Guardini Sets New LTdL Milestone After Claiming 15 Stage Wins In LTdL Participation

Last update: 08/03/2015

From MAZANI CHAN YAT SIN

LANGKAWI, March 8 (Bernama) -- Kazakhstan's Astana Pro Tour Team rider, Andre Guardini put up a blistering ride enroute to setting a new record in the prestigious Le Tour De Langkawi (LTdL) by securing his 15th stage win, today.

The 25-year-old Italian, making his fifth straight appearance in the LTdL, sprinted away from a bunch of riders about 200m to the crossing line with a time of 2 hours 19 minutes and 06 seconds in the first stage of the 2015 edition that started and finished at Pantai Cenang, here.

To make things even sweeter, he also swept the Yellow Jersey as the overall leader besides the Blue Jersey as King of Sprint with 15 points through three sprint zones in Teluk Ewa, Air Hangat and Kuah.

The technical race committee also credited nine top riders with the same time as Guardini after crossing the finishing line in a bunch.

For the record, Guardini had won five stages in the 2011 edition, six victories in 2012 and also three stages, last year.

On his victory, Guardini who was crowned LTdL King of Sprint in 2011 and 2012 said, the victory in the paradisiacal island meant a lot to him.

"I have won the first stage at Langkawi in 2011, so I'm really happy to win here again for the second time. Its also a special race for me after a great performance in the Tour de Dubai and Tour of Qatar, early this year," Guardini quipped.

He said the blazing heat during the middle of the race did not effect his race momentum since he had faced similar conditions in a few other races.

"We came here in good shape and good preparation. Definitely all my training before coming to this race worked very well," said Guardini who also praised young Aussie sprinter, Caleb Ewan of Orica GreenEdge who give him a run for his money in the race.

Sharing his views were Red Jersey (King of Mountain) winner, Kiel Reijnen of UnitedHealth Care Pro Cycling Team who regarded the race as unpredictable since some of the newcomers put up a superb performance in the opening stage.

"I did not think much as I saw the opportunity coming in front of me. It's a good try and hopefully it will work again in the next stage," said the 28-year old United States born-rider.

Tomorrow, all 132 riders will compete in the second stage involving a 185km distance from Alor Setar to Sungai Petani with three sprint zones at Kuala Nerang, Tandop Besar and Pokok Sena and two climbing zones at Jeniang and Bukit Selambau.

-- BERNAMA