Having first tasted Asian racing in 2012, Hucker has since started the majority of the stage races in the region, including the Tour of Taiwan, where he won the overall in 2016. After the long wait for a Langkawi start, Hucker is enjoying his time at the Malaysian race.
"I think this year's edition is a little bit different with not so many WorldTour teams here. It is a little bit more unpredictable," Hucker told Cyclingnews on the morning of stage 3. "Both stages so far have been pretty exciting with big groups and stuff forming. I think every day you have to take it as it comes and see what happens."
With three sprint stages done and dusted, the race heads to the mountains for the Cameron Highlands Queen stage finish Saturday. Having done his duties in the lead out for teammate Scott Sunderland, which saw the team celebrate stage 1 victory, Hucker forms part of a dangerous climbing quartet for the Australian Continental team.
"I think it will be a pretty tough day. It is a very long climb but we have a super strong team with probably four of us who could get up there in the front group so we are really looking forward to it," said Hucker, who has never previously ridden the climb.
With Dimension Data and the Pro Continental squads in the race providing the main favourites for the stage win, Hucker believes he and his teammates Cameron Bayly, Chris Harper and Tim Roe, can take it to the bigger teams and possibly spring a surprise.
"We have shown that we can race against the best in the world so it is really exciting for us," he said. "It is a pretty good field in a 2.HC race. We have to make the most of these opportunities. We don't get to race against these quality teams that often so you have to make the most of the opportunities that you get."
Prior to joining the team last year, Hucker spent three seasons with the Drapac squad, where he showed glimpses of his potential but was unable to put together a string of consistent results. Since his move to the team, Hucker has started to put together a string of results and fufil his potential. With his eye on making the move up the ranks at the end of the season, a strong result on Cameron Highlands would do his case no harm.
"I just have to make the most of my opportunities and hopefully show again this year that I am a strong contender and quite versatile in most races as well," he said.
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