• Jakub Mareczko got low to win Stage 7 of the Tour de Langkawi. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Jakub Mareczko of Wilier Triestina became the first rider to win two stages at this year’s Tour de Langkawi after he claimed Stage 7 to Rembau.
Cycling Central

Tour de Langkawi
1 Mar 2017 - 8:26 AM  UPDATED 2 Mar 2017 - 5:33 AM

Mareczko, who opened his Langkawi account in Pantai Remis on the third day, finished ahead of Travis McCabe (Unitedhealthcare) and Andrea Palani (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) at the end of the 148.1km stage from Melaka to Rembau.

Mareczko also moved into the lead of the points competition while Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data), fifth on the line, retained the yellow jersey.

“I put my team at the front in the final kilometers with [Filippo] Pozzato, [Alberto] Cecchin and [Rafael] Andriato to lead me out”, Mareczko said. “There was a curve with 400 metres to go.

“Cecchin took it in first position. After Andriato’s last pull, I opened my sprint. It feels very good to get a second stage win. I’m very happy today. After winning a stage, my goal this year was to get the points jersey.

“Now I have it and I hope to defend it tomorrow by trying to get another first place. I’m hoping for a sunny day to conclude the Tour de Langkawi after the pouring rain we’ve had today.”

Veteran WorldTour rider Greg Henderson of Unitedhealthcare was awarded the combativity prize of the day after being the driving force behind the main breakaway of the day with Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina), Huang En (Keyi Look), Dominic Perez (7/11) and escape artist Loh Sea Keong (Thailand Continental Team).

Henderson’s effort was not rewarded any further on a stage always set for a sprint finish. Race leader Gibbons looks set to win the race with another watchful ride in the finale set for Kuala Lumpur.

“I was cautious on the wet. It was easy to go down,” he said. “Just stay upright and out of trouble, that was my concern.

“Tomorrow’s stage is short. It’s going to be very aggressive. But we’re ready for it. I’m so thankful for the help I got from my team-mates. There’s one more day. I’m strongly hoping that I’ll be in yellow in Putrajaya as well.”

The final Tour de Langkawi will be 121km in distance from Setiawangsa (Kuala Lumpur) to Putrajaya.