Marcus Culey overwhelmed the pack with yet another strong solo attack to bag his second straight win in the Tour de Selangor 2019 in the 159.4km Stage 2 from Sungai Buloh to Kajang today.
The 26-year old Australian of Team Sapura Cycling, waited until a breakaway group of five riders who had led the pack 10km into the stage began to diminish after the second categorised climb in Bukit Ampang and launched his attack as sole leader at that point Ahmad Yoga Ilham Firdaus of Indonesia’s PGN Cycling Team struggled to the summit.
Culey passed Ahmad, took the summit and powered on a 25km solo run to the finish virtually unscathed as the bunch was scattered with multiple attacks with Japan’s Shotaro Watanabe of the Aisan Racing Team arriving in second spot, three minutes behind Culey, while Terengganu Inc-TSG’s Maral-Erdene Batmunkh of Mongolia took third spot a further minute behind.
Culey, who won Stage 1 from Pulau Indah to Batang Kali yesterday in similar fashion, extended his lead in the general classification to six minutes and 13 seconds over second placed Loic Desriac of Vietnam’s Bikelife Dong Nai team, while Watanabe’s strong finish moved him up to third ahead of Terengganu Inc-TSG’s Afiq Huznie Othman with an 8 minutes and 13 seconds deficit to the leader.
Sapura also retained all four leaders jerseys. Culey extended his mountains classification lead with 21 points, 9 more than second placed Ahmad of PGN, while his victory also saw pull ahead with 31 points in the points classification, 13 ahead of Rachmad Noka Wibisono of PGN.
Mohd Nur Aiman Zariff retained the young riders’ classification lead with a 4 minutes and 5 seconds lead over Australia’s Bentley Niquet-Olden of the Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club, while Aisan Racing Team’s Kakeru Omae moved into third in that classification with a 5 minutes and 18 seconds deficit on the leader.
“The team rode well today. Kept everything under control and kept the breakaway in check. Then when it came to the final KOM we were in touching distance so I decided it was time to go and managed to distance myself and went for the finish again,” said Culey.
Culey’s Sapura team rode at the front of the peloton and never allowed the breakaways to extend gaps beyond two minutes all day.
“There was action on all the KOMs today. We just kept going and after the second KOM with about 40km to go, I felt I had good legs and just went for it,” Culey added.
His younger teammate Nur Aiman, 22, said the team had pulled together to protect the yellow jersey and was happy he managed to retain his lead in the young riders’ classification after dropping back as the peloton was dilluted when riders scattered to chase down Culey’s decisive attack at the end of the stage.
“I was relieved to keep the white jersey with still a four minute lead, as there were riders in the breakaway who were threatening to close it down. But after the bunch caught up with them at the second KOM, they dropped back further, so I coasted to the finish. I’m happy to have kept the jersey and also to have helped Marcus retain the yellow jersey,” said Nur Aiman.
The Tour de Selangor 2019 continues with Stage 3 tomorrow, covering 90.1km from Cyberjaya to Bukit Jugra and featuring the only hilltop finish of the race.
Stage 3 will feature two categorised climbs. The first one, a category 4 summit at Salak Tinggi at 27.3km and then the category 3 summit at the finish in Bukit Jugra. In between those climbs, two intermediate sprints are on offer at KM54.7 in Dengkil and KM76.7 in Banting.
Results – Stage 2 (159.4km from Sungai Buloh to Kajang):
1 Marcus Culey (Aus) Sapura 4:00:21.744s,
2 Shotaro Watanabe (Jpn) Aisan 4:02:41.861s,
3 Maral-Erdene Batmunkh (Mgl) TSG 4:03:05.104s,
4 Kakeru Omae (Jpn) Aisan 4:04:06.913s,
5 Bentley Niquet-Olden (Aus) Carnegie Caulfield 4:04:07.807s,
6 Nik Mohd Azwan (Mas) PDRM 4:04:20.637s,
7 Aiman Cahyadi (Ina) PGN 4:04:21.197s,
8 Hayato Okamoto (Jpn) Aisan 4:04:24.750s,
9 Mohd Elmi Jumari (Mas) PDRM 4:04:25.157s,
10 Arin Iswana (Ina) PGN 4:04:25.243s:
General classification (yellow jersey):
1 Marcus Culey (Aus) Sapura 8:07.07s,
2 Loic Desriac (Fra) Bikelife Dong Nai +6″13s,
3 Shotaru Watanabe (Jpn) Aisan +8″23s,
4 Mohd Afiq Huznie Othman (Mas) TSG +8″54s,
5 Nguyen Hoang Sang (Vie) Bikelife Dong Nai +10″08s;
Points classification (green jersey)
1 Marcus Culey (Aus) Sapura 31 points,
2 Rachmad Noka Wibisono (Ina) PGN 18 points,
3 Shotaro Watanabe (Jpn) 17 points;
Mountains classification (polka dot jersey):
1 Marcus Culey (Aus) Sapura 21 points,
2 Ahmad Yoga Ilham Firdaus (Ina) PGN 12 points,
3 Loic Desriac (Fra) Bikelife Dong Nai 6 points;
Young riders classification (white jersey):
1 Mohd Nur Aiman Zariff (Mas) Sapura 8:17.21s,
2 Bentley Niquet-Olden (Aus) Carnegie Caulfield +4″05s,
3 Kakeru Omae (Jpn) Aisan +5″18s.