EARLY SEASON JOY FOR GIBBONS
Wins first pro title as he seals LTdL yellow and teal jerseys
DIMENSION Data’s Ryan Gibbons emerged as a double winner in Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) yesterday.
The South African won the eighth and final stage, bagging both the yellow jersey (General Classification) and teal jersey (Sprint Competition).
Gibbons, 22, became the third rider from Dimension Data to win LTdL in as many years, and the fifth South African to do so.
“Earlier, the team said this (yellow jersey) was the goal but in my first year, I could have never imagined it and it’s a dream come true,” said Gibbons of his first professional career win.
Gibbons successfully defended the yellow jersey since the second stage.
He extended his lead of 33 seconds over Australian Cameron Bayly before outsprinting eighth stage winner Travis McCabe of UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling Team for the teal jersey by 13 points.
American McCabe came in ahead of second-placed Anthony Giacoppo (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) and Riccardo Stacchiotti of Nippo-Vini Fantini.
“I think I’ll remember the humidity, heat and the rain the most but the people were fantastic to cheer us on and there’s no better race to start the year,” said McCabe, who also won stage two.
John Kronborg Ebsen, who had retained the polka dot jersey (King of Mountain) since stage two, became the first Dane to win a distinctive jersey in LTdL.
The Asian Rider Overall title went to Hideto Nakane of NippoVini Fantini while Kazakhstan’s Vino Astana Motors were named Asian Team General Classification winners.
Australia’s Isowhey Sports Swisswellness took the Best Team General Classification award, ahead of crowd favourite Dimension Data.
The Best Malaysian Rider Overall title went to Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin, who was also the best Malaysian finisher in the eighth stage after coming in fifth, just behind Gibbons.
Dimension Data’s Ryan Gibbons with the trophy after winning Le Tour de Langkawi yesterday.
PIC BY LUQMAN HAKIM ZUBIR