There was no denying how a lot this primary skilled victory meant to Erlend Blikra (Uno-X Professional Biking). The Norwegian had been chasing it because the very first stage of the Tour de Langkawi with a way of urgency, given he’s going through a looming profession crossroads.
The 25-year-old’s season is sort of finished however there isn’t a certainty over the following one as weeks in the past he came upon that his contract with the staff the place he turned skilled in 2020 wouldn’t be renewed, making ends in the eight-day Malaysian tour considerably of a necessity,
“We’ve simply been affected person,” Blikra – who may very well be forgiven for feeling like time was too brief for persistence – advised Cyclingnews in Alor Setar. “We’ve tried daily and the boys have been backing me daily and we’ve got simply been dreaming of at the present time.”
On Sunday Blikra flipped the order of the highest two steps of the rostrum on stage 1. Then he got here second to Gleb Syritsa (Astana-Qazaqstan) and whereas taking to the rostrum in entrance of Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers was a profession finest end result, it wasn’t sufficient.
“It simply confirmed that it was actually potential to win right here and that I’ve the extent that’s wanted to win on this race,” Blikra stated.
This time, attempt as he would possibly Syritsa couldn’t catch Blikra, who had gone effectively out from the road, hitting the entrance at round 150m to go and staying there.
“When the opening got here I simply went for it early and I do know that I’m quick in a lot of these finishes so no one might go,” Blikra stated.
The victory within the 120.4km stage from George City on the island of Penang to Alor Setar means, as a minimum, he’ll be strolling away from the two.Professional ranked Tour de Langkawi with a stage victory and a second place, in addition to a fourth and fifth, plus the final stage is anticipated to ship yet another dash alternative. At present, too, he’s carrying the inexperienced sprinters jersey, together with his victory placing him only one level forward of Syritsa.
Blikra had struggled by means of the primary a part of the season with sickness, COVID-19 included, however in current months they’ve been constructing, hitting a peak at Langkawi, however the query that is still is whether or not or not, in a decent market the place many groups are already full, whether or not he’ll get to maintain constructing on them once more subsequent season?’
“It’s actually been the second a part of the season the place I felt like myself. However I didn’t get my contract prolonged with my staff so I actually nonetheless don’t have a staff for subsequent yr,” stated Blikra
“I used to be advised not so many weeks in the past. So it has been fairly a few tough weeks for me, emotional, so to win right here at present was simply such a aid. I hope this opens up some alternatives.”