KUALA LUMPUR: The pace was frenetic from the gun, but it was not enough to stop EF Education-EasyPost’s Simon Carr from becoming the first British general classification (GC) winner of Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) today.
The eighth and final stage, which started in Setia Alam and ended in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (156.5km), witnessed Carr safely crossing the line in 62nd place in the same group as stage winner Gleb Syritsa (Astana Qazaqstan).
Carr took home the green jersey (GC) with a cumulative time of 29 hours, 17 minutes and 41 seconds.
Teammate Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (+49s) came in second, while Equipo Kern Pharma’s Pablo Castrillo (+58s) completed the GC podium.
Carr, who won the queen stage climb up to Genting Highlands on Wednesday, said he felt relieved.
Remnants of the breakaway, which did not include any threat to the Welshman, were caught just over 4km from the finish.
“Today was an unexpectedly hard day for me, I wasn’t expecting it to be easy, but I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was. I was quite surprised by how hard the riders went),” said Carr.
“We knew we had a strong team but it is never over until it is over. Even today, we had to really count on all our teammates to come away with the (GC) 1-2 finish.
“I was relieved that we managed to bring it all back together and come in safely. I take relief and am just really happy to come away with the win.”
Carr, who recently lost his grandfather, said the win meant a lot to him.”
“This (LTdL) is a race in Asia that everyone has heard of has been around for a long time,” he added.
“To come away with the GC win is something the whole team can be proud of. It is a big milestone for me as well.
“I’m sure he (grandfather) would be really happy for me and would have been following the race the whole way. I am happy to do that (win) for him.”
No British rider had previously won the LTdL GC since the race was first held in 1996.
Meanwhile, Syritsa, who also won the Kuala Lumpur stage last year, is keen on coming back to Malaysia next year after claiming another win in front of the Petronas Twin Towers.
“Despite going full gas for the whole stage, I still felt good in the final sprint and was able to get the win,” said Syritsa.
“I am happy to win here (KL) again, and I hope to come back next year. I want the same finish as well.”
Syritsa, who earlier won the second stage on Sunday, outkicked Caja Rural-Seguros RGA Daniel Babor to the line. Tudor Pro Cycling Team’s Arvid de Kleijn completed the eighth stage podium.
National team rider Izzat Hilmi Abdul Halil did well to place fifth on the day.
It was, however, not enough to stop de Kleijn from taking home the orange jersey (sprinters classification). The Dutchman, who won the first and sixth stages, ended the competition with 72 points.
Tudor teammate Simon Pellaud, who was again in the breakaway today, claimed the polka dot jersey with 32 points.
The white jersey (Asian riders classification) went to Astana’s Vadim Pronskiy (29:18:56s).