ANUAR Manan will begin the new year back in his home state after signing for his former outfit the Terengganu Cycling Team.
This offers a mouthwatering prospect for local fans who have longed to see the country's top two sprinters Anuar and Harrif Saleh link up again.
Having spent the past two seasons with the Champion System team and then Azerbaijan's Synergy-Baku Cycling Project, Anuar is keen to re-establish himself as Asia's top sprinter.
While Harrif, 26, is preparing quite successfully for Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) on Feb 27-March 7, by raking in multiple podiums in criteriums and track events in Australia, Anuar has just completed a solid end to his year.
Riding on loan with Brunei-based CCN Cycling Team, Anuar, 27, swept quadruple victories -- three stages in the Tour of Poyang Lake and the one-day Mount Wuyi Cycle Classic earlier this month.
Anuar had signed for the Terengganu Cycling Team hoping to work under coach Sebastien Duclos, who however, has left the squad.
"That was sad as I was looking forward to working with Duclos. But now, I've discussed with the rest of the team and us riders will work on our own programmes for the moment," said Anuar.
Olympian Adiq Husainie Othman also joins the team, making it a formidable one featuring all Terengganu-born stars, including Amir Mustafa Rusli, Zamri Saleh, Saufi Mat Senan and national champion Shahrul Mat Amin.
"The riders will formulate our own training programme and plans for the moment. I spoke to Adiq and I think we will be able to do something good together again," said Anuar. Anuar and Adiq Husainie were teammates on the Champion System team two years ago.
The team will also feature Asian road race and time trial champion Muratjan Halmuratov of Uzbekistan, who is thus far their only foreign signing for the new season.
Last week the Terengganu Cycling Team created history when Mohd Nor Umardi Rosdi became only the second Malaysian to win a UCI Asia Tour race overall title when he won the Tour of India. By Arnaz M. Khairul