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Erler assumes yellow in ChukaiJay Thomson (South Africa) beats Thomas Erler (Tabriz Petrochemicals) in Chukai
view thumbnail galleryAnother day, another break but today the result was very different, as a plucky trio of escapees meticulously shared the spoils in Chukai, with Jay Thomson and Tobias Erler the biggest beneficiaries on another simmering day in the Malaysian sun.Thomson, who plies his trade for Fly V Australia but is riding the Tour de Langkawi for the South African national squad, took the stage while Tabriz Petrochemical's German recruit, Erler, provided the Iranian team a surprise race lead early in the event after spending most of the day in a breakaway trio that also included Drapac-Porsche's strongman, David Pell.It's the biggest win for the 23-year-old from Krugersdorp, who has also taken South Africa's national time trial title twice. "I came to the Tour de Langkawi with a stage win in mind - I've come off the Tour of Wellington with good form; good preparation in Australia with the heat and humidity there ensured it played out well today, " said Thomson.Following his win in stage two of the recent Tour of Wellington, Thomson knew he had the form to perform well in Malaysia - he explained that the trick was finding the right move to put that condition to good use."Before the stage today we discussed a plan to get somebody in the break - obviously we thought it could be done because of distance of the day and after ISD riding on the front all day we had a feeling that something would stick to the end, " he said."Thanks go to my teammates, who set it up perfectly for me to get into the break today - to get a win plus a bit of a time buffer before Saturday's climb was always a bonus, " added Thomson.A new man in yellowAt the front of the overall standings, Erler, who works as a mathematics and physical education teacher, used the wisdom of a teacher to help guide the break to glory during the 182.3km stage. Having escaped about 50km into the day's proceedings, the importance of correctly pacing their efforts was paramount.The rewards were bountiful for Erler, Thomson and Pell, who now stand three minutes clear of Matthews, a massive advantage overall given that the next three days are also flat ahead of Saturday's ascent in the Genting Highlands."It's great to be in the yellow jersey - I've won one before but to wear it in a race like this, with the world watching, is really nice, " said Erler. "Today we knew I had to be in the breakaway and when I was there we did the perfect job - we rode so smart. I wanted to win the race but I'm in yellow, so I can't complain!He explained the recipe for today's successful break, which was driven by three very strong riders: "When I saw that we had 30 second to a minute, I said that we had to slow down because I knew we would get eight to nine minutes for sure and then they have to ride. So if we opened the gap slowly we'd be closer to the finish [when the other teams began to chase] but if we opened the gap quickly we'd still have 100km to go."We opened the gap really slowly and I told the guys not to forget to eat because it's a hard day. When we saw the first climb I said, 'Now we have to start to ride' to make some hard work for the bunch."When I saw that with 20km to go we had five minutes it was a really nice feeling because everybody was strong and nobody was hiding. Everybody just rode with what they had and it was just a really nice race."The 30-year-old German rode with Ghader Mizbani as part of the Giant Asia squad in 2006, the link bringing him to the Tabriz Petrochemical squad late last year. Last year I talked to Ghader Mizbani and asked him if he'd like to have me in his team - we became friends when I rode with him in 2006 at Giant Asia and he said, 'For sure'. I'm really happy in this team and I went to Iran for a training camp and saw that it's a beautiful country."Asked if he expected to be in the race lead at this event, Erler quickly replied, "No", but added that, "I think I can stay in yellow UNTIL Genting but I probably won't be in yellow after Genting because I know the climb and my team has strong riders plus three minutes is just nothing if they start to ride 20 percent I have to lift up my 83 kilos...I won the yellow in the Tour of Korea and there I saw that the this jersey [the leader's jersey] gives you so much power so I'll fight for it. But I also thinks it's hard to defend to Genting because the race today was hard in the first hour so I hope tomorrow that there's some structure in the race.With Mizbani and Hossein Askari the team's main general classification riders, Erler is also aware that their aspirations come ahead of his own. "If we want to defend the yellow jersey I have to work for myself because they have to save their legs before Genting, but I think there is a chance to spend some more days in yellow, " he explained."I don't want them to have to ride on the front because the big match up will be on Saturday and those guys will ride strongly."Thomson was similarly circumspect about his chances to remain near the top of the standings. "We'll have to assess and see how our legs feel tomorrow - I think every day there's going to be a break and the guys are eager to find it. If we find ourselves in a position where we can conserve those three minutes before Saturday we'll make sure we can keep it till then."We'll have to wait and see what the slopes of Genting have to say - that's all we can do."Full Results 1 Jay Thomson (RSA) South Africa National Team 4:06:54 2 Tobias Erler (Ger) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team 3 David Pell (Aus) Drapac Porsche Cycling 4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Jayco - Skins 0:03:03 5 Anuar Manan (Mas) Geumsan Ginseng Asia 6 Rene Weissinger (Ger) Vorarlberg - Corratec 7 Vidal Celis (Spa) Footon-Servetto 8 Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan National Team 9 Adiq Othman (Mas) Drapac Porsche Cycling 10 Christoff Van heerden (RSA) South Africa National Team
Juegos Centro Americanos y del Caribe Mayaguez 2010