PureBlack Racing’s Michael Torckler has continued his strong form on the bike with a 2nd place finish on the first stage of Jelajah Malaysia 2012.
A week shy of winning the inaugural Tour of Borneo, Torckler saw himself in a breakaway which stuck to the end of the 161.5km stage from Merdeka Stadium to Bandar Baru Kampar.
Torckler said, “The first hill climb felt much harder than a category one, but once Louis got up in the breakaway it gave us options, I looked for a small group within the last 10km and lined it up for the sprint.”
PureBlack Racing Director Sportif, John Harris said, “We couldn’t wish for anything better, the peloton couldn’t bring the breakaway back, and we capitalised on it.”
The stage was won by Japanese vetran, 40-year-old Shinichi Fukushima of the local favourite Terengganu Cycling Team, with a time of 3:50:38, with Torckler hot on his wheel.
Genesys Wealth Advisors, did not have a prominent day on the bike, with the Australian team allowing the breakaway stretch a eight-minute lead at one point, and doing little work in the peloton to bring it back.
It is going to be a tough six-day tour for PureBlack Racing after the huge effort they put into the Tour of Borneo, which finished just a week ago. “Our bodies are still pretty tired and feeling a bit sluggish, but we will ride into it – it is going to be a massive week,” said Torckler.
The 201.8km second stage, the longest stage of the tour this year, runs from Kampar to Kulim in Kedah. The UCI 2.2 class Jelajah Malaysia 2012, 8 – 13 May, covers a total distance of 1023.5 kilometres.