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"Ian and Sebastian tried to attack towards the end but into the headwind it was difficult to get away."

Photo: Sirotti








10.03.2015 @ 17:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Sky's climbing contingent moved up the general classification at the Tour de Langkawi after splitting the peloton on stage three.


Ian Boswell, Philip Deignan, Sebastian Henao and Danny Pate all made their way into a select 40-man front peloton as the race entered the mountains for the first time.


After 170 kilometres the day came down to a reduced sprint in Tanah Merah, with Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) taking the win, and with it elevating himself into the race lead.


Henao led the Team Sky quartet home in 13th, with both Boswell (17th) and Deignan (20th) slotting into the top 20. Pate provided great back-up in the group, with all four men now sitting just 22 seconds off leader Ewan courtesy of bonus seconds.


The peloton had split after a gruelling first half of the stage, culminating in the first-category climb of Titiwangsa.


With overnight leader, and winner of the first two stages, Andrea Guardini (Astana) distanced in the second peloton, a new yellow jersey was quickly ensured.


The day's break of five men was caught heading into the final kilometres, setting up the sprint, while the second group containing Guardini rolled home over 24 minutes down.



Sport Director Gabriel Rasch talked through the stage and the most difficult test of the race thus far.


"It was a pretty hard day today," he confirmed. "There were two mountains to get over in the first half of the stage. We knew that without Genting HIghlands the race would be much more aggressive. More of the big teams wanted to have people in the break, and with small team sizes at this race it makes it hard to control. If all the big teams can get someone in a break then no one will chase it down.


"Finally five guys went with Mancebo and an MTN rider. That wasn't the best scenario for us as they took the bonus seconds. We had to ride hard in the second half to try and separate the peloton a bit. After that there were 45 riders left and we worked with Philip Deignan alongside Orica-GreenEdge and Tinkoff-Saxo. They managed to catch the break with 10km to go.


"Ian and Sebastian tried to attack towards the end but into the headwind it was difficult to get away."


Rasch also explained that the heat and humidity in Malaysia were naturally making life tough for the entire peloton.


"It's really really warm here but the guys seem to be coping well. Of course it's a challenge and everyone is going to struggle to an extent. Nathan (Earle) had a crash yesterday and he was certainly feeling that today which made it twice as tough for him."



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