EARLY SEA­SON JOY FOR GIBBONS

Wins first pro ti­tle as he seals LTdL yel­low and teal jer­seys

New Straits Times - - Sport - RE­PORTS BY FARAH AZHARIE fara­hazharie@nst.com.my

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

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