May 6, 2012
ZAGORODNIY WINS FINAL STAGE, TORCKLER SECURES OVERALL VICTORY
1 MAY 2012, KOTA KINABALU - UKRAINE'S Volodymyr Zagorodniy won the final stage of the Tour of Borneo after succeeding with a breakaway that began early in the stage that descended from Kundasang into Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah.
The Suren Uzbekistan Team rider registered his team's first win in the UCI Asia Tour this season after he beat Team Plan B's Luke Joyce and Genesys Wealth Advisers' Blake Hose to the finish line as the trio split from an initial breakaway group of 11 riders.
The breakaway group included Genesys Wealth Advisers' Jonathan Lovelock and they managed to open up a gap of more than five minutes on the main peloton as they entered Kota Kinabalu, which would have put Lovelock into the overall lead.
But Michael Torckler's Pure Black Racing Team realised the gap had widened just in time to put in an extra effort to cut the gap and keep the New Zealander in the overall lead to register his second ever personal overall victory.
Torckler, 25, was the winner of the opening stage of the Tour of Borneo and selfless efforts from his teammates had ensured that he kept the lead to the finish.
"We didn't have a day off from the start of the Tour and not today either. We decided to allow the breakaway to go as the riders from Genesys were there but it wasn't Nathan Earle (second overall)," said Torckler after the stage.
"There was a lack of information about the time gaps as we descended the hills. At the last check we saw it was just over a minute, which was still okay. Then suddenly the next information we received, it was more than five minutes, so we panicked.
"I asked my teammates to push harder to chase and cut the time gap, that was at about 30km to go and luckily it was just enough.”
"It is a great feeling to have won here after so long, especially with the effort that the team had to put in from the first stage. It really is a memorable one for me."
Earle finished second to Torckler in the final general classification, but he also emerged the winner of the mountains classification, having won the mountain stage from Sepilok to Kundasang the day before. Earle's Genesys Wealth Advisers team also emerged the overall teams classification winners, having registered victories in three out of the five stages, two through Earle in Stage Two and Four, while Stage Three was won by Anthony Giacoppo.
The breakaway also included Polygon-Sweet Nice's Bambang Suryadi of Indonesia, who would have taken over the Asian riders, but the work by Pure Black Racing ensured that the victory remained with Kazakhstan's Sergey Kuzmin.
Terengganu Cycling Team's Shahrul Mat Amin, the reigning Malaysian national road champion, aptly won the Malaysian riders' classification with a handsome seven minutes and 59 seconds advantage over Mohd Nazri Mohamed of Kuala Lumpur.
The 2.2 category Tour is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and is listed in UCI Asian Tour calendar, it is hoped to promote Sabah as the ultimate sports tourism destination in Malaysia, and promote cycling in the state.
Tour of Borneo covers a total distance of 758.4 kilometer, will start from Semporna and will pass through pictureque locations of Tawau, Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Sepilok, Kundasang and ends in Kota Kinabalu. 19 professional teams consisting of continental, national and club teams have confirmed their participation and will be accompanied by over 520 race officials.
In addition to a challenging route, Tour of Borneo will also held at a time of various festivals held in Sabah such as Regatta Lepa Lepa, Sabah Fest, Borneo International Marathon and Kadazan Harvest Festival celebrations which kicks off on 1st May, providing an opportunity for fans from within and outside the country to experience the joy of a holiday in the state.
Tour of Borneo is monitored by UCI President Commissaire from New Zealand, Zac Prendergast. The organizer’s main objective is to promote interest in cycling among the younger generations in Sabah, and expose Malaysian riders to more international level competition, thus contributing to the development of cycling in Malaysia.