Shah Alam, Malaysia— Barring any major mishap, Simon Carr of EF Education Pro Cycling Team is all set to claim the PETRONAS Le Tour de Langkawi 2023 throne on Saturday.
Carr cruised to the finish of stage 7 trouble-free and retained the individual overall leadership on Friday.
As expected, the mostly flat 126-km stage posed no significant challenges to the British climber as he joined the peloton in another mass finish at Seremban, preserving a comfortable 49-second lead against second-placed, teammate Alexander Cepeda Ortiz with a cumulative time of 26 hours, 5 minutes and 14 seconds.
Most of the battle happened between Ortiz and third-running Equipo Kerm Pharma’s Pablo Castrillo, who is now just seven seconds adrift.
Carr admitted that the tight battle for the second and third helped remove the pressure away from him.
“I had the opportunity to settle down and just keep an eye on things—to stay safe and continue the efforts,” said Carr who is looking forward to a hassle-free ride to the finish of Saturday’s Stage 8 and the overall winner’s trophy of this annual cycling spectacle.
Also gaining from the skirmish among tour leaders was Human Powered Health’s Sasha Weemaes, who took the stage with a time of 2:31.45.
The final stage is a 156.5-km race from Setia Alam to Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, with two short King of the Mountain and three Sprint portions.
Arvid De Kleijn of Tudor continues to lord it over in the Sprint honor, although he has always been wary of Asian riders always trying to break away from the peloton and making the race faster.
This includes the remaining four Filipino riders from the 7-Eleven-Cliqq-Air21-RoadbikePhilippines—Nichol Pareja, Ryan Tugawin, Ismael Gorospe, and Rench Michael Bondoc—who vowed to get at least one honor in the Sprint category or Asian classification in the final stage.