PUTRAJAYA – Italian rider, Andrea Palini of the Team Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling powered himself past the other riders in the leadingÂ pack to claim his stage win at the 2015 Jelajah Malaysia (JM2015) cycling competition, here today.
The 26-year-old rider took two hours, 42 minutes and 29 seconds in the second longest route of the competition, a distance of 115.3km, from Berjaya Times Square at Jalan Imbi to the Tourism and Culture Ministry, here.
“The race was quite tough especially after the climb. I find it very hard because there are lots of attacks from other riders. I’m happy to win the race with the help of my two team mates,” he said.
With the stage win, Palini also snatched the blue jersey from his team mate, Francisco Mancebo and currently lead the competition with 26 points, just one point ahead of South Korea’s Park Sung Baek of KSPO.
“Although our team’s objective is the yellow jersey. I will try to retain the jersey in tomorrow’s final stage. If the race finishes in a group, I’ll try for the sprint,” he added.
Today’s stage win was Palini’s sixth stage win this year after the Tour of Egypt (two), La Tropicale Amissa Bongo (one) and Tour of Hainan (two) while his team mate, Mancebo is determined to keep the yellow jersey in tomorrow’s final stage.
“Our first goal is to keep the yellow jersey and the team worked hard in helping me to retain the jersey. I think the team would work out on strategy to do so,” said the 39-year-old Spaniard.
Mancebo maintained his lead in the overall classification (Yellow Jersey) after accumulating 8’48:53s after four stages.
Meanwhile, the red jersey (King of the Mountain) remained in the hands of Nur Amirul Marzuki of Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) after he accumulated 14 points.
Despite accumulating the same number of points with Iran’s Hamid Beikkhormizi of Pishgaman Giant Team, the race commissaries decided to allow Nur Amirul to retain the jersey since he had won three of the climb zones competition.
He won today’s first climb zone at the Ampang Look Out Point and during the first stage on Wednesday he won two climb competitions while Hamid Beikkhormizi has only one win.
“It is an advantage for me to have won three climb zones. Today’s race was not easy…many teams attacking right from the start. I’m happy that I won the first climb zone, just like we (team) had planned,” said Nur Amirul.
The final stage tomorrow is from the Proton Centre of Excellence in Shah Alam to Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, a distance of just 47km. – BERNAMA