Three days after taking a top five result in Kerteh, Harrif Saleh of Terrengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team received a hero’s welcome following his bunch sprint victory over Max Walscheid at the Stage 5 finish of Le Tour de Langkawi in Ipoh on Tuesday.
After enduring treacherous weather atop the queen stage summit finish in the Genting Highlands, the 31-year-old Malaysian sprinter out-muscled the German giant, as well as Italian Matteo Pelucchi (Bardiani CSF-Faizane), to claim his second career stage win at LTdL in front of an adoring crowd, including his family.
It followed a brutal 165.8-kilometre day in the saddle under blistering conditions on the second-longest stage of the race.
The 2015 South East Asian road race champion also won Stage 2 last year in Melaka.
The 25th edition of LTdL continues on Stage 6 with what could be the final realistic opportunity for Yevgeniy Federov (Vini-Astana Motors) to reclaim his yellow jersey from Italian Danilo Celano (Team Sapura Cycling).
Celano lifted the jersey from the Kazakh after a second-place result on the decisive mountain stage behind Kevin Rivera (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), who became the first Costa Rican to win a stage in the race’s 25-year history, and leads the Federov by 30 seconds on general classification, followed by Russian Artem Ovechkin of TSG (+0:35).
The sixth stage features two categorised climbs over the 150.9km route from Taiping toPulau Pinang, including a short, but steep Cat. 1 at the 122.1km mark.