NTT Pro Cycling’s Maximillian Walscheid geared up for the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) in style by living up to his favourite’s tag and winning the Criterium International in Kota Kinabalu.
The German crossed the finish line just ahead of Terengganu Inc-TSG Cycling Team’s Harrif Saleh in the 90km race held on a 5km circuit around Kota Kinabalu while Australia’s Blake Quick of the St George Continental Cycling Team came third in the bunch sprint.
The peloton had earlier been split into two groups, which included some of Walscheid’s teammates and only grouped together for the bunch sprint two kilometres from the finish line.
“We came here to collect some points but it was a good feeling to finish the first race of the season with a victory here, even though it is not a UCI event, ” said Walscheid.
“We want to continue in the coming days in the same way, but we will take each stage as its own race.
Walscheid will literally stand tall when the 25th edition of the LTdL flags off in Kuching today. The German, who stands at 1.99m and is the tallest rider in the peloton, will be out to give his team a flying start.
Malaysia will be banking on Harrif to register victories in the flat stages of LTdL, especially when the race moves to his home state of Terengganu for Stage 2 tomorrow.