By Daniel Benson in Malaysia
Dan Fleeman holds the position as Britain's sole representative in this year's Tour of Lankawi but the 26-year-old is relishing the opportunity to impress in what is his first race of the season. Fleeman signed for Cervélo TestTeam in 2009 after one season with the An Post team in which he won two races. In Langkawi he'll receive protection from his teammates as he keeps one eye firmly on the race for the overall.
"I can't reveal all our tactics but with the first few days being flat and ideal for sprinters we just need to make sure twenty guys dont get away and build up an insurmountable deficit. Its happened at this race in the past but Ive got half an eye on the Genting Highlands stage and the leaders yellow jersey."
But with teams limited to five riders Fleeman thinks the race could be difficult to control. "That might be a problem as we dont have people to sit on the front all day and do the leg work or even sprinter to contest some of the flat stages. Weve got to keep an eye on who goes away if a break goes though. If its a few local riders its not so much of problem but if real quality escapes then its different."
After a winter training in the UK, Fleeman attended a training camp in Portugal where he honed his form and caught up with new Cervélo teammates for the first time. "My training has gone really well and I can't fault the team one bit. I was slightly worried about moving to such a big team because I thought that I'd lose the closeness and tightness you get with a small team. Yet the guys here have been great. We have big names but no big egos. I couldnt ask for more."
Fleeman finished 34th in stage one in the same time as winner Mattia Gavazzi. Fleeman is joined by teammates Philip Deignan, Gomez Marchante, Joaquin Novoa Menedex, Oscar Pujol and Marcel Wyss.