At the start of the Tour de Langkawi, no one was really questioning that Miguel Angel Lopez was the overwhelming favourite for both the overall victory and the queen stage to the top of the Cameron Highlands. After all, the talented Colombian had recently proved his good form by winning the queen stage at the Tour de San Luis and marked himself out as one of the greatest climbing talents.
However, Lopez still had to deal with the pressure of going into the race as a marked man when the race finally hit the climbs in today’s queen stage after three days for the sprinters. He proved that he is just as strong in his head as he is in his legs and he fully lived up to his status by riding to a dominant solo win on a relatively easy final climb that was not really suited to pure climbers.
The stage ended with a long, gradual 30km drag to the top of an HC mountain, with the climb being split into two parts. A category 1 KOM sprint was located 14.5km from the finish and then a small descent led to the final uphill part that never got very steep.
There was no one stopping Lopez though as the Colombian marched on all the way to the finish, giving himself time to sit up to celebrate his win. Further back, Jaramillo dropped his two companions and made it to the finish with a time loss of 30 seconds. Clarke and Hansen were caught by a 13-rider group and it was Reinardt van Rensburg who beat Francisco Mancebo (Skydive) to claim third place 35 seconds behind the winner.
With the win, Lopez also takes the overall lead and he will head back into flat terrain with a 29-second advantage over van Rensburg while Jaramillo is four seconds further adrift in third. He now just has to survive four flatter stages, starting with tomorrow’s relatively flat run to the capital of Kuala Lumpur. There are three small category 4 climbs on the menu, with the final top coming at the 22.1km mark, but a bunch sprint seems to be on the cards.
Tour de Langkawi 2016 – stage 4 results (Ipoh – Tanah Rata):
|1||Miguel Ángel López (Astana)||3:25:37|
|2||Daniel Jaramillo (UnitedHealthcare)||+30”|
|3||Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data)||+35”|
|4||Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai)||,,|
|5||Jonathan Clarke (UnitedHealthcare)||,,|
|6||Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF)||,,|
|7||George Harper (ONE)||,,|
|8||Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff)||,,|
|9||Luca Chirico (Bardiani CSF)||,,|
|10||Janez Brajkovic (UnitedHealthcare)||,,|
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Astana daniel jaramillo francisco mancebo miguel angel lopez tour de langkawi