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“The pace was really high as we went under the flamme rouge and we’re guessing someone’s wheels just slipped out from under them. Nathan was one of around 10-15 riders immediately involved, and Philip and Danny also went d...

Photo: Sirotti








09.03.2015 @ 12:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

A late crash halted Team Sky’s chances of contesting the second stage victory at the Tour de Langkawi with Andrea Guardini once again emerging triumphant.


Philip Deignan, Nathan Earle and Danny Pate were all involved in a large tumble in the last kilometre and the fallout from that meant Chris Sutton was unable to work his way into the mix as the action came down to a bunch sprint for the second day in succession.


Guardini (Astana) extended his remarkable record  by powering down the closing straight and held off late surges from Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) and Jakub Mareczko (Southeast) to seal a sweet 16th win in Malaysia.


Sutton meanwhile, crossed the line in 20th position in a large group which also contained Ian Boswell and Sebastian Henao.


Those results ensured Guardini extended his lead to eight seconds at the top of the overall standings, with all six Team Sky riders sitting within 20 seconds of the Italian with hillier stages to come.



After the stage, Sports Director talked through the day’s events. He said: “It started raining in the last 10km and that meant the roads became super slippery.


“The pace was really high as we went under the flamme rouge and we’re guessing someone’s wheels just slipped out from under them. Nathan was one of around 10-15 riders immediately involved, and Philip and Danny also went down behind them.


“Thankfully, they are all OK though, and they should be good to go again in the morning.  


“CJ had been looking to go for the sprint but his race was affected by the crash and he wasn’t able to contest it.


“The racing was hard from the start because the absence of Saturday’s big climb has opened things up a lot more, and far more riders are in contention now for the overall win.


“Six riders per team also means things are also harder to control, and there were plenty of teams looking to get in the breakaway. We helped cover those moves, and once a six-man group had gone away we let the sprint teams pick up the chase.


“We were well positioned when they were brought back in the last 10km, and it’s a shame three of our guys came down before the finish.


“It looks like it should be another sprint stage tomorrow and we’ll try and conserve our energies for the most pivotal stages later in the race.”



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