Sprinter Izzat gains second chance with Malaysia Pro Cycling

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Pro Cycling (MPC) is hoping to see a more mature and focused Izzat Hilmi Abdul Halim achieve his full potential with the team.

MPC team principal Sayuti Zahit had previously signed Izzat for MPC's predecessor, Team Sapura Cycling, but was released after three years in 2019 following stagnating performances.

Izzat, however, showed strong form in last season's Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) in which he placed fourth in the opening stage and fifth in the eighth stage. The 28-year-old was riding for the national team at the time.

This was despite Izzat being without a permanent team since leaving Sapura at the end of 2019.

"Izzat has been out of the (professional team) system for some time so the fact that he has been able to maintain his level of performance is impressive," said Sayuti recently.

"It shows that he still has a strong desire to achieve results in the sport and was willing to do whatever it took to stay competitive. This motivation is key for any athlete.

"He was quite impressive in LTdL last year so we decided to bring him back.

"He will likely be our main sprinter for this season. We are hoping he will continue to improve with us."

MPC are one of three Malaysian teams that have had their participation confirmed for this year's LTdL (Sept 29-Oct 6).

The other two teams are fellow UCI continental side Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) and the Malaysian national team.

MPC, which was launched in August, missed out on competing in last season's LTdL.

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