road riding in Penang | Malaysia
|Le Tour de Langkawi, 2007
February 2007 | by Darren Lee | photos by Andrew "Hats" Lee
Photo gallery of Stage 2: Kangar to Kulim, 166km, Saturday 3 February 2007
Ok folks, we begin our TdL 2007 mini-coverage with some photos from the finish of Stage 2 (Kangar to Kulim). Kulim being nearby Penang enabled us lazy photo-journos to hop over from the island to snap some shots of the riders after the stage finish - which, incidentally - is one of the worst times to pick photo ops. Why? Because most of the riders are tired, sweaty, half-dressed, cranky, and just want to get the heck out of there and into the air-conditioned comfort of their hotel rooms. BUT wait..... depending on who you are, sweaty half-dressed men may just be your cup of tea. And I better stop writing along these lines....
So let us move on to the first sweaty half dressed guy (collective groan...)
The most famous rider in this year's TdL, Bouygues Telecom's Thomas Voeckler. We have some photos of him in a tiny towel pulling off his bibshorts, but trust us, this isn't something that excites us, ok? For those who aren't familiar with him, Thomas was (and still is) the hero of France for donning the yellow jersey during the 2004 Tour and gallantly defending it for the next ten days - he even got a pat on the back from Lance Armstrong as he (Lance) rode past him to wrest the yellow jersey that day (I suppose a little pat does make you feel *just* a little better.... ).
Monsieur Voeckler, stylish hairdo in place even after 166 hot kilometres.....
Next, the most popular guy in TdL after Andrea Tafi packed his bags and said "ciao" - Koji Fukushima, who is riding for Nippo-Meitan Hompo this year. _BUT_ we couldn't get a shot of him as he was receiving his Asian Rider jersey, so we snapped one of his brother Shinichi instead:
We also spotted some veteran professionals, amongst them Vladimir Belli (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Selle Italia... phew, what a mouthful):
And recently crowned Doha Asian Games champion Wong Kam Po, riding for the Hong Kong Pro Team:
Credit Agricole was nice to bring along their two national champions, Julian Dean (New Zealand) and Lazlo Bodrogi (Hungary), as you can see here in their national champ jerseys:
Ok, so maybe not in their national champ jerseys.... anyway, Julian Dean looks like he's into Chinese characters and jades....
In fact, this year's TdL seem to be filled with a higher number of national champions than usual, and here we have reigning Russian champion Alexandre Khatuntsev (Unibet) showing the bandages on his left leg after a crash during Stage 1 in Langkawi.
Time to cheer on a Malaysian who made it good in the professional ranks - and no, you're wrong if you guessed Ng Yong Li. It's Loh Sea Kong who has - strangely - not been attracting the publicity he deserves for getting into the Discovery Channel - Marco Polo team. Here he is hanging around (or maybe recovering is the better word) in the team van:
Of course, not forgetting local hero Suhardi Hassan, who was unfortunately caught in the crash at the tailend of Stage 1 - which meant he was already over a minute down by the stage of Stage 2 from Kangar.
We close out with two very famous names from the TdL - Ruben "Tree Trunks" Bongiorno (Ceramiche Panaria Navigare) and the very light Jose Rujano who made his name here before writing his name into the history books of the Giro d'Italia with his 3rd placing in 2005.
Ruben was kind enough to smile and pose for us while Jose Rujano ignored us - or maybe he didn't understand us (and I forgot to bring my Italian phrasebook again this year!).
Finally, in a bit of celeb-cyclo-journo spotting, here we find Anthony Tan and Greg Johnson of cyclingnews.com walking up the finishing straight - not somewhere you want to be about 20 minutes later as you can see from the next photo.
Results for Stage 2:
1. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Ceramiche Panaria Navigare 3.55.41
2 Daryl Impey (RSA) South Africa same time
3 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni same time
Next up: Bikes from Stage 2
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