Inside Langkawi: Stage 9
Al’s Diary 9
Just a few quick remarks today, because after this gruelling climb I need my rest to be able to ride the hard criterium that’s tomorrows closing stage.
The biggest problem with a climb like this is that nobody really had a chance to get his climbing legs out. Although yesterday was a hilly stage it was nothing compared to today. All the mechanics were doing overtime yesterday to fit all the rear wheels with 25 or 26 cogs. And they’ll have to change them back tonight for tomorrows criterium.
Luckily we had an easy start nothing of that high-speed stuff at the start we have been getting used to here. After 15 km the first attack of the day came from Fukushima once again. But after three attacks the bunch managed to get him to calm down.
So with a well-controlled race slowly picking up speed nearing Genting I felt pretty confident. I was able to hold a good rhythm on the climb and drop guys like Lanfranchi and Missaglia. I could however keep up with the absolute best. I finished 10th and moved up to 12th on GC.
The battle between Saturn and Columbia-Selle Italia was fought hard and won by Saturn Tom Danielson who managed to hold on to his Yellow Jersey by finishing only 1 sec behind stage (and last years GC) winner Munoz. The gap between them on GC is just 9 sec. But I can’t see Munoz getting those back in the Criterium.