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CYCLING: Shahrin almost there


NATIONAL cross country mountain bike champion Shahrin Amir is on the verge of sealing the one title he's been longing for when he regained the overall lead after the penultimate stage of the Tour de Timor yesterday.

Sabahan Shahrin, 27, who lost the lead to Australian Peter Kutschera on Thursday when Malaysian Razif Salleh took his second stage win in the race, yesterday also maintained his lead in the mountains classification.

Finishing behind stage winner Ashley Hayat of Australia, Shahrin also opened up a comfortable three minutes, 38 seconds lead over Kutschera after the Australian was held up by multiple punctures during the 115km stage.

All that remains is for Shahrin to stay in contact with the front of the pack in the final stage heading into the Timorese capital city of Dili today, to finally register the overall victory which he has missed out on since the inaugural Tour in 2009.

The gruelling 115-kilometre route was mostly dirt and broken road and with over two kilometres of climbing from Mota Ain to the mountain town of Gleno in the coffee growing district of Ermera, 55 kilometres north of Dili.

Shahrin has 102 points in the mountains classification and leads Australia's Jarrod Hughes by two points.

Shahrin finished second overall in the inaugural tour, third in 2010 and last year.

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