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Tristan Hoffman ahead of Langkawi queen stage: “It’s GC showdown tomorrow”

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Tinkoff-Saxo’s Michael Kolar showed signs of improvement on today’s stage of Tour de Langkawi after illness in the early season set his preparations back. He finished 7th in today’s short, sprint stage and now looks ahead to the GC-battle tomorrow – a stage, which DS Tristan Hoffman sees as decisive.

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“It’s our d-day tomorrow, where we’ll have to fight for the GC. It will be harder to create time gaps on the new climb to Fraser’s Hill that replaced the traditional climb to Genting Highland, but it seems like Edward Beltran and Jesper Hansen, who are our GC captains, are in good shape”, says Tristan Hoffman, who adds that Tinkoff-Saxo will have to be attentive not to let a big breakaway get away:

“Last year, a big group made it to the final climb with a big advantage, so our guys will probably participate in controlling the race and if a big group breaks away, we’ll have to get a guy up there”.

langkawi15st4-tinkoff-2-620Pavel Brutt and Nikolay Trusov

Today’s stage 6 from Maran to Karak took the riders along a fast 96,6km parcours, which ended in a bunch sprint decision, where Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) won the burst for the line with Michael Kolar coming in at 7th place.

“Today was a short and fast stage, where we stayed at the front of the peloton most of the day. It was my responsibility to do the sprint, so the boys did a good job in setting the sprint up for me. Pavel Brutt and Nikolay Trusov worked to position me but I lacked a bit of final punch on the last few hundred meters”, says Michael Kolar, who’s regaining shape after suffering an early season setback due to illness.

“My shape is slowly getting better after I was sick during Tour Down Under, which disturbed my preparations. It’s not exactly how I wanted and unfortunately I’ve also had two crashes here at Tour de Langkawi, which always disrupts the rhythm. But I’m improving and, hopefully, I won’t have more bad luck”, concludes Michael Kolar.

langkawi15st4-tinkoff-1-620Michael Kolar after yesterday’s crash

Stage 6 results
1. EWAN Caleb
Orica GreenEDGE 02:14:19
2. MARECZKO Jakub
Southeast –
3. SUTTON Chris
Team Sky –
4. MOLANO BENAVIDES Juan Sebastian
Team Colombia –
5. GUARDINI Andrea
Astana Pro Team –
6. PETACCHI Alessandro
Southeast –
7. KOLAR Michael
Tinkoff – Saxo –
8. REGUIGUI Youcef
MTN – Qhubeka –
9. ÖRKEN Ahmet
Torku Şekerspor –
10. ISWANA Arin
Pegasus Continental Cycling Team – —
39. PIRES Bruno
Tinkoff – Saxo –
43. HANSEN Jesper
Tinkoff – Saxo –
58. BELTRAN Edward
Tinkoff – Saxo –
60. BRUTT Pavel
Tinkoff – Saxo –
96. TRUSOV Nikolay
Tinkoff – Saxo –
GC after stage 6
1. EWAN Caleb
Orica GreenEDGE 19:18:27
2. BERHANE Natnael
MTN – Qhubeka 0:17
3. REGUIGUI Youcef
MTN – Qhubeka 0:20
4. PERICHON Pierre-Luc
Bretagne – Séché Environnement –
5. MANCEBO PEREZ Francisco
Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team –
6. DUQUE Leonardo
Team Colombia 0:22
7. BRUN Frederic
Bretagne – Séché Environnement 0:23
8. ZHANG Wenlong
Giant-Champion System Pro Cycling 0:24
9. LIU Jianpeng
Hengxiang Cycling Team –
10. MANULANG Robin
Pegasus Continental Cycling Team 0:25 —
18. HANSEN Jesper
Tinkoff – Saxo –
28. PIRES Bruno
Tinkoff – Saxo –
29. BELTRAN Edward
Tinkoff – Saxo –
39. BRUTT Pavel
Tinkoff – Saxo –
93. TRUSOV Nikolay
Tinkoff – Saxo 25:37
111. KOLAR Michael
Tinkoff – Saxo 28:01.

About Tinkoff-Saxo
Tinkoff-Saxo is a UCI WorldTour pro cycling racing team that is owned by Russian entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov with the explicit aim to become the greatest cycling team in the world.

Tinkoff Bank is the team’s main sponsor and innovative provider of online retail financial services operating in Russia through a high-tech branchless platform. The bank was founded in 2006 by a Russian entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov to service clients in the Russian financial services market. In 2009, the bank started to attract retail deposits, and is a member of the national deposit insurance system.
As of 1 November 2014, the bank issued 4.8 m credit cards

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