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by Mark Zalewski
March 2, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Gibbons wins Tour de Langkawi, McCabe takes final stage; Van Keirsbulck wins slick Le Samyn; Gutiérrez wins Le Samyn des Dames; Baxhkou finally gets a win at La Tropicale Amissa Bongo; No proof provided to support British Cycling, Team Sky accounts of Wiggins’ mystery package; Innovative Hammer Series of racing unveiled by Velon, Infront and teams; Route de France cancelled as UCI and organisers clash; Sporting goods industry group responds to disc brake controversy; Tour of Flanders wildcard teams announced; Tour of Alberta announces title partner, reduces to four days; Park Tool awards tools to nonprofit groups; Video: 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour – Ashleigh Moolman Pasio; Behind the scenes: Making of Road Cycling in Switzerland; Cooking with chef Peter Sagan.
Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data) closed out the overall of the Tour de Langkawi. The South African took the race lead on stage two after two podium results, and then survived the climbs on the Cameron Highlands stage to retain the jersey. The final stage sprint finish was won by Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare).
“Before coming to Malaysia, I didn’t think I’d be sitting here with the yellow jersey at the end,” said Gibbons. “The team had a lot of faith in me but to have responsibility to lead in the second race of my first year as a pro, I couldn’t have imagined the dream coming true this week. It’s been stressful, having the yellow jersey, but I was on good form and was believing in myself.”
Even though Gibbons held a 33 second lead on Cameron Bayly (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) the battle went all the way to the rolling parcours of the final stage. “On the second climb, IsoWhey attacked — but I had Jacques [Janse van Rensburg], our road captain, with me the whole time,” said Gibbons. “He told me to relax and not too worry although I could have gone harder for the intermediate sprints. A group of sixteen riders got fifteen seconds ahead of us in the main climb but we caught them very quickly. After that I knew we should have the jersey for good but this is cycling, anything can happen, a crash or a mechanical. Even going into the last sprint, I touched wheel with my team-mates in a corner.”
In the final it was the American McCabe netting his second sprint win of the race ahead of Anthony Giacoppo (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) and Riccardo Stacchiotti (Nippo – Vini Fantini).
“We wanted to race hard again today,” said McCabe. “Typically when the race is hard and there are a few climbs, we can get rid of some heavy sprinters. The sprint came down to the last corner and I had Greg Henderson putting me in perfect position and I jumped at about 300 metres to go. Coming from doing the same job in the WorldTour, he makes my life so much easier! Pretty much all I have to do is to put my hands up.”