Cameron Highlands, 18 October 2019 – Kinan Cycling Team’s Marcos Garcia made it count when it matters most as he stormed to victory in the most important stage of the inaugural Tour of Peninsular (ToP) today.
At 89.5km the fourth stage, which flagged off from Sungai Koyan and ended in Tanah Rata, is the shortest in the tour this year but featured a lung bursting hors categorie climb up to Cameron Highlands.
And Garcia, together with teammate Thomas Lebas of France, proved they were the best on the day after notching a 1-2 finish for the Japanese team. Indonesia’s Odie Purnomo Setiawan (PGN Road Cycling Team) was third.
Garcia crossed the finish line in 2:21:12s which was enough to place him in charge of the yellow jersey with a comfortable 3:02s advantage over the second placed rider in the general classification.
The Spaniard believes his team will do everything they can to assure he retains the yellow jersey in the final stage tomorrow.
“We were very strong today and I have to thank my teammates for supporting me and without them this would not be possible,” said Garcia.
“Today was incredible but tomorrow is another day. We have a good three minute advantage and we will have to discuss what our strategy for tomorrow will be later.
“I have full confidence in my team and 100 per cent trust that they will do everything they can to help me keep this yellow jersey until the end.”
Meanwhile, TSG’s Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki lost the yellow to Garcia but is still hoping to keep his blue jersey (sprint competition) until the end of the tour.
“The GC will be tough now but I hope to keep the blue jersey. It is tough as I am on the same points as the second placed rider (Rohan Du Plooy) and anything can happen tomorrow,” said Amirull.
“We will have to plan and fight hard to have a chance to keep this jersey.”
Amirull and Du Plooy are both on 44 points but the former has the jersey thanks to his higher finish positions in the tour so far.
TSG’s Harrif Saleh, however, will not be competing in the fifth stage tomorrow. The sprinter was forced to drop out of the fourth stage today due to diarrhoea.
The fifth and final stage will start in Kuala Lipis tomorrow and end at Wangsa Walk in Setiawangsa, covering a total distance of 151.4km.