Jasin, Malaysia – As an encore performance to his second place finish yesterday in the Tour de Langkawi’s 7th Stage, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s Robert Förster took first place in the Tour’s 8th Stage and delivered his Team its first stage win of the season and third podium overall.
After more than 156km of rain-soaked aggressive racing from Kuala Pilah to Jasin, it took a photo-finish review to declare Förster the winner, narrowly edging out friend and competitor Andre Schulze (CCC Polstat Polkowice).
“It’s always good to win, especially on a day like today,” said Förster. “This was a good victory for us as a Team, and it took everyone involved to help get us our first stage win of the season.”
Stage 8 saw the Blue Train from UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team work effectively as a unit. The Stage was filled with an assortment of battles throughout the day and Förster flatted early but Teammates Chris Jones and Max Jenkins helped him back into the bunch. Karl Menzies kept the Team close all day skipping turns off the front, and in the final two kilometers of the race, the Blue Train came together, caught the break and rolled right past it.
Director Eric Greene was pleased with his squad’s work. Greene said, “This was a great Team effort today. Hilton Clarke did a fantastic job navigating and Boy Van Poppel took over through the last turn to bring Robert through for his long sprint finish. Robert did a tremendous job holding off Schulze, who was close at the line. It was too close to call over race radio and after reviewing the photo finish, the race organizer informed us Robert won.”
Weather has played a major factor throughout the Tour de Langkawi, and the forecast ahead is predicting more of the same for the final stages of the peloton’s trek across Malaysia.
“This is the first time we’re racing without radios and that makes it a little tricky, so the guys are keyed in on each other, communicating well and racing really hard,” Greene continued. “Most of these guys didn’t know each other 10 days ago. Yesterday’s result helped them gel as a unit and today’s confirmed how quickly they are getting a feel for each other and what needs to be done to deliver wins.”
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Roster for Le Tour de Langkawi:
Boy Van Poppel