The 4th and most decisive Queen’s stage of the Tour de Langkawi’s is today. Whoever wins the stage, he will go on to win the Yellow Jersey by the end of the week.
In 2014, Mera Lilo was very close finishing in second place only 4 seconds behind an Iranian rider who came back to racing only few months earlier after serving his 2 years ban following his use of illegal performance enhancing substance. He continued to protect his yellow jersey that year while Mera finished a close second.
Two years ago in 2017, Mekseb Debesay emphatically won the Cameron height but the gap wasn’t enough to win himself the Yellow Jersey and owing to few seconds lost in the previous stage and the team protecting Ryan Gibbon for the GC. The following year, Mekseb was so unlucky to have crashed out and sustained a broken collar bone one day before the Queen stage that he won the previous year…. As he was indeed best positioned for the yellow Jersey, it was heart breaking moment. However, in the absence of the favourite Mekseb Debesay, Metkel Eyob’s Russian teammate , Artem Ovechkin rose up to the plate to win the Queen’s stage last year followed in third place by Amanuel Gherezgiaber. And courtesy of that stage, Artem Ovechkin went on to maintain the GC and the yellow jersey till the end.
Could it be third time lucky today for Eritrean riders this year…. Metkel Eyob is indeed a very capable climber and provided that his team Terreganu gives him the team-protection, which he deserves for the GC, Metkel will be destined for the prestigious yellow jersey this year.
Metkel is an all rounded rider…in both sprint insisted & climbing….
The Genting heights stretches for over 20km and at an average gradient of 7.5%. That is very hard as compared to last year’s Cameron heights stretching over 15km and at an average gradient of 3.7%, which is half of that of the Genting heights today. The race has already started and expected to end in about 2-3 hours.
All the best of lucks to Metkel Eyob.