MPC sprinter Izzat wins Tour of Thailand green jersey

KUALA LUMPUR: Izzat Hilmi Abdul Halil capped a stellar debut outing with Malaysia Pro Cycling (MPC) by winning the green jersey at the Tour of Thailand today.

He finished the sixth and final stage of the tour in second place behind St George Continental's Nick Kergozou who won in four hours, 25 minutes and 47 seconds.

Go For Gold Philippines' Aidan Mendoza came in third in the bunch sprint. National team rider Iqbal Daniel Nawawi was the only other Malaysian rider in the top-10 as Terengganu Cycling Team sprinter Irwandie Lakasek crashed less than 1km from the finish.

The sixth stage started in Phichit and ended in Si Thep Historical Park. At 190.8km long, it was the second longest in the tour.

The result saw Izzat, who finished third in the opening stage and second in the second stage, taking home the green jersey (points classification) after collecting 46 points.

Thailand Continental Cycling Team's Sarawut Sirironnachai (43) and Roojai Insurance's Adne Van Engelen (35) settled for second and third.

MPC team principal Sayuti Zahit said it was a solid way to end their first UCI-level tour since being launched in August.

MPC is the successor of the now defunct Team Sapura Cycling. Izzat joined MPC in January.

"We wanted to go for the stage win today and were really close to achieving it," said Sayuti.

"We are, however, still very happy to come away with another podium finish and also secure the green jersey.

"It is a positive way to end the tour with four podium finishes here."

MPC's Zulfikri Zulkifli, Syawal Mazlin and Fahmi Khairul placed third, fourth and fifth in the fifth stage yesterday.

Van Engelen claimed the yellow jersey, winning in 22:20:32s. Thailand Continental Cycling Team' Thanakhan Chaiyasombat (+9s) and TSG's Anatolii Budiak (+12s) ended the tour in second and third place overall.

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