Brad White earned the first win of the 2014 season for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team men’s squad today in stage 5 of the Tour de Langkawi. After two podium appearances and three days in the top three of the general classification, it was clear that the Blue Train was in Langkawi to race and a win was coming.
Brad’s fantastic stage victory did not come easy, as stage 2 saw many of the Blue Train riders caught up in a hard crash in the final kilometers. The team recovered and fought on together, with Brad in the breakaway and then a solo attack on the very next day. Brad’s form and commitment have been incredible this week, as he earned his way into today’s breakaway for the third consecutive day. While his legs must have felt the toll of the massive back-to-back efforts, Brad followed the guidance of his director, Hendrik Redant, working hard early in the day to build the breakaway’s advantage, then saving energy and strength for the finale. The 5-rider breakaway was reduced to just 3, leaving more work for Brad but also strengthening his desire for the attack to succeed and allow him a chance for the victory. The breakaway companions fought for position in the final kilometers, with Brad emerging the strongest in the final sprint.
Brad White commented on his victory, “Big win today. They say the third time is the charm – this was the third day in a row in the break and I am happy to be able to come away with the win. After coming so close to a win on stage 3, I was hungry for a win once I found myself in the break again today. Isaac had a great ride yesterday and team moral is high. It’s not often that a break stays away in a big race like this. When it happens you can’t let it slip away. I can’t express how happy I am for the win and all the support I have from teammates, staff, sponsors, family, and friends. I could not do it without all these people.”
Redant concluded, “Talent, conviction, and perseverance, 3 key words that lead Brad to victory today! ? He is very talented and strong; believes in what he does, and never gives up! ?All of this resulted in victory today two days after his first attempt for a stage win!”
Results from the fifth stage of the
Tour de Langkawi on Monday, a 139.9 kilometre (86.9 miles) route from Karak to
Rembau in eastern Malaysia:
Top three places in Stage 5:
1. Bradley White (USA/UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) 3hr 3 min 28 sec, 2.
Thomas Rabou (NED/OCBC Singapore) same time, 3. Louis Meintjes (RSA/MTN -
Qhubeka) at 4 secs
Top three places overall:
1. Mirsamad Pourseyedigolakhour (IRI/Tabriz Petrochemical Team) 15hr 14 min
4 sec, 2. Merhawi Kudus (ERI/MTN – Qhubeka) at 8 secs, 3. Isaac Bolivar
(COL/UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) at 11 secs