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Panaria goes 1-2-3 at Langkawi

It’s not supposed to be this easy, but following the bunch sprint that concluded the fifth stage of the 2005 Tour de Langkawi, you got the feeling Graeme Brown and the Ceremica-Panaria crew could win these things with one foot unclipped. After Brown and teammate Ruben Bongiorno grabbed victories in stages 1 and 2, Brown earned another win on Tuesday in Kuala Terengganu. That gave the Aussie an all-time best six Langkawi stage wins.

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By Jason Sumner, VeloNews correspondent

Are the Panaria boys the only ones trying for the line?

Are the Panaria boys the only ones trying for the line?

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

It’s not supposed to be this easy, but following the bunch sprint that concluded the fifth stage of the 2005 Tour de Langkawi, you got the feeling Graeme Brown and the Ceremica-Panaria crew could win these things with one foot unclipped. After Brown and teammate Ruben Bongiorno grabbed victories in stages 1 and 2, Brown earned another win on Tuesday in Kuala Terengganu. That gave the Aussie an all-time best six Langkawi stage wins.

Behind Brown, Bongiorno cruised home in second and leadout man Brett Lancaster grabbed third, giving Panaria a 1-2-3 finish at this oil-drilling outpost city that borders the South China Sea. Japan’s Koji Fukushima finished safely in the bunch to retain the yellow jersey.

“It’s probably a little bit of both,” answered Brown when asked whether it was his team’s form or other’s lack thereof that had the Langkawi spoils coming Panaria’s way so easily. “There’s a lot of teams that this is their first race. But for our team we had the Tour Down Under. That gave us six days to find our legs, and you can see it’s paying off.”

As it was in the team’s first two wins, the plan was everybody work for Brown except Bongiorno. And after a day of non-threatening attacks during the dead flat, north-to-south 163.9km run from Kota Bharu, the plan unfolded perfectly. With a train of three in front of him during the winding trip to the finish, Brown cruised across the line uncontested.

Another reminder that this is not the Tour de France

Another reminder that this is not the Tour de France

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

“Lancaster did an unbelievable job,” Brown said. “He led out with 600 meters to go. At 200 meters where I would normally go myself I looked around and nobody was coming and it was all single file so I knew Lancaster was doing a good job. I left it a little longer and we ran 1-2-3.”

Lancaster even admitted that he thought for a moment he might take the win for himself.

“Brown left a bit of room,” he said. “I was in the 12, went back to the 11 for a bit and then back to the 12. I should have just left it in the 11.”

The day began with the usual early attacks, before the threesome of James Van Landschoot (Landbouwkediet-Colnago), teammate Nico Sijmens and Irish national rider David McCann peeled off the front at the 12km. The trio would eventually build their advantage to 4:58, but with Fukushima’s Bridgestone squad aided by the sprint hungry Panaria team, the break was reeled back in at the 100km mark.

Ireland’s Paidi O’Brien attempted a solo move soon after, but this day was all about the sprinters. And while a crash at the 6km mark caused a small pileup, leaving a large chunk of the field 39 seconds back of the bunch at the end of the 3:47:06 stage, there was no denying Brown his record-breaking win.

“At the Tour Down Under I was a little bit down in form,” he said. “But the six days of racing I did there are helping me out here, and there’s still a few more flat stages, so we’ve got a few more chances to get some stage wins.”

Judging by what happened on Tuesday, a few more wins for Panaria are all but guaranteed.

A slimmed down TdL
It’s not like this year’s Tour de Langkawi is being run on a shoestring, but it’s clear some cutbacks have been made in the 10th year of the race. Gone are the big-screen TVs that used to be a hallmark of the finish venues, and staff cutbacks are evident.

“Of course there are a few elements that we’ve had to compromise on in the first year,” conceded managing director Simon Donnellan, who took over control of the event during the offseason. “The budget is down maybe 20-25 percent. It was basically that in the first year for me, my own resources were pretty finite in terms of the amount. I wanted to make sure that we could be put in a stronger position so that we could build for the future. I don’t think we’ve taken too many backwards steps. In terms of the teams I think we’ve got one of the best line-ups ever. What we’ve gone for is balance.”

Part of that balance, explained Donnellan, is trying to funnel some money away from the big event and into a grassroots program that will help grow cycling in Malaysia.

“What we’re telling the sponsors is that we’re bringing the cost of this event down with no detriment whatsoever,” he continued. “Now let’s channel our money into some of the development activities. Let’s get more juniors on board. You look at the number of kids on the side of the road everyday; well when the broom wagon has gone by what do they take away with them? There’s fond memories but let’s harness that and get them on bikes, too.”

North American update
Only two of the North Americans lost time on Tuesday, with Navigators Jeff Louder (at 0:14) falling back after leading out teammate Oleg Grishkine for the sprint, and Panaria’s Julio Perez (at 0:39) ending up on the wrong side of the split after the crash. Grishkine was fourth behind the three Panaria riders and is tied for second in the points competition.

Cesare Grejales after another hot day on the road.

Cesare Grejales after another hot day on the road.

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Yellow (Overall): Koji Fukushima (Jpn), Bridgestone
Green (Points): Graeme Brown (Aus), Ceramica-Panaria
Polka Dot (KoM): Koji Fukushima (Jpn), Bridgestone
Blue (Top Asian): Koji Fukushima (Jpn), Bridgestone

NEXT UP: Stage 6 — Kuala Berang to Cukai, 152km
Kuala Berang makes its debut as a host venue and will be the starting point for yet another stage on flat terrain. There are three sprints at Kampong Dendeng, Dungun Town and Kampung Kerteh and only one Category 4 climb at Kijal. The Tour will make its way along the east coast, passing Ajil, Simpang Bukit Besi and Dungun. Expect another bunch sprint.

Photo Gallery


Stage 5 Results

1. Graeme Brown (Aus), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 3:47:06

2. Guillermo Bongiorno (ARG), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare

3. Brett Lancaster (Aus), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare

4. Oleg Grishkine (Rus), Navigators Insurance

5. Geoffroy Lequatre (F), Credit Agricole

6. Antonio Salomone (I), Team Barloworld

7. Cristian Bonfanti (I), Domina Vacanze

8. Stefan Van Dijck (Nl), Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech

9. Robert Hayles (GB), GBR

10. Dennis Kraft (G), Action

11. Enrico Grigoli (I), Domina Vacanze

12. Dean Downing (GB), GBR

13. Moreno Di Biase (I), Colombia – Selle Italia

14. James Van Landschoot (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

15. Hassan Maleki (IRI), Iran

16. Antonio Bucciero (I), Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil

17. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz), Domina Vacanze

18. Antonio Cruz (USA), Discovery Channel

19. Marcin Osinski (Pol), Action

20. Sven Renders (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

21. Mahdi Sohrabi (IRI), Iran

22. Md. Jasmin Ruslan (MAS), Proton T-Bikes

23. Jens Renders (B), Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech

24. Abd. Nasir Md. Yusof (MAS), Malaysia

25. David Kopp (G), Team Wiesenhof

26. Alireza Haghi (IRI), Iran

27. Steffen Radochla (G), Team Wiesenhof

28. Mark Walters (CAN), Navigators Insurance

29. Giuseppe Palumbo (I), Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil

30. Ralf Grabsch (G), Team Wiesenhof

31. Houssein Askari (IRI), Iran

32. Johan Verstrepen (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

33. Ryan Cox (RSA), Team Barloworld

34. Gregory Habeaux (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

35. Thomas White (GB), GBR

36. Suhardi Hassan (MAS), Proton T-Bikes

37. Daud Md. Fuad (MAS), Malaysia

38. Matej Jurco (SVK), Domina Vacanze

39. Sean Lacey (IRL), Ireland

40. Julian Winn (GB), GBR

41. Yannick Talabardon (F), Credit Agricole

42. Valery Kobzarenko (Ukr), Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil

43. Jose Rujano (Vz), Colombia – Selle Italia

44. Benjamin John Day (Aus), Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech

45. Marlon Perez Arango (Col), Colombia – Selle Italia

46. David Mckenzie (Aus), Wismilak

47. Koen De Kort (Nl), Liberty Seguros

48. Fumiyuki Beppu (JPN), Discovery Channel

49. Nuno Ribeiro (P), Liberty Seguros

50. Michael Barry (CAN), Discovery Channel

51. Cesar Grajales (Col), Navigators Insurance

52. Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA), Team Barloworld

53. René Joergensen (Dk), Team Barloworld

54. Saul Raisin (USA), Credit Agricole

55. Sergio Ghisalberti (I), Domina Vacanze

56. Tom Southam (GB), Team Barloworld

57. Trent Wilson (Aus), Colombia – Selle Italia

58. Patrick Mccarty (USA), Discovery Channel

59. Camille Bouquet (F), Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech

60. Nathan O'Neill (Aus), Navigators Insurance

61. Takehiro Mizutani (JPN), Bridgestone Anchor

62. Koji Fukushima (JPN), Bridgestone Anchor

63. Michael Creed (USA), Discovery Channel

64. Russell Van Hout (Aus), Colombia – Selle Italia

65. Tom Danielson (USA), Discovery Channel

66. Jens Heppner (G), Team Wiesenhof

67. Paul Manning (GB), GBR

68. Leonardo Scarselli (I), Colombia – Selle Italia

69. Roger Aitken (IRL), Ireland, 0:12

70. Sergiy Matveyev (Ukr), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 0:12

71. Mirko Allegrini (I), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 0:12

72. Jeffry Louder (USA), Navigators Insurance, 0:14

73. Enrico Poitschke (G), Team Wiesenhof, 0:14

74. Raffaele Illiano (I), Colombia – Selle Italia, 0:22

75. Luca Solari (I), Domina Vacanze, 0:39

76. Hamad Md. Mahazir (MAS), Malaysia, 0:39

77. Ghader Mizbani (IRI), Iran, 0:39

78. Jurgen Van De Walle (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 0:39

79. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Credit Agricole, 0:39

80. Kurt Van De Wouwer (B), Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech, 0:39

81. Vassili Davidenko (Rus), Navigators Insurance, 0:39

82. Tonton Susanto (INA), Wismilak, 0:39

83. Rodney Green (RSA), Team Barloworld, 0:39

84. David Plaza Romero (Sp), Team Barloworld, 0:39

85. Jorg Jaksche (G), Liberty Seguros, 0:39

86. Jesus Hernandez (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 0:39

87. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Liberty Seguros, 0:39

88. Leonardo Moser (I), Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil, 0:39

89. Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 0:39

90. Moezeddin Seyed (IRI), Iran, 0:39

91. Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (MEX), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 0:39

92. Geert Verheyen (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 0:39

93. Frederic Gabriel (F), Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech, 0:39

94. Paidi O:brien (IRL), Ireland, 0:39

95. Md. Razali Shahrulneeza (MAS), Malaysia, 0:39

96. Kazimierz Stafiej (Pol), Action, 0:39

97. Rosli Nor Effandy (MAS), Malaysia, 0:39

98. Martin Muller (G), Team Wiesenhof, 0:39

99. David Mccann (IRL), Ireland, 0:39

100. Chris Newton (GB), GBR, 0:39

101. Fortunato Baliani (I), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 0:39

102. Adi Wibowo (INA), Wismilak, 0:39

103. Rene Andrle (Cz), Liberty Seguros, 0:39

104. Ahad Kazemi (IRI), Iran, 0:39

105. Nicolas Vogondy (F), Credit Agricole, 0:39

106. Paul Griffin (IRL), Ireland, 0:39

107. Lars Wackernagel (G), Team Wiesenhof, 0:39

108. Ruggero Borghi (I), Domina Vacanze, 0:39

109. Takashi Miyazawa (JPN), Bridgestone Anchor, 0:39

110. Shinichi Fukushima (JPN), Bridgestone Anchor, 0:39

111. Md. Fauzan Lutfi (MAS), Proton T-Bikes, 0:48

112. Fallanie Ali (MAS), Proton T-Bikes, 0:48

113. Kristian House (GB), GBR, 0:48

114. Stephen Gallagher (IRL), Ireland, 0:56

115. Alessandro D:andrea (I), Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil, 01:21

116. Eric Leblacher (F), Credit Agricole, 01:50

117. Julian Dean (NZl), Credit Agricole

118. Wawan Setyobudi (INA), Wismilak, 02:20

119. Ramle Md. Rizal (MAS), Malaysia, 02:20

120. Denis Bertolini (I), Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil

121. Piotr Chmielewski (Pol), Action, 02:39

122. Yong Li Ng (MAS), Proton T-Bikes, 04:21

123. Yasutaka Tashiro (JPN), Bridgestone Anchor, 04:37

124. Miyataka Shimizu (JPN), Bridgestone Anchor, 04:37

125. Adam Wadecki (Pol), Action, 04:49

126. Bogdan Bondariew (Ukr), Action, 04:49

127. Christopher Bradford (Aus), Wismilak, 04:49

128. Nico Sijmens (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 04:49

129. Najmee Wan Mohd. (MAS), Proton T-Bikes, 04:49

130. Claudio Astolfi (I), Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil, 06:16

131. Samai Samai (INA), Wismilak, 07:54

132. Shinji Suzuki (JPN), Bridgestone Anchor, 12:02

Overall Standings

1. Koji Fukushima, Bridgestone Anchor, 15:05:38

2. Nathan O'Neill, Navigators Insurance, 01:20

3. Ryan Cox, Team Barloworld, 01:22

4. Jose Rujano, Colombia – Selle Italia, 01:36

5. Tiaan Kannemeyer, Team Barloworld, 01:41

6. Michael Barry, Discovery Channel, 01:44

7. Marlon Perez Arango, Colombia – Selle Italia, 01:48

8. Tom Danielson, Discovery Channel, 02:02

9. Fumiyuki Beppu, Discovery Channel, 02:04

10. Tom Southam, Team Barloworld, 02:14

11. Sergio Ghisalberti, Domina Vacanze, 02:15

12. Benjamin John Day, Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech, 02:15

13. Alireza Haghi, Iran, 02:17

14. Antonio Cruz, Discovery Channel, 02:30

15. Mark Walters, Navigators Insurance, 02:37

16. Marcin Osinski, Action, 02:37

17. Michael Creed, Discovery Channel, 02:43

18. Cesar Grajales, Navigators Insurance, 02:43

19. Matej Jurco, Domina Vacanze, 02:44

20. David Mckenzie, Wismilak, 02:46

21. Paul Manning, GBR, 02:47

22. Houssein Askari, Iran, 02:53

23. Jurgen Van De Walle, Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 02:53

24. Yannick Talabardon, Credit Agricole, 02:54

25. Koen De Kort, Liberty Seguros, 02:54

26. David Mccann, Ireland, 02:58

27. Leonardo Scarselli, Colombia – Selle Italia, 03:00

28. Dean Downing, GBR, 03:03

29. Thomas White, GBR, 03:07

30. Oleg Grishkine, Navigators Insurance, 03:09

31. Antonio Salomone, Team Barloworld, 03:10

32. Camille Bouquet, Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech, 03:10

33. Geoffroy Lequatre, Credit Agricole, 03:13

34. Jorg Jaksche, Liberty Seguros, 03:13

35. Patrick Mccarty, Discovery Channel, 03:22

36. Jeffry Louder, Navigators Insurance, 03:23

37. Takehiro Mizutani, Bridgestone Anchor, 03:24

38. Robert Hayles, GBR, 03:31

39. David Kopp, Team Wiesenhof, 03:31

40. Ghader Mizbani, Iran, 03:31

41. Chris Newton, GBR, 03:33

42. Mahdi Sohrabi, Iran, 03:33

43. Rene Andrle, Liberty Seguros, 03:37

44. Tonton Susanto, Wismilak, 03:38

45. Maxim Iglinskiy, Domina Vacanze, 03:39

46. Giuseppe Palumbo, Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil, 03:41

47. René Joergensen, Team Barloworld, 03:42

48. Enrico Poitschke, Team Wiesenhof, 03:44

49. Mirko Allegrini, Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 03:45

50. Russell Van Hout, Colombia – Selle Italia, 03:46

51. Valery Kobzarenko, Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil, 03:50

52. Ralf Grabsch, Team Wiesenhof, 03:51

53. Jens Renders, Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech, 03:54

54. Luca Solari, Domina Vacanze, 03:58

55. Jens Heppner, Team Wiesenhof, 04:01

56. Christophe Le Mevel, Credit Agricole, 04:02

57. Jesus Hernandez, Liberty Seguros, 04:03

58. Dariusz Baranowski, Liberty Seguros, 04:03

59. Julian Winn, GBR, 04:07

60. Kurt Van De Wouwer, Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech, 04:07

61. Shinichi Fukushima, Bridgestone Anchor, 04:07

62. Md. Jasmin Ruslan, Proton T-Bikes, 04:07

63. Nicolas Vogondy, Credit Agricole, 04:11

64. Moezeddin Seyed, Iran, 04:11

65. Nuno Ribeiro, Liberty Seguros, 04:11

66. Gregory Habeaux, Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 04:15

67. Ahad Kazemi, Iran, 04:16

68. Stefan Van Dijck, Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech, 04:17

69. Ruggero Borghi, Domina Vacanze, 04:23

70. Saul Raisin, Credit Agricole, 04:23

71. Stephen Gallagher, Ireland, 04:23

72. David Plaza Romero, Team Barloworld, 04:25

73. Cristian Bonfanti, Domina Vacanze, 04:26

74. Rodney Green, Team Barloworld, 04:27

75. Johan Verstrepen, Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 04:28

76. Dennis Kraft, Action, 04:30

77. Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio, Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 04:30

78. Graeme Brown, Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 04:32

79. Eric Leblacher, Credit Agricole, 04:35

80. Geert Verheyen, Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 04:40

81. Martin Muller, Team Wiesenhof, 04:48

82. Sven Renders, Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 04:50

83. Trent Wilson, Colombia – Selle Italia, 04:52

84. Adi Wibowo, Wismilak, 04:52

85. Enrico Grigoli, Domina Vacanze, 04:58

86. Md. Fauzan Lutfi, Proton T-Bikes, 05:03

87. Moreno Di Biase, Colombia – Selle Italia, 05:04

88. Steffen Radochla, Team Wiesenhof, 05:06

89. Roger Aitken, Ireland, 05:11

90. Hamad Md. Mahazir, Malaysia, 05:12

91. Piotr Chmielewski, Action, 05:13

92. Frederic Gabriel, Mrbookmaker.Com – Sports Tech, 05:14

93. Suhardi Hassan, Proton T-Bikes, 05:15

94. Guillermo Bongiorno, Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 05:17

95. Julian Dean, Credit Agricole, 05:18

96. Denis Bertolini, Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil, 05:18

97. Antonio Bucciero, Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil, 05:19

98. James Van Landschoot, Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 05:20

99. Kristian House, GBR, 05:26

100. Paul Griffin, Ireland, 05:28

101. Md. Razali Shahrulneeza, Malaysia, 05:34

102. Raffaele Illiano, Colombia – Selle Italia, 05:38

103. Paidi O:brien, Ireland, 05:40

104. Takashi Miyazawa, Bridgestone Anchor, 05:48

105. Alessandro D:andrea, Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil, 05:59

106. Rosli Nor Effandy, Malaysia, 06:02

107. Kazimierz Stafiej, Action, 06:05

108. Fallanie Ali, Proton T-Bikes, 06:09

109. Lars Wackernagel, Team Wiesenhof, 06:49

110. Brett Lancaster, Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 07:04

111. Wawan Setyobudi, Wismilak, 07:15

112. Leonardo Moser, Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil, 07:30

113. Christopher Bradford, Wismilak, 07:45

114. Fortunato Baliani, Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 08:01

115. Miyataka Shimizu, Bridgestone Anchor, 08:57

116. Nico Sijmens, Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 09:13

117. Yasutaka Tashiro, Bridgestone Anchor, 09:14

118. Adam Wadecki, Action, 09:18

119. Vassili Davidenko, Navigators Insurance, 09:48

120. Yong Li Ng, Proton T-Bikes, 10:12

121. Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro, Liberty Seguros, 10:28

122. Claudio Astolfi, Acqua & Sapone – Adria Mobil, 11:09

123. Bogdan Bondariew, Action, 11:24

124. Samai Samai, Wismilak, 12:14

125. Sergiy Matveyev, Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 14:09

126. Najmee Wan Mohd., Proton T-Bikes, 15:22

127. Shinji Suzuki, Bridgestone Anchor, 22:47

128. Hassan Maleki, Iran, 32:39

129. Abd. Nasir Md. Yusof, Malaysia, 34:34

130. Daud Md. Fuad, Malaysia, 34:40

131. Ramle Md. Rizal, Malaysia, 39:08

132. Sean Lacey, Ireland, 39:50