By Greg Johnson in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
José Serpa can finally call himself a Tour de Langkawi winner, having won the overall classification on his fourth attempt. The Colombian rider has won the Asian stage race's queen stage to Genting Highlands on all three occasions it has been contested, but until this year had failed to win overall.
"I am very happy to win after four years," said Serpa. "I lost the individual classification in the past because I was not in the breakaway [on other stages]. This year all of the team worked really well for me and I am the champion."
In 2007 Serpa won the Genting stage, but a solo attack earlier in the race saw Frenchman Anthony Charteau take and retain a commanding hold on the race. One year earlier the Colombian was unable to take enough time out of South African David George on his way to the stage win to top the overall standings.
Serpa believes he still has room for improvement ahead of this year's Giro d'Italia. His Professional Continental team is amongst the teams invited to the Italian Grand Tour.
"I'm in good condition but I don't think it's 100 percent, I think it's about 90 percent, so I am able to progress," said Serpa.