Kazakhstan’s Yevgeniy Fedorov registered a sensational opening day victory for the Vino-Astana Motors team with a solo finish to bag Stage 1 of the PETRONAS Le Tour de Langkawi 2020 in Kuching today.
Fedorov, 19, emerged victorious in a batlle of two champion time trialists with Thailand Continental Cycling Team’s Thurakit Boonratanathanakorn as the pair forged an early breakaway partnership that lasted through the 85.6km stage around Kuching’s city centre.
The pair opened up a gap that extended to a maximum 5 minutes, before the peloton left it too late to close the gap and Fedorov, the reigning Asian under-23 individual time trial champion, upstaged South East Asian Games individual time trial champion Thurakit with a jump inside the final 500m to the finish, as the peloton trailed across the finish line one minute and 17 seconds later.
Team Sapura Cycling’s Ahmed Orken led the peloton across the finish line to take third spot, while the best Malaysian finisher was Terengganu Inc-TSG’s Harrif Saleh in ninth spot.
Fedorov swept a package of three leaders’ jerseys on offer, taking the yellow jersey for the general classification lead, the green jersey for the points classification and the white jersey as the leading Asian rider, with Bardiani-CSF’s Matteo Pelluchi taking the red jersey as the leader of the mountains classification.
“In Kazakhstan I’m usually training in the mountains, so I usually do not expect to win in the flat stages. It was quite a surprise. But I am proud of this victory. It is for the whole Vino-Astana Motors team. The whole team is excited about this,” said Fedorov.
“I was here last year in this race and my teammate Vadim Pronskiy finished second, so this time we expect to mount a bigger challenge.”
The PETRONAS Le Tour de Langkawi 2020 moves to Kuala Terengganu for Stage 2 tomorrow, which will cover 175.5km from Kuala Terengganu to Kerteh, a flat stage with three intermediate sprints in Chendering (KM21.8), Rantau Abang (KM73) and Bandar Al Muktafi Billah Shah (KM135.8) with a bunch sprint expected at the finish line in Bandar Baru Kerteh.