Łukasz Owsian didn’t want to settle for 2nd place in GC at Le Tour de Langkawi and rolled the dice on the last stage to fight for overall victory. He attacked with 50km to go and even though his group was not able to hold off the chasers, it was still an amazing performance by the Polish rider, as he finishes Malaysian 2.HC event in 2nd place.
Info: Stage 8, March 25th, Rembau – Kuala Lumpur, 171km
The final stage was the last chance for Łukasz Owsian to take over the GC lead and win the overall. He was 28 seconds behind Artem Ovechkin and was not going to give up easily. CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider attacked soon after the 3-man breakaway got caught, on Hulu Langat climb, with around 50km to go. He was joined in his attempt by 7 other riders and at one point they had 1 minute advantage over the bunch. Owsian also picked up some bonus seconds at intermediate sprint (was 3rd).
With 20km to go, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Dimension Data), Scott Sunderland (Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team) and Simone Velasco (Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia) decided to make their move from the break. Owsian wasn’t able to respond and since at the moment of attack the gap was only at 20 seconds, Polish rider got caught soon after.
The trio gained 50 seconds on the pack, but eventually got reeled in on final, 6,5-kilometer circuit around Kuala Lumpur. The last stage ended with a bunch sprint which was taken by Andrea Guardini (Bardiani CSF). Manuel Belletti (Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia) and Luca Pacioni (Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia) rounded out the podium, while Marko Kump was also in the mix and finished in 5th place.
Owsian arrived to the line in the bunch to maintain his 2nd place overall, 27 seconds behind the winner, Ovechkin and 5 seconds ahead of Benjamin Dyball (St. George Continental Cycling Team).
I approached this stage with the thought that this is my only chance to do something, so I need take a risk and go for it. On the second climb of the day I did exactly that, when I broke clear with some GC contenders. We worked well together, but unfortunately we got caught on the finishing circuits. My teammates did a great job in the finale, as they were chasing a small group, with Dimension Data rider, who was a threat for us in the general standings. They helped me a lot and I want to thank them for that. I finished the stage knowing that I gave everything I had – Owsian explained.
2nd place in HC category race is very important, if not the most important result in my career. Looking back I think I might have done some things different and a victory was within my reach. You learn by making mistakes and I hope that this experience will pay off in the future.