Zulhelmi eager for more opportunities after strong LTdL debut

KUALA LUMPUR: Road-and-track cyclist Zulhelmi Zainal, 23, is keen on securing a spot in a UCI continental team next season.

He made an impressive Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) debut with the national team last month when he finished stage four as the best Asian rider.

Zulhelmi served as Izzat Hilmi Abdul Halim's lead-out man in the flatter stages and helped the latter achieve two top-five finishes in the UCI ProSeries tour.

"I was happy with how my first LTdL went. I think the six of us (riders) had good chemistry. We are like one big family," he said recently.

"I am grateful for the opportunity that national coach Yusof Nasir gave me. I hope we will get more opportunities to race together as a team. There is a lot of potential.

" For me, I'm looking for opportunities to join a continental team (next season).

"We'll see how things go. I think being able to race in more tours is important (for development).

"But for now, I will focus on preparing for the Asian Track Cycling Championships (ACC) next year.

"I made some mistakes at the last ACC and am looking to do better this time."

He is equally adept on the track where he competes in the elimination and scratch-race disciplines.

He won gold in the individual pursuit at the Asian juniors in Nilai in 2018.

Next year's ACC will be held in New Delhi in February.

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