40Km Climb to Decide GC
Tomorrow’s Stage 9 features a 40 km climb to the summit finish at Genting Highlands, and is expected to decide the final outcome of the race. Akira Wong talked to 4 previous winners about who’s going to win…
AK – What it takes to win in Genting?
Who better to talk about Genting Highlands than the four former riders who have conquered it – Hernan Dario Munoz of Selle Italia (champion 2002), Paolo Lanfranchi of Ceramiche Panaria (1999, 2001), Gabriele Missaglia of Lampre (1998) and Chris Horner of Saturn (2000). Here is what they have to say about the climb tomorrow.
AK – What do you think of Genting Highlands? And how is your form this year?
MUNOZ: It is one of the toughest climb I’ve ever done but I certainly enjoyed it. My condition is better than how it was last year although for the last couple of stages, I’ve been conserving my energy for Genting.
LANFRANCHI: It is a very difficult climb and although I’ve won it twice before, it is still a difficult climb. I was not in a great shape last year but hopefully with my current form, I can do better.
MISSAGLIA: 1998 feels like a long time ago but I can still remember that it was not an easy win despite the fact that there were two of us (Guliano Figueras) who finished first. Le Tour de Langkawi is my first race this year and it will be straight into a tough climb, so it is difficult to say how it will turn out.
HORNER: It is certainly one of the toughest in the world. My form is good I suppose but my position in the team has changed where I now work more for the team.
AK – What will be your tactic up Genting Highlands?
MUNOZ: It will be the same as last year with Freddy Gonzalez and Ruber Alveiro Marin taking the lead until the really tough part.
LANFRANCHI: In a climb like that, there is no tactic. The mountain will decide whom it wants to spare.
MISSAGLIA: I will stay with the bunch and keep my eyes on Munoz.
HORNER: I will have to follow the bunch and help the leaders in the Saturn team obviously.
AK – Who do you think will be the riders to look out for?
MUNOZ: Fortunato Baliani (Formaggi), Roland Green (Canada), Tom Danielson (Saturn), David George (South Africa), Rene Joergensen (team Fakta) and Lanfranchi.
LANFRANCHI: Only Munoz.
MISSAGLIA: Munoz, Lanfranchi and either Tom Danielson or Chris Horner (Saturn).
HORNER: Tom Danielson (Saturn), Munoz and Roland Green (Canada).
For more info, check out the official race website:Tour of Langkawi