Champion System Pro Cycling Team's Chad Beyer climbed into fifth overall at the Tour of Langkawi following Saturday's challenging stage that featured more than 1,500 meters of climbing.
A five-man breakaway escaped early in the 141-kilometer race that ended with a summit finish at Cameron Highlands. The escapees built a lead of more than 13 minutes as the Blanco Pro Cycling Team of previous race leader Theo Bos failed to take up the chase.
Heading up the final climb, the breakaway and the peloton behind splintered. Champion System's Chris Butler and Beyer were in the front chase group pursuing Meiyin Wang (Hengxiang Cycling Team). He soloed from the breakaway to win by nearly two-and-a-half minutes and take the overall lead.
Beyer finished 11th on the stage, 3:13 behind Wang. He is now Champion System's best-placed rider overall at 3:35 behind.
"I felt pretty good," Beyer said. "With two guys away, I had a shot at third, but I went too early and didn't expect the uphill kick around the last bend. It's nice to be sitting top five, and I'm happy with the way I felt today. But I know Genting (finish of Stage 5) is a hard climb and there's a lot of racing still to come."
Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said the nature of the final ascent did not suit Butler, who is one of the team's top climbers. He finished 31st, 5:19 behind, and is 31st overall, 5:41 off the lead.
"It was a speed climb, not a pure climber's ascent," Beamon said. "I think the pace was just too fast for him with high-speed, twisty climbing. I'm still optimistic that he can improve on the Genting climb, and Chad is in a strong position now."
Sunday's stage of the 10-day race is 168 km and features a lumpy profile and three intermediate sprints.