January 30/03 11:20 am - Langkawi Stage 1 Story
Posted by Editor on 01/30/03
Green Second at Tour de Langkawi
This report made possible by Human Kinetics Publishers
Kuah, Malaysia - Mountain bike world champion Roland Green led a Canadian charge at the Tour de Langkawi in the opening stage, finishing second in the 9.5 kilometre time trial. Australian Nathan O'Neill (Saturn) won with a time of 11 minutes and 53 seconds, 23 seconds ahead of Green. Eric Wohlberg (Saturn) also finished in the top-5, in fourth place, 28 seconds behind the winner, with Gord Fraser (Team Canada) eighth at 44 seconds and Seamus McGrath (Team Canada) in ninth at 50 seconds. Peter Wedge also finished strongly, in 13th place at 50 seconds. Team Canada is second in the overall team standings, one minute behind Saturn.
"I'm very happy with my ride; it is my first race intensity effort since the road world championships last October. I was just doing my usual steady effort, about 85%-90% of max. I know my form will continue to get better through the race, and the leaders jeresy would have put a lot of pressure on the team to defend, which is hard this early in the race. This way Saturn has to do the work."
O'Neill isn't particularly worried about his team having to defend. "We just have to be smart. There are lots of teams who will be looking for stage wins in the next few flat stages, so that will help keep it together."
Both Green and O'Neill benefited by going starting early, because the wind picked up through the morning, hampering later riders such as Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole), who finished 21st, and defending champion Hernan Dario Munoz (Colombia-Selle Italia) who nonetheless managed a respectable 6th, 38 seconds back.