Posted by Editor on 02/5/00
The short story about stage 11 in the Tour de Langkawi is that it finished in a group sprint and that there were no significant changes to the overall standings. The longer story is that it was the fastest stage of the Tour, and Ivan Quaranta (Mobilvetta Design) had his third win of the race.
While yesterday's Genting Highlands stage may have pretty much cemented Chris Horner's (Mercury) lock on the yellow jersey, there was still a tight battle being fought for the Green Points Jersey between Gord Fraser (Mercury) and Guido Trenti (Cantina Tollo), plus Mercury is very hungry for a stage win.
The 134 kilometre stage began and ended in Shah Alam, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, in the shadow of the Shah Alam mosque, the largest in southeast Asia. The riders completed a large 92 kilometre loop and then 6 circuits of a 7 kilometre circuit in Shah Alam. The temperature and humidity meant that everyone felt like they were being smothered in a warm, wet blanket.
Attacks were launched continuously, with Mercury doing the lions share of the work to keep everything together. They had two reasons for this: first, they wanted to make sure that no one dangerous to Horner got away. Second, Trenti started the day only 10 points behind Fraser in the Points Jersey competition, and a few Hot Spot sprint wins would put him in good position to challenge for the green jersey.
While a few breaks did get away (notably one containing both Horner and 11th place Mark Walters (Canada)), by the time the riders reached the finishing circuit there were only a small group off the front by approximately 25 seconds. Trenti was in here, so Mercury was shutting it down pretty fast, but not before three riders peeled off the front - one of them Mike Barry (Saturn). The trio worked well together, and were only caught with less than 4 kilometres left.
This set the stage for a massive sprint, with Quaranta managing to hold off a late closing Damien Nazon (Team Bonjour) and Fraser. Afterwards, Fraser admitted to being upset about this loss. "I'm a sprinter, and we never like to lose, but this one, I have to say I'm disappointed, yes. I thought that I would take his (Quaranta's) wheel, but the early goers (in the sprint) started coming back to us faster than we expected. Quaranta was weaving his way through them, but that left me nowhere to go, to come around him." Fortunately for Gord, Trenti finished just outside the points, so his lead has been padded a bit. The race finishes tomorrow with a criterium in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
- Paul Kelly's bad luck continued today, with a flat halfway through the stage that occurred just when the peloton was going flat out. He ended up riding on his own, finishing 21:34 down.
- one of the most amazing things about this race is how everything is shut down to let the race pass. Today we rode for a good 40 kilometres on the toll highway. One side of it was just closed to traffic during the race, with riders rolling through tollbooths and having 6 lanes to choose from. Paul Kelly said that even though he was way back, everything was still closed up for him. Tomorrow, the organizers will shut down the main highway into the city so that the riders and race caravan can cruise down to the start of the stage.
1. Quaranta beats Nazon and Fraser (in green).
2. Through one of the tollbooths.
3. The peloton.
4. Large crowds greet the race everywhere.
Stage 11 - Shah Alam Circuit Race 134 km
1. Ivan Quaranta (Mobilvetta Design) 2:50:56
2. Damien Nazon (Team Bonjour)
3. Gord Fraser (Mercury)
4. Martin Kryger (Denmark)
5. Rene Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner)
6. Franky Van Haesebroucke (Telekom Malaysia All Stars)
7. Alexandre Usov (Phonak)
8. Marco Di Renzo (Cantina Tollo)
9. Jans Koerts (Farm Frites)
10. Oleg Pankov (Collstrop)
22. Mark Walters (Canada)
45. Sylvain Beauchamp (Canada)
55. Michael Barry (Saturn)
74. Eric Wohlberg (Canada)
80. Dominique Perras (Phonak)
96. Peter Wedge (Canada) all s.t.
74. Paul Kelly (Canada) at 21:34
1. Chris Horner (Mercury) 36:47:47
2. Julio Alberto Perez (Panaria Gaerne) at 0:27
3. Fortunato Baliani (Selle Italia) 0:29
4. Matt Stephens (Linda McCartney) 1:05
5. Lennie Kristensen (Denmark) 1:50
6. Floyd Landis (Mercury) s.t.
7. Graziano Recinella (Mobilvetta Design) 2:02
8. Rene Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner) 2:07
9. Chris Wherry (Saturn) 2:25
10. Loic Lamouller (Big Mat Auber 93) 2:27
11. Walters 2:30
24. Wohlberg 8:58
28. Barry 10:51
49. Wedge 26:46
55. Perras 29:26
63. Fraser 36:50
64. Beauchamp 37:48
94. Kelly 51:58
1. Mercury 110:25:27
2. South Africa at 0:38
3. Linda McCartney 2:59
8. Canada 18:49
1. Fraser 110
2. Guido Trenti (Cantina Tollo) 84
3. Haselbacher 77
9. Walters 34
1. Perez 66
2. Kristensen 57
3. Floyd Landis (Mercury) 34
4. Walters 34
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