Feb 25, 2012
ZABRISKIE BLASTS HOME TO TOUR DE LANGKAWI STAGE WIN AND OVERLAL LEAD
24 FEBRUARY 2012, PUTRAJAYA - Living up to his status as the pre-race favorite by winning the stage one time trial at the Tour de Langkawi in Putrajaya , Dave Zabriskie nevertheless surprised many by the margin of his victory.
The American Garmin-Barracuda rider tore around the mainly flat 20.3 kilometre course in a time of 24 minutes 38.18 seconds, averaging an impressive 49.5 kilometres per hour and opening a huge gap over the other riders.
Runner up Adam Phelan was one minute back, with his Drapac Cycling team-mate Darren Lapthorne a further ten seconds behind.
“I didn’t really have any confirmation of how my time was until the whole thing was over,” said a delighted Zabriskie afterwards. ‘This is great.
His own team-mate Tom Danielson was fourth, thus confirming the good form he recently spoke about.
The latter’s goal was to take as much time as possible out of his rivals today and, by and large, he did that; he beat each of the other five past Langkawi champions, with Jose Serpa and Yonnattha Mosalve (both Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela) losing at least a minute, and Freddy Gonzalez (Azad University Cross team) plus Anthony Charteau (Europcar) conceding over two.
However 2010 champion Jose Rujano pulled out a superb effort to limit his losses to just nine seconds to the 2003 winner. The tiny climber covered the distance in almost the same time as Danielson, setting things up for a ding-dong battle on the Genting Highalnds climb in five days. But Zabriskie isn’t ruling out being a contender either.
“They’re all close together. It’ll come down to the hilly stage, the Genting stage.
It’s my first time down here but I think I’m climbing a lot better than I was last year,” he said.
The race against the clock began at 9am when Roman Van Uden accelerated down the start ramp to begin his effort. He held the initial best time, as expected from the first starter, but this was later beaten by eighteen others, who beat his 26 minutes 46 seconds mark.
The first to do so was the aforementioned Lapthorne, who motored around the course with a time that would be good enough for third in the final ranking. He moved to the top of the standings early on, but team-mate Phelan then passed him 22 minutes later and took over ownership.
However Phelan’s tenure at the top was also limited, with Zabriskie scorching home an hour and fifteen seconds later to grab stage honours and the first yellow jersey of the race.
Tomorrow’s stage sees the riders cover 151 kilometres from Putrajaya to Melaka.
LTdL 2012 is organised by the National Sports Council as a mark of continuity to the organisation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2010 and 2011 in collaboration with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation. The race maintains a 2.HC (Hors Classe) status and is recognised and sanctioned by the UCI and UCI Asia Tour.