By Daniel Benson in Melaka, Langkawi
Team Diquigiovanni's Mattia Gavazzi proved to be the king of the Tour of Langkawi when he took his third consecutive stage win in the Malaysian national tour. Gavazzi won the final sprint at the end of the 186km stage three, on a loop encircling the city of Melaka.
In a carbon-copy of stages one and two, Gavazzi and his Diquigiovanni-Androni squad allowed a small group to escape in the opening kilometers, only for the bunch to regroup and the race leader to leave his rivals a clean pair of heels at the finish.
"This is my team's victory not just mine. We worked from start to finish and I wouldn't have been on the podium today without them," Gavazzi said at the finish. The sprinter is the first rider to win three stages in a row at Langkawi since Alberto Loddo in 2007.
Gavazzi out-sprinted Chris Sutton (Garmin) and Aurélien Clerc (Ag2r), His efforts have put him in the lead of the general classification. Sutton now sits in second overall at 18 seconds, and Nolan Hoffman (South African National Team) is third at 20 seconds.
The race will continue for four more stages, ending on February 15.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Tour of Langkawi.