National championship attracts more than 500 riders

KUALA LUMPUR: Riders from two intercontinental teams — Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) and Sapura Cycling Team (TSC) — are expected to dominate the National Road Championship starting in Manong, Perak, tomorrow.

Malaysian National Cycling Federation president Datuk Abu Samah Abdul Wahab said preparations for the national road team for the 2023 Cambodia Sea Games will also start with the National Championship which covers 165.2km and will be participated by more than 500 riders.

TSG riders will be out to make up for the disappointment of the 2021 edition where TSC veteran Saari Amri Abd Rasim clinched the men's elite title.

"From what I can see, the competition to don the national team jersey will be between the riders from TSG or Sapura. If we look at the recent form, it's tough for state cyclists to challenge riders attached to TSG or Sapura," said Abu Samah.

"However, we cannot discount the other talents from the states, including riders from uniformed bodies like Police's Elmi Jumari who can cause upsets... it's common to have upsets in cycling.

"I have never seen more than 500 cyclists participating in the National Championship before... this is a very positive sign for Malaysian cycling."

On the selection for the 2023 Sea Games, Abu Samah said he will ask national coach Datuk Ng Joo Ngan to monitor cyclists at the National Championship.

"Datuk Joo Ngan had done an excellent job at the Vietnam Sea Games, where we managed to win a gold medal. We believe he can do a good job for the next Sea Games as well."

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