GENTING HIGHLANDS, Pahang—Ryan Tugawin of 7Eleven-Cliqq-Air21-Roadbike Philippines made some noise on Wednesday as he grabbed Sprint honors in Stage 5 of the PETRONAS Tour de Langkawi here.
The national criterium champion, together with teammate Nichol Pareja, made an early breakaway in the first five kilometers of this 126.4-km stage that ended at the summit of the Genting Highlands in Pahang.
They were joined in the six-man lead pack that also included riders from Nasuntara Indonesia, Terengganu Malaysia and Italy’s Green Project.
The peloton didn’t make a chase, paving the way for Tugawin’s sprint honor at the 13.1-km mark.
“’Yan na realistic goals ng mga riders natin, to go for stage points and honors every stage,” said 7-Eleven-Cliqq-Air2-Roadbike Philippines team director Ric Rodriguez. “Sabi ko sa mga bata, basta may chance umatake, go for it.”
Tugawin’s efforts netted him 22 points in the Sprint battle and cash bonus worth 500 RM (P6,500).
Meanwhile, Simon Carr of EF Education turned the Genting leg into his own playground and ruled the stage to grab the individual overall leadership.
The British climber topped the killer stage with a time of 3 hours and 16.06 seconds. He now leads by 46 seconds ahead of his teammate Alexander Cepeda.
Erstwhile leader George Jackson of Bolton Enterprise placed 116th and fell to no. 59 in the overall ranking.
After the long, hard climb up the 1,800m summit of this cold, mountain resort, the race returns to the plains on stage 6, starting at Karak and ending in the historic city of Melaka.
The 174.5-km stage offers another haven for sprinters with only two short climbs in Gapoi and Luka Inas in the 20km and 104.6 km marks, respectively.
Barring major blunder or accident, tour leaders are expected to retain their posts at the top, unless.