Monday, 28 Sep 2020
SPORTS
15/09/2020 08:13 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 -- Malaysia’s continental team Team Sapura Cycling (TSC) will use the 2020 Malaysian National Road Race Championship as a platform to consolidate their position at the top of the UCI Tour of Asia.

TSC team manager Mohd Sayuti Mohd Zahit said his team want to finish as the number one Asian team when the 2020 season draws to a close in November.

He said the championship offers high ranking points which could prove crucial to the team’s bid to hold on to the top spot, especially after they have cancelled their participation in the Tour of Thailand next month due to time constraint.

“This national meet is our last championship for this season before we take a break and start preparations for the 2021 season. Our full concentration is on this meet because big points are awarded to winners due to the existence of the U-23 (under-23) and elite categories.

“Thorough preparations have been made because a good showing will allow us to maintain the number one ranking in Asia until November,” he said at the Project Restart TSC press conference and introduction of riders here today.

The elite riders representing TSC in the meet are Akmal Hakim Zakaria and Muhsin Al Redha Misbah while the U-23 cyclists are Mohamad Saari Amri Abd Rasim, Muhammad Hakimi Ajis, Muhammad Shaiful Adlan Mohd Shukri and Muhammad Nur Aiman Rosli.

TSC are leading the ranking list with 1,119 points while another local team, Terengganu Inc TSG Cycling Team (TSG), are second with 720 points and Kazakhstan Vino-Astana Motors are third with 462 points.

Meanwhile, Akmal Hakim, the 2019 road race runner-up, is determined to go one better this year although he is aware of the stiff competition in store, especially from defending champion Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Mazuki of TSG.

“Finishing second last season has motivated me to aim higher this year. My chances are there and I just have to stay focused on the planning done by our coach,” he added.

Akmal said he has been itching for action after being laid low by the COVID-19 pandemic despite doing home training.

This year’s national championship will be held from Sept 18 to 20 in Melaka, involving road race, individual time trial and team time trial events.

-- BERNAMA

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