Oliver’s Real Food Racing (Aus) notched their first stage win at Jelajah Malaysia thanks to a dominant performance from Brendon Davids in the third stage today.
Davids, who switched from mountain bike to road recently, was in fine form in the 141.5km stage which started in the Royal town of Kuala Kangsar and ended in Kulim.
The South African left his opponents in the dust as he powered up the first climb (cat 3) at Bukit Sumpitan (63km) and was unstoppable from there as he went into time trial mode en route to victory in 3:20:15s.
Malaysian rider Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi, who was third in the second stage, was second (+2:16s) while Sapura’s Aiman Cahyadi (+2:19s) was third.
Davids said it was memorable win having recently joined the Australian outfit.
“I took a lot of risks on the downhill sections and reached 100kmh at some points,” said Davids.
“The guys (chasing group) left it a little bit late, (maybe because) I am still quite unknown here, this is only my second race (after moving).
“The climbs suited me, the longer they are, the more I could get into a rhythm.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a tough day and I am not sure how my body is going to react after a big effort today, we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Davids now leads the general classification and has a 1:02s advantage over second placed Ryan Thomas, who is also his teammate.
Thomas stressed that the duo will be going all out in the penultimate stage tomorrow.
“It was a very hard day, obviously harder for Brendon who was out there alone in front,” said Thomas.
“Tomorrow’s going to be even tougher, obviously me and Brendon aren’t going to give up and will give it our best.”
The 101.3km stage from Kulim to Gunung Jerai tomorrow will feature a 1,217m climb and is likely to decide the overall winner of Jelajah Malaysia this year.
Photos by Zamzuri Bin Bakar