Aug 19, 2013


Mehdi out-sprints the bunch to take the win

Papar's top 3 winners

Yellow, Blue and Green changes hands after today's stage

PAPAR, Monday 19 August 2013 - Iran's Mehdi Sohrabi fired favourites Tabriz Petrochemical into the driving seat after taking victory in Stage Two, while grabbing the overall general classifcation lead in the Tour of Borneo 2013 today.

Sohrabi, 32, made a last ditch successful breakaway attempt to end the longest stage of this edition of the Tour of Borneo covering 189.5km from Tanjung Aru to Papar.

After an early breakaway of six riders that saw Anuar Manan of the Synergy-Baku Cycling Project sweep top spot in all three intermediate sprints en route to taking over the points classification lead from Corbusier's Paul van der Ploeg, was caught with 50km to go, it first looked certain for another bunch sprint finish.

But Sohrabi had other ideas after tagging along in a 10-man breakaway in the final 10 kilometres before launching a solo attack in the final five kilometres which only LBC's Ronald Lomotos managed to follow. Lomotos barely managed to keep second spot as the peloton rushed in with Tabriz's Hossein Nateghi leading to take third spot right behind the Filipino.

"I was feeling good and my legs felt very good in the final kilometres of the race, so I decided to have a go in the breakaway. It was okay for me to go because our team had our sprinter Hossein Nateghi in the bunch waiting to pounce if it came to a bunch sprint," said Sohrabi, who spent last season riding with Belgian UCI Pro Team Lotto-Belisol.
"In the final five kilometres I was still feeling good, so I thought I could go alone for the victory and I saw the rider from LBC followed me. I am happy to have taken the win, as our team came here targeting the overall victory.
"We are not going to wait until the fourth stage, the climb up to Kundasang because in cycling anything can happen. There are other strong riders in this race, who could go for the win as well and anything an happen in the race, like crashes or punctures. So it was good for us to take the yellow jersey today."
Sohrabi leads the general classification by just four seconds ahead of Corbusier's van der Ploeg, the winner of Stage One on Sunday. Australian van der Ploeg also lost his points classification lead to Anuar, with an exciting battle between the two awaiting ahead with Anuar of 26 points and van der Ploeg just a point behind.
Anuar said he went out in the breakaway to take the points in the three intermediate sprints today to put himself into contention for the points classification, but will now focus on getting his first win in the UCI Asia Tour since December 2011.
"I am just returning after a long lay-off due to a back injury, so I was planning to enter this race to train and recover my form. But now, I think I'll try to push as well. Since I have a chance I want to go for the points classification win, but there are big points at the finish line as well," said Anuar.
"So maybe it would be better to focus on the finish and not the intermediate sprints, so from tomorrow we'll just try to control the race and watch for those high in the points classification, not to allow them to breakaway and close in on the points. It has been a long time, so I want to try and get a victory as well."
Stage Three of the Tour of Borneo 2013 tomorrow will be from Penampang to Kota Kinabalu, covering a route of 132.6km.

No comments:

Post a Comment