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Tour de Langkawi: Saleh strikes again

Mohd Harrif Saleh won stage 5 of La Tour de Langkawi
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Malaysia’s Harrif Saleh (TSG Terengganu) became the first rider to win two stages at the 25th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi, again taking the high-speed sprint finish ahead of Matteo Pelucchi (Bardiani CSF) and Taj Jones (ARA Sunshine Coast) in Alor Setar. Italy's Danilo Celano (Sapura) retained the yellow jersey on the eve of the grand finale on the island of Langkawi.

"I expected to win again today because of the confidence I got from my first victory," Saleh said.

"It was a very fast sprint at the end of a very long straight road. But as I was following the green jersey [Max Walscheid] and Pelucchi, I saw the road was open for me to past them so I gave everything. I can say I was the fastest today."

After ten kilometres of racing, five riders managed to go clear, to try to break the control of the sprinters' teams. They were Masakazu Ito (Aisan), Ben Van Dam (Bridgelane), Kim Kookhyun (KSPO), Cormac McGeough (Wildlife Generation) and Danieal Haikkal (Malaysia national team).

Their advantage rose to 4:40 after 55km but there was no threat to Celano's yellow jersey, as the highest ranked rider was Ito with a deficit of 9:13 on GC. The break eventually split and 10km from the finish only McGeough and Haikkal were away, with the Irishman the last to be reeled in with four kilometres to go. Simone Bevilacqua (Zabu-KTM), the winner of the second last stage last year, tried his luck with a solo attack but was soon caught.

It was all together again two kilometres from the finish. Walscheid led the charge from far out but was passed by faster riders, including stage 2 winner Jones. Then Salah passed the 19-year-old Australian to win again.

Saleh is the only Asian to have won three stages at Le Tour de Langkawi, taking with one last year in Melaka and two this year. It is the fifteenth stage victory for Asian cyclists of the 239 stages contested in Le Tour de Langkawi during the 25 years of the race. The first Asian stage winner was Hong Kong’s Wang Kam Po in the Cameron Highlands in 2000.

"This is huge for me," Saleh said.

"As a teenager, I always went to see Le Tour de Langkawi in my hometown of Kuala Terengganu. I have a picture of myself getting autographs from Koji Fukushima [the second Asian stage winner, in 2005]. Being an Asian and winning in the ProSeries makes me very happy."

The Malaysian admitted that he considered retirement at the end of the 2018 season but found new motivation thanks to his young family.

"At that time, my condition and my motivation weren’t good," he revealed. "I managed to come back to a good level, especially thanks to my family. My five-year-old son is very supportive of my career. When I see him excited about my results, I only want to carry on winning for him."

Celano leads Yevgeniy Fedorov (Vino - Astana Motors) by 26 seconds, with Artem Ovechkin (Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team) third at 35 seconds.  

The final 108km stage from Dataran Lang to Kuah is largely flat and so the Italian, who rode for Caja Rural in 2017 and 2018 and then Amore e Vita in 2019, seems set for overall victory.  

The green points jersey is a much closer affair. Walscheid has a two-point advantage over Jones and five over Saleh.

“It’ll be difficult because the final circuit isn’t flat at all but I’ll try to go for the intermediate sprints," Saleh said.

Only one Asian has won the points classification before, Anuar Manan in 2010, the year he became the first Malaysian to win a stage at Le Tour de Langkawi.

Stage result
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mohd Harrif Saleh (Mas) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team 2:53:17
2Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
3Taj Jones (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
4Riccardo Minali (Ita) Nippo Delko Provence
5Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
6Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
7Mohamad Izzat Hilmi Abdul Halil (Mas) Malaysia
8Tristan Ward (Aus) Team Bridgelane
9Kakeru Omae (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
10Ahmet Orken (Tur) Team Sapura Cycling
11Andre Looij (Ned) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team
12Jaehyun Kim (Kor) KSPO Professional
13Maximilian Richard Walscheid (Ger) NTT Pro Cycling Team
14Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
15Mattia Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
16Georgios Bouglas (Gre) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team
17Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) NTT Pro Cycling Team
18Kyoungho Park (Kor) KSPO Professional
19Hayato Okamoto (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
20Anuar Manan (Mas) Malaysia
21Siu Wai Ko (HKg) Hong Kong, China
22Keigo Kusaba (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
23Jamalidin Novardianto (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team
24Dominic Perez (Phi) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team
25Sarawut Sirironnachai (Tha) Thailand Continental Cycling Team
26Bernard Benyamin Van Aert (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team
27Alexander Cowan (Can) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling
28Ryu Suzuki (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen
29Muhammad Ameer Ahmad Kamal (Mas) Malaysia
30Gleb Brussenskiy (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors
31Alessandro Iacchi (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
32Leonardo Tortomasi (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
33Pierpaolo Ficara (Ita) Team Sapura Cycling
34Alexandr Semenov (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors
35Juan-Pierre Van Der Merwe (RSA) Team Bridgelane
36Dusan Rajovic (Srb) Nippo Delko Provence
37James Harvey (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team
38Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept
39Thanakhan Chaiyasombat (Tha) Thailand Continental Cycling Team
40Lucas De Rossi (Fra) Nippo Delko Provence
41Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
42Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors
43Michael Vink (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team
44Peerapol Chawchiangkwang (Tha) Thailand Continental Cycling Team
45Kota Sumiyoshi (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
46Metkel Eyob (Eri) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team
47Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team
48Hideto Nakane (Jpn) Nippo Delko Provence
49Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team
50Soonyeong Kwon (Kor) KSPO Professional
51Carlos Julian Quintero Noreña (Col) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team
52Aiman Cahyadi (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team
53Hiu Fung Choy (HKg) Hong Kong, China
54Ahmad Yoga Ilham Firdaus (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team
55Cristian Raileanu (Mda) Team Sapura Cycling
56Danilo Celano (Ita) Team Sapura Cycling
57Matthew Rice (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
58Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling Team
59Jamal Hibatullah (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team
60Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki (Mas) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team
61Louis Meintjes (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling Team
62Thurakit Boonratanathanakorn (Tha) Thailand Continental Cycling Team
63Alex Hoehn (USA) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling
64Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept
65Sandy Hasan (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team
66Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen
67Daniel Savini (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
68Gwangho Shin (Kor) KSPO Professional
69Ka Hoo Fung (HKg) Hong Kong, China
70Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
71Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
72Burr Ho (HKg) Hong Kong, China
73Ho San Chiu (HKg) Hong Kong, China
74Matvey Nikitin (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors
75Igor Chzhan (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors
76Wan Yau Vincent Lau (HKg) Hong Kong, China
77Ariya Phounsavath (Lao) Thailand Continental Cycling Team
78Nariyuki Masuda (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen
79Alexandr Ovsyannikov (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors
80Rylee Field (Aus) Team Bridgelane
81Drew Morey (Aus) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team
82Fabio Mazzucco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
83Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Team Sapura Cycling
84Sofian Nabil Omar Mohd Bakri (Mas) Malaysia
85Masahiro Ishigami (Jpn) Nippo Delko Provence
86Carter Bettles (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team
87Johan Le Bon (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept
88Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkiflie (Mas) Malaysia
89Justin Mottier (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept
90Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept
91Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept
92Kevin Rivera Serrano (CRc) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
93Muhamad Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff (Mas) Team Sapura Cycling
94Jihun Kim (Kor) KSPO Professional
95Stuart Shaw (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
96Cormac Mcgeough (Irl) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling
97Edgar Nohales Nieto (Spa) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team
98Navuti Liphongyu (Tha) Thailand Continental Cycling Team
99Muhammad Danieal Haikkal Edy Suhaidee (Mas) Malaysia
100Amarni Drake (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
101Kent Ross (USA) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling
102Samuele Battistella (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling Team
103Zack Gilmore (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
104Mattia Viel (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
105Alistair Donohoe (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 0:00:40
106Ben Van Dam (Aus) Team Bridgelane
107Alessandro Pessot (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:00:57
108Alessandro Monaco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
109Jay Dutton (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team
110Simone Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:01:09
111Kookhyun Kim (Kor) KSPO Professional 0:01:15
112Shotaro Iribe (Jpn) NTT Pro Cycling Team 0:01:25
113Kaito Nakamura (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen
114Mathew Zenovich (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team
115Samuel Boardman (USA) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling
116Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team
DNSHiroki Nishimura (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen

General classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Danilo Celano (Ita) Team Sapura Cycling 24:10:50
2Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors 0:00:26
3Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team 0:00:35
4Pierpaolo Ficara (Ita) Team Sapura Cycling 0:01:07
5Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept 0:01:09
6Hideto Nakane (Jpn) Nippo Delko Provence 0:01:34
7Cristian Raileanu (Mda) Team Sapura Cycling 0:01:36
8Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:01:56
9Carlos Julian Quintero Noreña (Col) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team 0:01:59
10Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:02:12
11Louis Meintjes (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling Team 0:02:18
12Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling Team 0:02:40
13Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team 0:03:21
14Ka Hoo Fung (HKg) Hong Kong, China 0:03:54
15Jamal Hibatullah (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team 0:04:29
16Alex Hoehn (USA) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling 0:04:33
17Thanakhan Chaiyasombat (Tha) Thailand Continental Cycling Team 0:04:44
18Peerapol Chawchiangkwang (Tha) Thailand Continental Cycling Team 0:04:51
19Drew Morey (Aus) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team 0:05:05
20Igor Chzhan (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors
21Hiu Fung Choy (HKg) Hong Kong, China 0:05:46
22Alexander Cowan (Can) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling 0:06:31
23Matvey Nikitin (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors 0:07:28
24Nariyuki Masuda (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen 0:08:17
25Metkel Eyob (Eri) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team 0:08:23
26Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:08:32
27Ho San Chiu (HKg) Hong Kong, China 0:09:02
28Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 0:09:13
29Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept 0:09:36
30Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept 0:09:38
31Ahmad Yoga Ilham Firdaus (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team 0:10:02
32Kevin Rivera Serrano (CRc) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec 0:10:32
33Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen 0:11:28
34Muhamad Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff (Mas) Team Sapura Cycling 0:12:29
35Kota Sumiyoshi (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 0:12:37
36Sandy Hasan (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team 0:12:53
37Thurakit Boonratanathanakorn (Tha) Thailand Continental Cycling Team 0:14:01
38Lucas De Rossi (Fra) Nippo Delko Provence 0:14:13
39Samuele Battistella (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling Team 0:15:12
40Gleb Brussenskiy (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors 0:15:33
41Juan-Pierre Van Der Merwe (RSA) Team Bridgelane 0:16:27
42Jamalidin Novardianto (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team 0:16:38
43Daniel Savini (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:17:13
44Muhammad Danieal Haikkal Edy Suhaidee (Mas) Malaysia 0:19:02
45Ariya Phounsavath (Lao) Thailand Continental Cycling Team 0:19:16
46Leonardo Tortomasi (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:19:35
47Sarawut Sirironnachai (Tha) Thailand Continental Cycling Team 0:20:34
48Kent Ross (USA) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling 0:20:52
49Muhammad Ameer Ahmad Kamal (Mas) Malaysia 0:21:04
50Aiman Cahyadi (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team 0:21:38
51Cormac Mcgeough (Irl) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling 0:22:32
52Sofian Nabil Omar Mohd Bakri (Mas) Malaysia 0:22:44
53Burr Ho (HKg) Hong Kong, China 0:23:16
54Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Team Sapura Cycling 0:23:28
55Georgios Bouglas (Gre) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team 0:24:37
56Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec 0:24:42
57Michael Vink (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team 0:25:26
58Maximilian Richard Walscheid (Ger) NTT Pro Cycling Team 0:25:36
59Rylee Field (Aus) Team Bridgelane 0:26:30
60Bernard Benyamin Van Aert (Ina) Pgn Road Cycling Team 0:26:46
61Dominic Perez (Phi) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team 0:26:56
62Amarni Drake (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 0:27:37
63Edgar Nohales Nieto (Spa) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team 0:27:40
64Riccardo Minali (Ita) Nippo Delko Provence 0:28:47
65Dusan Rajovic (Srb) Nippo Delko Provence
66Fabio Mazzucco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:29:36
67Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) NTT Pro Cycling Team 0:30:24
68Ben Van Dam (Aus) Team Bridgelane 0:31:45
69Mohamad Izzat Hilmi Abdul Halil (Mas) Malaysia 0:32:29
70Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkiflie (Mas) Malaysia 0:33:26
71Alexandr Semenov (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors 0:35:06
72Kakeru Omae (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 0:35:49
73Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki (Mas) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team 0:37:17
74Alessandro Monaco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:38:05
75Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team 0:38:07
76Alexandr Ovsyannikov (Kaz) Vino - Astana Motors 0:38:48
77Tristan Ward (Aus) Team Bridgelane 0:38:53
78Alessandro Iacchi (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:39:11
79Taj Jones (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 0:39:14
80Alessandro Pessot (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:39:25
81Jihun Kim (Kor) KSPO Professional 0:39:43
82Siu Wai Ko (HKg) Hong Kong, China 0:39:46
83Kaito Nakamura (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen 0:39:52
84Mohd Harrif Saleh (Mas) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team 0:40:50
85Mattia Viel (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec 0:41:12
86Navuti Liphongyu (Tha) Thailand Continental Cycling Team 0:41:13
87Ahmet Orken (Tur) Team Sapura Cycling 0:41:59
88Mattia Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:42:09
89Andre Looij (Ned) Ssois Miogee Cycling Team 0:42:32
90Simone Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:43:17
91Justin Mottier (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept 0:43:27
92Ryu Suzuki (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen 0:44:50
93Johan Le Bon (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept 0:44:52
94Jaehyun Kim (Kor) KSPO Professional 0:44:54
95Alistair Donohoe (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 0:46:06
96Keigo Kusaba (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 0:46:36
97Samuel Boardman (USA) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling
98James Harvey (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team 0:49:27
99Soonyeong Kwon (Kor) KSPO Professional 0:50:56
100Mathew Zenovich (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team 0:51:00
101Carter Bettles (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team 0:51:19
102Hayato Okamoto (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 0:52:06
103Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:52:19
104Anuar Manan (Mas) Malaysia 0:53:23
105Kyoungho Park (Kor) KSPO Professional 0:53:39
106Jay Dutton (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team 0:54:29
107Wan Yau Vincent Lau (HKg) Hong Kong, China 0:54:46
108Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec 0:56:11
109Masahiro Ishigami (Jpn) Nippo Delko Provence 0:58:09
110Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) B&B Hotels - Vital Concept 0:59:27
111Shotaro Iribe (Jpn) NTT Pro Cycling Team 1:00:07
112Kookhyun Kim (Kor) KSPO Professional 1:00:08
113Zack Gilmore (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 1:01:06
114Matthew Rice (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 1:03:00
115Gwangho Shin (Kor) KSPO Professional 1:09:08
116Stuart Shaw (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 1:16:55

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