), Great Britain

75. Luzon, Bernardo (PHI), Casino Filipino

76. Partridge, Robert (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk

77. Furlan, Angelo (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni

78. Bongiorno, Ruben (ARG), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare

79. Swindlehurst, Burke (USA), Navigators Insurance

80. Espiritu, Victor (PHI), Casino Filipino

81. Milne, Shawn (USA), Navigators Insurance

82. Renders, Sven (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago

83. Riblon, Christophe (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance

84. Bates, Gene (AUS), LPR

85. Naibo, Carl (FRA), Ag2r Prevoyance

86. Le Boulanger, Yohann (FRA), Bouygues Telecom

87. Fukushima, Koji (JPN), Japan

88. Oliphant, Evan (GBR), Recyling.Co.Uk

89. Adi, Wilbowo (INA), Wismilak

90. Verstrepen, Johan (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago

91. Habeaux, Gregory (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago

92. Verheyen, David (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago

93. Wackernagel, Lars (GER), Wiesenhof Akud

94. Aggiano, Elio (ITA), LPR , at 54

95. Brammeier, Matt (GBR), Great Britain , at 56

96. Miyazawa, Takashi (JPN), Japan

97. Loddo, Alberto (ITA), Selle Italia Diquigiovanni

98. Retschke, Robert (GER), Wiesenhof Akud , at 01:14

99. Nishitani, Taiji (JPN), Japan , at 01:19

100. Mori, Kazuhiro (JPN), Japan , at 01:24

101. Schmidt, Torsten (GER), Wiesenhof Akud , at 01:29

102. Sweet, Corey (AUS), Wiesenhof Akud , at s/t

103. Konechy, Tomas (CZE), Wiesenhof Akud , at s/t

104. Perez, Julio Alberto (MEX), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare , at
s/t

OVERALL

1. George, David (RSA), South Africa

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

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

39. Lebeau, Jean Claude (BEL), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago , at 33:45

40. Schmidt, Torsten (GER), Wiesenhof Akud = s/t

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

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

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

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

48. Aggiano, Elio (ITA), LPR , at 36:23

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 37:25

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. Beuchat, Roger (SUI), LPR , at 42:14

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

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

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

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

65. Perez, Julio Alberto (MEX), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare , at 43:34

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 45:38

73. Fukushima, Koji (JPN), Japan , at 46:05

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

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

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

77. Retschke, Robert (GER), Wiesenhof Akud , at 48:36

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

84. Konechy, Tomas (CZE), Wiesenhof Akud , at 54:04

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

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

87. Brammeier, Matt (GBR), Great Britain , at 54:59

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

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

90. Marzoli, Samuele (ITA), LPR , at 56:38

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

92. Nishitani, Taiji (JPN), Japan , at 58:44

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

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

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

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

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

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

99. Sweet, Corey (AUS), Wiesenhof Akud , at 1h03:57

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

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

102. Mori, Kazuhiro (JPN), Japan , at 1h12:40

103. Cavendish, Mark (GBR), Great Britain , at 1h13:40

104. Grishkine, Oleg NIC RUS), Navigators Insurance , at 1h16:00