Cycling / Jelajah Malaysia: Fuyu: A flat stage victory imminent
Trek-Marco Polo’s Li Fuyu (centre) is surrounded during Stage Three of Jelajah Malaysia from Bandar Hilir to Batu Pahat yesterday. Pic: HAIRUL ANUAR ABD RAHIM
LI Fuyu holds a firm grip on the red Jelajah Malaysia overall leader’s jersey but was disappointed at the end of Stage Three yesterday. Again his Trek-Marco Polo teammate Sergey Kudentsov was denied a stage win in the race by Le Tua’s Anuar Manan, but 30-year-old Fuyu believes the flat stage win will be coming if they keep trying. “It was another hard stage today (yesterday) and our team orders were just to keep the bunch together so that the lead would not be under any threat. But there was a breakaway which had got some time on the bunch. So we started working at the front of the peloton about 50 kilometres from the finish and the last part was done by Le Tua,” said Fuyu, who is gunning for his first win on the UCI Asia Tour to mark his comeback to the circuit, after a year away. “When we already knew it was going to be a bunch sprint, our job was to lead out Kudentsov, but again we didn’t win. Le Tua are a strong team, but there are more flat stages and we will try again.” Fuyu, a former Pro Tour rider with the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, holds a four-second lead over Swiss rider Marcel Strauss of the Steg Computer-CKT team, while just 10 seconds separate the top five which includes Asian road race champion and mountains classification leader Hossein Askari. With flat stages to continue until the penultimate stage from Kuala Kubu Baru to Gohtong Jaya at the foot of Genting Highlands on Saturday, Fuyu’s lead will be easily kept until then if it all ends in bunch sprints. The Trek-Marco Polo team that also include Malaysian Loh Sea Keong, Japan’s Ken Onodera, as well as the China duo of Liu Yilin and Xing Yandong have been doing a good job at bringing back the breaks thus far. But whether Kudentsov delivers what his leader asks of him, is another question altogether.