Daniel Jaramillo Takes Second on Queen Stage at Le Tour de Langkawi, Moves into Second on GC
The climbers on the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team excelled over the weekend, as Le Tour de Langkawi tackled its Queen Stage to finish atop the Cameron Highlands Climb. Daniel Jaramillo showed huge strength to break away from the chasers up the final climb, separating himself from the pack to finish second on the stage behind fellow Colombian Miguel Lopez.
Jaramillo’s ride was followed up by two strong performances from Jonny Clarke, finishing 5th, and Janez Brajkovic just five seconds back in 10th place. The climb altered the General Classification significantly heading into the flatter stage 5, with Jaramillo then holding third overall.
Stage 5 of Le Tour de Langkawi was back to the flat, sprint-friendly terrain on the long run in to the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Rather than climbing, it was the high humidity and hot temperatures that the riders did battle with over the 150-km distance.
From Kuala Lumpur, the race stayed on the flat for stage 6, a 148-km ride from Putrajaya to Rembau. Working for John Murphy, the team sent Tanner Putt into an early break that spent much of the day up the road. In such hot conditions, it was a difficult day to spend as an escapee, and eventually the group was brought back into the fold. The team then refocused their efforts on setting up Murphy for the sprint. The unrelenting rollers on the run in to the finish, combined with the high heat, severely reduced the bunch. Murphy sprinted from a long way out to make it close the front, coming in 4th across the line.
Daniel Jaramillo, protected by Jonny Clarke, raced intelligently to stay out of trouble on the chaotic stage. By staying with the lead group, combined with mechanical problems for his competitors, Jaramillo moved from third to second place on the General Classification. He now sits just 11 seconds behind the overall leader’s jersey.
Stage 7 of Le Tour de Langkawi is the longest of the race at 203.2 km. The heat and humidity is now the biggest challenge in the later half of the race. As the conditions begin to take a toll on the riders, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will be vigilant in watching for opportunist attacks. With Jaramillo placed so well on the General Classification, the team will focus on protecting his position, as well as setting up the sprinters for the coming fast finishes towards the end of the race.