South African Kent Main believes the iconic Genting Highlands climb, back after a four-year absence from the Tour de Langkawi, will be a deciding factor in the race that starts in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, tomorrow.
Main, who will be ProTouch’s general classification rider in the eight-stage tour, said he felt the fourth stage from Shah Alam to the Genting Highlands would be the hardest.
“I think that will be where the GC is decided. It’s going to be a tough task.”
The climb features an average gradient of 7.3%, is 22.7km in length and has 1 713m of ascent.
The 23-year-old said he felt confident ahead of the race in which his team would be making its debut.
“I’m really looking forward to hopefully pushing the boundaries and getting a top-10 result.
“Firstly my objective is to have a good GC placing, which will be pretty good.”
“I’ve got Clint with me and I think we race well together and can work well in both situations, for myself and for him.”
He added that it was tough to discuss and put a plan in place for eight days as everything could change on each day of a tour with stages ranging between 103.8km and 200.1km.
“We’ll just need to be able to adapt and change things as we go along, but the biggest thing is to communicate well and take any opportunity that may come our way.
“We’re all pretty confident and will give it our best shot and hopefully throw a spanner in the works with the stage and GC results.”
Main felt that with the tour not having any WorldTour teams it would not be “super controlled”.
“That’s always difficult and it means that the race will be aggressive.”