Wiggins’ best performance yet on world stage
The emergence of highly talented Albany rider Craig Wiggins on the international scene has continued after he secured a podium finish in the 2019 Tour de Langkawi, which wrapped up in Malaysia last week.
Wiggins is part of the St George Continental Cycling Team and competed in the eight-stage UCI-sanctioned race from April 6-13, collecting three top 10 finishes on his biggest stage yet.
Having won his first race on international soil last June and then been part of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Wiggins stepped it up another level at the Tour de Langkawi.
The 19-year-old’s big moment came on the 106km seventh stage when he was part of a bunch sprint at the finish, crossing the line third to stand on the podium with a bronze medal around his neck.
Italian Simone Bevilacqua won the stage from Greek rider Charalampos Kastrantas, with Wiggins producing the best performance of his tour to grab third.
Earlier in the event, Wiggins had finished ninth in stage 5, a gruelling 200km day, and was fourth in stage 6 the next day.
“It was a real hectic tour,” Wiggins said after landing back in Australia yesterday.
“All UCI Asian tour sprints are pretty messy. In the second stage I was right up there when a guy in front swung hard right and hit my front wheel. That was the closest I’ve been to crashing for a while.
“The goal for the tour was to try and get a few podiums, so I was happy to achieve that.
“In that stage there was a lot of road furniture leading into the sprint. I went really early and ran third.”
He finished 10th in the points classification and was 72nd in the general classification standings.
Wiggins said it took a while to adjust to the style of racing and also the conditions but he felt comfortable after a couple of days.
“It’s always been a steady progression for me,” he said.
“This is one level under world tour, so it’s a high-level race.
“It’s a lot different to Australian racing so I used the first few days getting a feel of things and how the front worked and towards the end I started to feel in the zone.”
Wiggins said so much of his preparation and also recovery was based around the final 30km of a stage he referred to as the “business end” and said positioning in that last period was crucial to where riders finished up.
The talented rider will now return home for a strong block of training ahead of his next international venture at the end of May in China.
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