McCabe would later say the team delivered the best lead out he ever had. It snapped the peloton and created a gap off the front allowing Travis to post up at 50m to go, gliding into yellow and green. It was one of the defining moments of the 2019 Le Tour de Langkawi
A second defining moment of Langkawi came a day later on Stage 4’s summit finish up the Genting, a relentless 27km hors catégorie climb whose grade exceeds 10% over the final 10km. Australian Ben Dyball (Sapura) fulfilled pre-race predictions and won the stage, taking over yellow which he would not relinquish for the remainder of the race. Our young American climber, 23 year-old Keegan Swirbul, finished an impressive 3rd up Genting and would finish the race 2nd in GC.
Travis would slip into the break and use the 2 min advantage at the bottom of Genting to finish a hard fought 12th, just behind teammate Serghei Tvetcov. In the end, the Genting stage structured the GC for the 2019 rendition of Le Tour de Langkawi with Travis ultimately finishing 10th, Tvetcov 11 and U23 Nick Zukowsky finishing 14th. Alongside Keegan’s 2nd in GC, Travis would win the Points Competition and with 4 #maddogs in the top 15, the Team Competition was a lock.
The team had a great time in Malaysia and their ability to animate the race added swagger to the experience. But if you haven’t been there, you should visit Malaysia. The people are incredible and the country will welcome you with slick cities and sticky jungle. The race organizers did a fantastic job of showcasing Malaysia and then the country took care of the rest. Hey, monkeys broke into Travis’ room and stole crackers. I think one of them was later glimpsed amongst the thick foliage wearing Travis’ Floyd’s Pro Cycling polo shirt, scratching and sniffing the Biemme logo on the chest. At the end of the race our absolutely exhausted, moustached mechanic, Richard Knuston, was not the only team member wishing he arranged to stay a few days to check out more sights. Langkawi is more than the race. The Malaysian atmosphere, like the humidity that thickens the experience, envelops you warmly and we are lovin’ it.
Final note: One of the great people we met was Kwee Jin. He took awesome photos of the race for the first few stages. The man has talent and has generously allowed us to share a gallery with you. Enjoy.