Posted by Editor on 02/9/99
Finally, A Report From Malaysia!
After an extremely frustrating day/night trying to get an internet connection working in the hinterlands of Malaysia, I am finally connected to the outside world.
TodayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 7th stage was the longest of the race, at 232 km. It came the day after an extremely fast 224 km stage - 47 kmph average. Everyone I spoke with was just glad to get this long, mainly flat and very wind stage behind them. The peleton rode very slowly until the feedzone (120 km), when Canadian Rodney Henderson launched an attack. He quickly went two minutes clear on the lethargic bunch. 5 riders tried to bridge, however, Mapei and race leader Saturn quickly stopped that nonsense. Henderson was left out to dangle in the wind for about 20 kilometres before being swallowed and spit out the back - he eventually finished in a tie for last with teammate Andrew Randell.
Swede Michael Andersson (Acceptcard) made a suicide attack with about 5 kimlometres to go, and managed to get up to 30 seconds on the bunch, however, when they got revved up he was gobbled up with less than a kilometre to go, setting the stage for a bunch finish. Johan Capiot (TVM) was the favourite, but he went early and Enrico Degano (Navigares-Gaerne) and 3 other riders nipped by Capiot at the line. It was DeganoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second stage of the race, and his second as a pro!
With the exception of the aforementioned Randell and Henderson, the rest of the Canadians finished in the bunch - Barry 10th, Lukaszewicz 16th, Perras 25th, Wohlberg 70th and Beauchamp 86th. There was no change to the General Classification.
Race Leader Frank McCormack - Yesterday Mapei tried to break us, but we were up to the task. Today everyone was ready to take it easier. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll try and defend the jersey as long as I can, but realistically, once we get into the mountains (stages 10 and 11), IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not likely to keep it. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll support Levi Leipheimer and Mike Barry.
Eric Wohlberg - IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m feeling better now, but it was a rough few days, and now itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going through the team. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to see how it goes, but Mapei and Saturn have a pretty good lock on things right now.
Czeslaw Lukaszewicz - It was so fast yesterday - 50 kilometres an hour almost all the time. Today the wind and everybody being tired made the group stay together.
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