Posted by Editoress on 01/27/00
Tour de Langkawi Stage 2 report
courtesy Jacques Landry
Another scorcher in the north-western part of malaysia. The pack rolled out of Alor Setar at 11h15 with a strong cross wind. Some would think that this would be a perfect opportunity to put everybody in the gutter but I think in the riders minds they were thinking "Hey it's a bit early in the race and in the season to start hurting for 4h00!!!".
So nothing really happened for a while. Until a 3 man break, none of us, went up the road and took a maximum of 8mins. Nobody seemed to be too nervous about the whole thing. 2h00 from the finish the Mercury squad, with Floyd Landis at the helm, started to set tempo. After the sprint in the middle of the Penang bridge the gap had been reduced considerably.
The first hill climb of the day was a bit of a rude awakening with 39x21 material over 4kms. At the top of the climb the pack was reduced to half. With Mercury still driving the group, another 3 man group had broken free and was trying to catch the now weakened break of two.
The next climb proved to be a bit easier; the tempo type of climb that yours truly loves. As the group crested, the break was about to be swallowed and it would be a fast mans sprint finish with whoever was left.
With a few hectometres to go Eric Wohlberg attacked but only to see his efforts being swallowed a few meters later by the eager pack. Off of that attack a small group of 6 managed to break free of the main bunch, in it was Mark Walters. This group made it to the line first with Jamie Drew Aguardiente Nectar (Aus) taking the sprint. Followed closely by Contrini (Liquigas), Haselbach (Gerolsteiner), McCormack (Saturn) and Walters.
With his last meter efforts Mark managed to pick up one more spot on GC to move up to 4th overall.
As far as the other canadian team guys, Wohlberg, Kelly and Anand had good rides and managed to stay with the first group. As for Beauchamp and Wedge, the day proved to be a bit harder but I'm convinced they will be there for the cruncher climbs in a few days.
Tomorrow is a fairly easy day with only 86kms to travel. No major difficulties. I can see a sprint finish favouring a certain Canuck... Unless?
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