Kevin Rivera created history as the first Costa Rican stage winner but it was Team Sapura Cycling’s Danilo Celano who emerged the biggest winner by wresting the yellow jersey in the queen stage of the Le Tour de Langkawi 2020 in Genting Highlands.
The 21-year-old Rivera from the mountainous Cartago region in Costa Rica, crossed the finish line in yesterday’s queen stage (most demanding climbing section of the Tour) involving a distance of 156.1km with a time of 4’18:55.
Celano of Team Sapura finished second in 4’19:05 but it was enough for the 30-year-old Italian to take over the yellow Jersey from overnight leader Yevgeniy Fedorov of Vino-Astana Motors, with a four-stage total time of 14’08:28.
The 2018 winner, Russian Artem Ovechkin of Terengganu Inc TSG Cycling Team, finished third after posting 14’19:38.
“I started the Tour very badly as I was sick but I recovered and I saved energy for today’s stage. It’s a beautiful win because it’s a very hard climb. The remaining stages are for the sprinters, so I’ll help my teammates as much as they helped me today, ” said Rivera.
Fedorov, who took the overall lead after his stunning opening day breakaway victory, retained the white jersey as the leader of the Asian riders’ classification while Sapura’s Malaysian youngster Mohd Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff retained the red jersey as the leader of the mountains classification with 30 points and a 15-point lead over Rivera who moved into second.
Celano said taking the yellow jersey was down to a team effort.
“I’m very happy with this jersey. The whole team put in a great effort to make it happen.
“During the race, teammate Aiman was in the breakaway group and took the red jersey. Overall, it was a great team effort to get both jerseys, ” said Celano.
For Aiman, his effort to consolidate his lead proved fruitful in the four earlier categorised climbs and he could possibly be the first local rider to win the red jersey.
“The plan was to go in the early breakaways to take points to try and keep this jersey, ” said Aiman.
Today’s Stage 5 of the LTdL is a 165.8km route from Kuala Kubu Baru to Ipoh. The early sector features a comfortable downhill stroll followed by three intermediate sprints.
Dataran Putrajaya to Genting Highlands (156.1km): 1. Kevin Rivera (Crc) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 4’18:55,2. Danilo Celano (Ita) Team Sapura Cycling 4’19.05,3. Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team 4’19:38,4. Pierpaolo Ficara (Ita) Team Sapura Cycling 4’20.12,5. Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 4’20:12,6. Cristian Raileanu (MDA) Team Sapura Cycling 4’20:35,7. Hideto Nakane (Jpn) Nippo Delko Provence 4’20:51,8. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Vini Zabu-KTM 4’20:55,9. Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kaz) Vino-Astana Motors 4’21:02,10. Carlos Julian Quintero (Col) Terengganu Inc TSG Cycling Team 4’21:02.
General Classification (Yellow Jersey): 1.Danilo Celano (Ita) Team Sapura Cycling 14’08:28,2. Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kaz) Vino-Astana Motors 14’08.58,3. Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Terengganu Inc TSG Cycling Team 14’09.03.
Green Jersey (Best Sprinter): 1. Max Walscheid (Ger) NTT Pro Cycling Team 34pts, 2. Taj Jones (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 28,3. Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kaz) Vino-Astana Motors 23.
Red Jersey (King of the Mountain): 1. Mohd Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff (Mas) 30pts, 2. Kevin Rivera (Crc) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 15,3. Rylee Field (Aus) Team BridgeLane 14.
White Jersey (Best Asian Rider): 1. Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kaz) Vino-Astana Motors 14’08:58,2. Hideto Nakane (Jpn) Nippo Delko Provence 14’10:20,3. Fung Ka Hoo (Hkg) HKSI Pro Cycling Team 14’12:22.