Benjamin Dyball claims GC crown, Benfatto wins final stage
Italian Marco Benfatto won the final sprint stage as Benjamin Dyball joined elite company as he became just the first Australian since inaugural winner Damian McDonald to claim the overall title in 24 editions of Le Tour de Langkawi.
Green jersey winner Travis McCabe of Floyd's Pro Cycling, Yellow jersey winner Benjamin Dyball of Team Sapura Cycling, Red jersey winner Angus Lyons of Oliver's Real Food Racing, and White jersey winner Vadim Pronskiy of Vino-Astana Motors
It was an overall victory 12 months in the making for Ben Dyball (Team Sapura Cycling), who has targeted the 24th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi (UCI 2.HC) since finishing third on general classification last year.
The 29-year-old Australian, who climbed his way into GC contention with a second-place finish in Cameron Highlands last year, dominated the competition in 2019 with an emphatic win atop the Genting Highlands queen stage earlier this week.
“After Langkawi last year, it was in the back of my mind to aim for his tour,” Dyball told Eurosport after a race in which his Malaysian-registered Sapura squad held the yellow jersey for seven of eight stages starting with team-mate and compatriot Marcus Culey’s opening day victory near Kuala Lumpur. “Even the races in the second half of the year were just building up to this, so it is a very big relief to win the tour.
I still can’t believe it at the moment.
With the Stage 4 victory, the recently crowned Oceania road race and time trial champion secured a 27-second lead over his nearest rival and never relented, not even after suffering a crash midway through the eighth and final stage today.
“I had a small crash, and had to swap bikes,” said Dyball, who becomes only the second Australian to win the race with Damian McDonald doing so during the event’s inaugural edition in 1996. “Luckily the team was all there to help. It wasn’t so bad. I was a little sore after, but I tried not to think about it.
“The yellow jersey was my big goal, so I would have kept riding as long as I could.”
After a rain-soaked start gave way to a sweltering spring afternoon, it was Italian sprinter Marco Benfatto coming out on top of the 103.8-kilometre final stage to give Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec their third stage win of the race.