BikeNZ PureBlack Racing are proving to be a dominant force in the Tour of Borneo. The team delivered the ultimate start to the tour with Michael Torckler, Roman van Uden and Louis Crosby taking all three podium spots in an unprecedented ‘blackwash’ in the 102.8km stage from Semporna to Tawau.
After making a break at 30km, Torkler guaranteed himself the yellow jersey with a powerful solo ride with 15km to go. Crosby and van Uden led the bunch in a sprint finish to secure 2nd and 3rd respectively to give the team the yellow and orange jerseys going into Stage Two.
Director Sportif of BikeNZ PureBlack Racing, John “Harry” Harris, said the team rode perfectly on the first day of the tour giving the team the top result they have been searching for after 2.5 months racing in Asia. “Everyone had their part to play and it was an outstanding ride by the whole team.”
After the grueling second stage, 146.6km from Tawau to Lahad Datu with large hill climbs, Torkler remains in the leader’s yellow jersey after securing a third place finish.
Torkler said, “The past two days have been amazing. To finish with a one-two-three was just fantastic and it’s certainly not happened in any of the teams I’ve been in before.”
“On the first day I didn’t expect the breakaway to stick but we managed to build a lead. When there was the opportunity to attack, and I got away solo, it was a great felling knowing that the two riders behind me were team mates. The second stage was really tough but another great day of racing. The team is really giving it everything and we’re really focused on getting a good result.”
Stage Three from Lahad Datu to Tawau covers 181.8 kilometres route from Lahad Datu to Sandakan.
The 2.2 category Tour of Borneo covers a total distance of 758.4 kilometres and is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and is listed in UCI Asian Tour calendar.