French track star takes second straight victory in short, sharp stage

bryan coquardBryan Coquard (Europcar) became the second rider in the 2013 Tour de Langkawi to take two successive stage wins, as he sprinted to victory at the end of the ninth stage, between Pasir Puteh and Kuala Berang. Escorted into the finishing straight by lead out man Kevin Reza once again, the 20-year-old Frenchman found the wheel of Australian Allan Davis (Orica-GreenEdge) in the final 300 metres, then launched his sprint as the line approached.

Davis was also overtaken in the final metres by a fast finishing Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), but managed to hold on to take third place.

The finish of the 123.6km was marred a little by a crash with just over a kilometre to go, which cost Chicchi his lead out man, while a number of riders dropped out during the stage as a bug swept round the peloton.

The break of the day came from Liu Yilin (Hengxiang) and Wijaya Endra (Indonesia), but – as had happened the day before – the two fugitives were only able to escape after attempts from several other riders had been thwarted. In such a short stage, however, they were allowed to open up a gap of only 2’58” before the sprinters’ teams began to pull them back.

Inside the final 30km Liu tried to go alone, but was almost caught with five kilometres to go, and was forced to sit up and wait.

As the peloton approached the finish a crash near the front brought down a number of riders, but most of the sprinters were unaffected. UnitedHealthcare led Jake Keough into the final few hundred metres, but as the sprint began, Davis came past with Coquard in tow, and the Frenchman dashed past to take victory.

The stage was another relatively quiet affair for race leader Julian Arredondo (Nippo-De Rosa), who finished safely in the peloton and headed into the final day with his yellow jersey intact.

More details and reactions to follow

Result stage 9
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
2. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
3. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
5. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling
6. Jake Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare Procycling
7. Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project
8. Park Sung Baek (Kor) KSPO
9. Rico Rogers (NZl) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project
10. Hossein Nateghi (Iri) Tabriz Petrochemical Team

Standings after stage 9
1. Julian Arredondo (Col) Team Nippo-De Rosa
2. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge @ 1’15”
3. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka @ 2’10”
4. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp @ 2’32”
5. Wang Meiyin (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling Team @ 2’40”
6. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp @ 2’47”
7. Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Team Nippo-De Rosa @ 2’49”
8. John Ebsen (Den) Synergy-Baku Cycling Project @ 2’55”
9. Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) MTN-Qhubeka @ 2’58”
10. Amir Kolahdozhagh (Iri) Tabriz Petrochemical Team

     

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