Nearly the entire field finished together and there were no changes to the GC at Wednesday’s stage 7 of the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia.
One hundred thirteen of the 125 riders in the race finished in one pack, with the last straggler coming in 1:57 later. Andrea Guardini (Astana) earned the stage win by out-sprinting Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) and Aidis Kruopis (Orica-GreenEdge) at the finish. Guardini, who finished second in stage 4 by less than a wheel length to Chicchi, now has 12 career Tour de Langkawi wins.
“(Teammate Assan Bazayev) was there at 5k to go until 2k, and then Ruslan (Tleubayev) took me to 500m,” Guardini said in an Astana team release. “The wind was coming from the right, so I stayed behind the Orica Greenedge rider and started my sprint at 200m to go on the left, protected from the wind. It was perfect positioning, perfect timing and perfect winning.”
Astana Pro Team Director Sportif Jaan Kirsipuu said the day began with a serious meeting.
Julian David Arredondo (Nippo) maintained his 1:15 GC lead over Pieter Weening (Orica) on the bumpy, 150-kilometer route that featured a pair of Category 4 climbs. Sergio Pardilla (MTN-Qhubeka) is third, 2:10 behind Arredondo.
Thursday’s 165km stage 8 from Kuala Terengganuto to Tanah Merah is mostly flat, with a short climb featured near the end.
The race ends Saturday.