By Greg Johnson in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Australian National Team has out-performed director Brian Stephens' expectations at the Tour of Langkawi, with Jai Crawford finishing runner-up in the race. Stephens' team managed to land four of its six riders in the top-20 on general classification.
"I definitely didn't expect that," said Stephens. "We were definitely shooting to get Jai right up there, I wasn't sure if he could win it but I thought he'd get close – on the podium. But I didn't expect the guys to be able to do the job and still finish that high up.
"It's finished up well, from the mountains on," he added.
In addition to Crawford's second placing, Ritchie Porte finished 10th, Cameron Wurf 16th and Tim Roe in 20th spot. Stephens admitted it was nice to bring a national squad to such a tough race and beat teams like Garmin-Slipstream and Cervélo TestTeam.
"It's lovely, I like seeing their cars in the rear-view mirror," he smiled.
Stephens will head home from Langkawi instead of traveling straight to Europe, as he's expecting a child next month.