KEMAMAN, Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team’s sprint specialist Mohd Harrif Saleh is not confident of holding on to the White Jersey for the best Asian rider despite winning it in the second stage of the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2020 today.
The 31-year-old rider said stage three tomorrow would be particularly tough as it involves many hilly stretches, which would give an edge to hill-climb riders.
“I am happy with the victory today but expect the Kazakhstan riders (from Vino-Astana Motors) to dominate day three tomorrow because most of them are very experienced in hilly terrain.
“So, maybe the chances are good for Carlos (Julian Quintero) of Colombia, who is experienced in both hilly and flat terrains but I hope not to be left far behind, he told reporters today.
Mohd Harrif, who is fondly known as ‘Mamat’, grabbed the White Jersey after clocking 4 hr 5 min and 29 sec to finish among the top 10 in stage two, which at 261.1km is the longest route in the cycling race, which will end in Pulau Langkawi, Kedah on Feb 15.
Former TSG Cycling Team rider Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman, who announced his retirement in January last year, is the only Malaysian to have won the White Jersey in the prestigious Asian race since its inception in 1996.
Another national rider, Muhamad Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff of Team Sapura Cycling, expressed satisfaction with his performance today after grabbing nine points in three intermediate sprint zones — Chendering, Rantau Abang and Bandar Al Muktafi Billah Shah.
That enabled the Setiu-born rider to earn a time bonus of nine seconds and jump to fourth overall with a total time of 5 hr 57 min and 38 sec after two stages.
The 162.5km stage three tomorrow is from Dataran Temerloh to KLCC, involving three sprint zones in Mentakab, Desa Bakti and Mempaga and three climbing zones in Bukit Damar, Bentong and Genting Sempah.
Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)