Seo Joon Yong (KSPO) soloed to victory in stage 5 of the Tour de Langkawi Thursday in Malaysia.
Seo was riding in an eight-man breakaway before attacking with 25 kilometers left in the 200km stage from Kuala Terengganu to Kuantan. He time trialed his way to the finish line from there, crossing 13 seconds ahead of Jamalidin Novardianto (Pegasus) and Adiq Husainie Othman (Terengganu Cycling Team).
“Two years ago in Kuantan, it was also a breakaway, but I lost in a sprint [to Colnago-CSF Inox’s Marco Canola],” said Seo. “So this time I didn’t want that to happen again, and I didn’t want to let it end the same way. Thus at 25km to go, I decided to launch an early attack to try and win on my own.”
In the race for the overall, Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) holds a 17-second lead over Natnael Berhane and a 20-second buffer over Youcef Reguigui, both of MTN-Qhubeka, with three stages remaining.
“When the breakaway went, we thought it would be okay,” said Ewan. “We could take a break and see how it goes after four days of hard racing in the heat. For us, it was okay, and we thought that if others want to give it a go and catch the breakaway then go for a bunch sprint, we would join in and help, but nobody looked interested.”
The Tour de Langkawi resumes Friday with the 96.6km stage 6 from Maran to Karak.
“I am proud of this win because it was hard-earned,” said Seo. “Every year I come to Langkawi, and I try to do something. This time I managed to win a stage.”