Carstensen conquers heat, first stage of Tour of Thailand

Carstensen conquers heat, first stage of Tour of Thailand

German cyclist Lucas Carstensen, right, celebrates as he crosses the finish line.
German cyclist Lucas Carstensen, right, celebrates as he crosses the finish line.

German cyclist Lucas Carstensen of Roojai Insurance team on Monday braved the hot weather prevailing in the country to win the opening stage of the Tour of Thailand, which offers the prestigious Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup to the winner.

Thailand's Ratchanon Yaowarat was also in the limelight after emerging as the best Asean cyclist and as the overall leader in the intermediate sprints to take the purple and green jerseys.

The 131km first stage started in Phitsanulok and finished in Sukhothai.

The opening ceremony was presided over by Deputy Governor of Phitsanulok province, Songpol Vichaikantaka, who was accompanied by the Thai Cycling Association president Gen Decha Hemkrasri.

Dato Amarjit Singh Gill, an executive member of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the secretary-general of Asian Cycling Federation, said: "I am confident that this tournament will be a great success."

He also praised the scenic routes for the tour stages.

Ratchanon of Thailand Continental Cycling team won the Intermediate Sprints (IS1 and IS2) which gave him six-second extra time. He also won the Most Combative Award of the stage.

Carstensen crossed the finish line in 3.00.06 hours to take the yellow jersey.

Finishing in second spot was the South Korean cyclist Park Sang-Hong from LX Cycling team, with Malaysian Mohammad Izzat Hilmi Abdul Halil from Malaysia Pro Cycling team claiming the third place. The top Thai performers in the first stage were national team cyclist Warut Paekrathok, who finished fifth, and Sarawut Sirironnachai, who took the sixth place with the same time of 3.00.16 hours.

The Thailand Continental Cycling team claimed the top spot in the overall team general classification, finishing with a time of 9 hours and 48 seconds.

The 202.30km second stage on Tuesday will start at 9am from Sukhothai and finish at the Sukhothai Historical Park after passing through Kamphaeng Phet.

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