SANDAKAN - ANTHONY Giacoppo won Stage Three of the Tour of Borneo from Lahad Datu to Sandakan today to register the Genesys Wealth Advisers team's second consecutive win.
Giacoppo, who had already won two stages in the Tour of Taiwan last month, beat Terengganu Cycling Team's Harrif Salleh in the bunch sprint, while Suren Uzbekistan Team's Azamat Turaev, the mountains classification leader, finished third.
New Zealand's Michael Torckler, the winner of Stage One, held on to the yellow jersey as the overall leader of the race and the Orange jersey as the points classification leader with two stages to go.
Stage Three covered a 181.8km route from Lahad Datu to Sandakan and right from the start there was a four-man breakaway comprising Kazakhstan's Nikolay Zaitsev, CCN Cycling Team's Fito Bakdo Prilanji, 7-Eleven by Road Bike Philippines' Mark John Lexer Galedo and Team Plan B's Luke Joyce.
The four escapees began their journey about four km into the stage and opened up a gap of more than six minutes at one point but they were caught with 20km to go.
The Genesys Wealth Advisers team managed to put Giacoppo in a commanding position for the win and despite Harrif's gallant efforts, there was simply no catching the 26-year old Australian.
"In the beginning this win looked like it wasn't going to happen because the breakaway made quite a big gap. The team worked hard and when it came to the sprint I was in a good position to go for it. I'm happy with it and tomorrow it is a stage in the mountains. We don't know what to expect but we are going to try and take the yellow jersey. We'll see how it goes," said Giacoppo.
Torckler said he will be trying to defend the yellow jersey with his team when they head to the gruelling 214.8km stage from Sepilok to Kundasang tomorrow.
"Tomorrow will also be about who has had the best recovery over the past three days to be in good shape for the climb, so it might not necessarily be a climber who wins," said Torckler.
The penultimate stage of the Tour of Borneo from Sepilok to Kundasang is also the longest stage of the race, where the overall winner and the winners in the king of the mountains, Asian riders and Malaysian riders classifications will most likely be decided.
The 2.2 category Tour is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and is listed in UCI Asian Tour calendar, it is hoped to promote Sabah as the ultimate sports tourism destination in Malaysia, and promote cycling in the state.
Tour of Borneo covers a total distance of 758.4 kilometer, will start from Semporna and will pass through pictureque locations of Tawau, Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Sepilok, Kundasang and ends in Kota Kinabalu. 19 professional teams consisting of continental, national and club teams have confirmed their participation and will be accompanied by over 520 race officials.
In addition to a challenging route, Tour of Borneo will also held at a time of various festivals held in Sabah such as Regatta Lepa Lepa, Sabah Fest, Borneo International Marathon and Kadazan Harvest Festival celebrations which kicks off on 1st May, providing an opportunity for fans from within and outside the country to experience the joy of a holiday in the state.
Tour of Borneo is monitored by UCI President Commissaire from New Zealand, Zac Prendergast. The organizer’s main objective is to promote interest in cycling among the younger generations in Sabah, and expose Malaysian riders to more international level competition, thus contributing to the development of cycling in Malaysia.