NEWS & MEDIA

MAGNIFICENT 1-2-3 FINISH BY PURE BLACK RACING OPENS TOUR OF BORNEO 2012
Press Release | 27 April 2012

TAWAU - New Zealand's Pure Black Racing Team dominated proceedings in the first ever stage of the Tour of Borneo with Michael Torckler, Louis Crosby and Roman Van Uden taking the top three spots at the end of the 102.8km stage from Semporna to Tawau on the East Coast of Sabah in East Malaysia.

Torckler, 25, attacked right from the start of the race at kilometre zero and was accompanied by Vadim Shaekov of the Suren Uzbekistan team. They went all the way until 20 kilometres to go, when Torckler attacked at the foot of a climb after bagging the second intermediate sprint of the day with the main bunch closing in swiftly.

The main bunch had caught up to Torckler in the final two kilometres but to his delight it was his teammates that were leading the way.

As a bunch sprint looked inevitable, the Pure Black Racing trio surged ahead after there was a split at the front of the bunch and Terengganu Cycling Team's Harrif Salleh chased them down in vain, having to settle for fourth in the stage.

"We didn't know what to expect, so we just prepared for everything. I decided to attack from the start and went away, we just kept going," said Torckler.

"As we approaced a hill after the second sprint, I saw the bunch was closing in so I decided to give it another go on the hill. The bunch then caught up, but I saw it was my two teammates who were there at the front and they urged me to go on.

"It's just fantastic. I've never seen a one-two-three finish before, certainly not in any races I've been in."

Torckler's victory meant that he also became the Tour of Borneo's first ever yellow jersey holder as the overall leader.

Harrif, who finished fourth was the best Asian rider. He holds the blue jersey for the leader of the Asian riders' classification and the white jersey as the leader of the Malaysian riders' classification.

The Tour of Borneo continues with a 146.6 kilometre Stage Two from Tawau to Lahad Datu where the mountains classification comes into play. Two category two climbs are lined along the stage to decide who the Tour of Borneo's first mountains classification leader will be.

The 2.2 category Tour is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and is listed in UCI Asian Tour calendar, it is hoped to promote Sabah as the ultimate sports tourism destination in Malaysia, and promote cycling in the state.

Tour of Borneo covers a total distance of 758.4 kilometer, will start from Semporna and will pass through pictureque locations of Tawau, Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Sepilok, Kundasang and ends in Kota Kinabalu. 20 professional teams consisting of continental, national and club teams have confirmed their participation and will be accompanied by over 520 race officials.

In addition to a challenging route, Tour of Borneo will also held at a time of various festivals held in Sabah such as Regatta Lepa Lepa, Sabah Fest, Borneo International Marathon and Kadazan Harvest Festival celebrations which kicks off on 1st May, providing an opportunity for fans from within and outside the country to experience the joy of a holiday in the state.

Tour of Borneo is monitored by UCI President Commissaire from New Zealand, Zac Prendergast. The organizer’s main objective is to promote interest in cycling among the younger generations in Sabah, and expose Malaysian riders to more international level competition, thus contributing to the development of cycling in Malaysia.