Cycling - Chicchi wins final Langkawi stage as Arredondo claims GC

Francesco Chicchi sprinted to the final stage of the Tour de Langkawi as Julian Arredondo secured the overall win, the biggest of his career.

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Cycling - Chicchi wins final Langkawi stage as Arredondo claims GC
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Francesco Chicchi (Imago)

Vini Fantini-Selle Italia rider Chicchi stayed close to Rico Rogers (Synergy-Baku), who had begun his sprint early, before accelerating to his second stage of the 10-day race.

Graeme Brown, the lead-out man for Theo Bos before the Dutchman retired through illness, continued Blanco's excellent start to the season with third place into Kuala Terengganu.

Italian Chicchi took enough intermediate sprints to win the points leader's jersey while Colombian Team Nippo-De Rosa rider Arredondo, a former U23 star, easily finished in the main group.

"I've prepared for this race very well... I've raced Langkawi in a small team but everyone from the team has done their best on the road," said Arredondo.

"This team is like a family and in the difficult moments of the race they have remained close to me.

"I hope this is only my first victory and there are many more to come.

"I hope to have the opportunity to join a big team and I've made a lot of sacrifices to reach that goal."

Chicchi was over the moon with his points triumph. Andrea Guardini (Astana) was in prime position to take the points jersey before he became affected by food poisoning ahead of the final two stages.

"Hey, what can I do?" Chicchi said. "I came here with the goal of winning the points jersey and I got it. I've been lucky once in 10 years.

"I'm very happy, for me and my team. We wanted to win one stage and we pulled all day for the win. We won stages and the blue jersey, we are very happy.

"This team has worked a lot for me. This year there were a lot of sprinters like Theo Bos and myself. [There are] great sprinters from big ProTeams. We are just happy with what we have achieved here.

"I'm always strong at the beginning of the season and this year is different because I am considered one of the leaders. This is not a WorldTour team but it's a team where we are united and friends. Our friendship makes it a great team, even if we are not in the WorldTour."

Meiyin Wang (Hengxiang Cycling Team) confirmed his King of the Mountains win on the flat 114.8km loop.

Diago Rosa (Androni Giocatolli), Meron Russom (MTN-Qhubeka), Amin Sharul (Terengganu), Seo Keong Loh (OCBC), Yasuharu Nakajima (Aisan Racing Team) and Rauf Nur Misbah (Malaysian National Team) led an early breakaway, building a steady two-minute lead.

Nakajima was dropped around 47km then not long afterwards five became two as Rosa and Rauf sustained their attack. On the second lap of six around the 5km finishing circuit in the seaside town, Rosa was alone out front with a lead of 30 seconds.

He was sucked in with plenty of time to spare and the teams jostled for control before the final sprint.

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