Ewan grabs Langkawi stage 6 win, extends GC lead

The Australian holds a 27-second advantage in the overall standings ahead of the summit finish to Saturday's stage 7

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Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) snagged his second stage win at the Tour de Langkawi Friday, winning stage 6 in a bunch sprint.

Ewan extended his lead in the GC following the 96.6-kilometer stage from Maran to Karak, and now holds a 27-second buffer over Natnael Berhane and a 30-second advantage over Youcef Reguigui, both of MTN-Qhubeka.

The 20-year-old Australian out-sprinted Jakub Mareczko (Southeast) and Chris Sutton (Sky) to claim his second victory of the week at the race in Malaysia. Ewan also won stage 3.

“Hopefully it will be really nice to bring home a jersey in my first international tour as a professional,” Ewan said of leading the points competition. “I said we came into the tour with the aim of winning at least one stage and now we won two and hopefully the blue [points] jersey. So we already exceeded our expectations and are really happy with how it’s been so far.”

Ewan is hopeful he’ll be able to hold onto the yellow leader’s jersey after stage 7, a 180.8km route that contains a Category 2 climb 100km from the finish before ending in the Cat. 1 climb of Fraser’s Hill.

“I think for me to win the yellow jersey, the race is going to have to go my way and I’ll have to have really, really good legs, which doesn’t usually happen in cycling,” Ewan said. “I’ll hope for it, but if happens it happens. If it doesn’t, I never came into the tour expecting it anyway.

“I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to actually get the yellow tomorrow cause I now it’s not really a possibility but I will go hard to try to keep it, but we’ll see what happens.”

Following Saturday’s stage 7, the Tour de Langkawi concludes Sunday with the 96km stage 8.

Aaron S. Lee contributed to this report.

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