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Sagan, Bastianelli win Gent-Wevelgem, Valverde takes Catalunya: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

March 26, 2018

Three Pete: Sagan holds off Viviani to take a third Gent-Wevelgem title; Bastianelli wins women’s Gent-Wevelgem; Yates wins final stage of Volta a Catalunya, Valverde takes overall; Ovechkin wins Tour de Langkawi, Guardini takes final stage; Rosa wins Settimana Coppi e Bartali, Tratnik best in final TT; Harper, Lucas win Oceania cycling championships; Bernal crashes out of Volta a Catalunya while in second overall, Martin also falls; Video: Amazing Cycling Descents – Sagan, Nibali, Cancellara

Ovechkin wins Tour de Langkawi, Guardini takes final stage

by Shane Stokes

Russian rider Artem Ovechkin (Terengganu Cycling Team) sealed the final overall win in the Tour de Langkawi on Sunday when he finished safely in the main bunch into Kuala Lumpur. Ovechkin’s success represented the first overall win for a Malaysian team in the event, delivering a huge morale boost to the Terengganu program.

Andrea Guardini (Bardiani CSF) was quickest to the line, beating Manuel Belletti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Luca Pacioni (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia ), Yevgeniy Gidich (Astana Pro Team) and the rest of the main bunch. The victory was Guardini’s second of the race and his 24th career victory in the event, further extending his record.

“I am obviously very happy with this victory,” said Ovechkin, “but it is also for my teammates who worked very hard every day to protect the lead and helped bring me to the front, while also working to catch all breakaways. My focus today was on keeping the yellow jersey, which is why we decided to let go of the polka dot jersey to ensure that we remained in the lead of the general classification.”

On Saturday Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec rider Manuel Belletti was best out of an eight-man break into Muar, triumphing ahead of Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) and Ruslan Tleubayev (Astana). Ovechkin, who took over the race lead when he won the Cameron Highlands stage last Wednesday, had nervous moments due to the time gained by the breakaway, but things ultimately worked out fine.

His bunch finish on Sunday saw him beat Lukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) by 27 seconds in the general classification, and Australian rider Benjamin Dyball (St George Continental Cycling Team ) by 32.

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