Filepic shows Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin crossing the finish line at the national cycling championships in 2011.
PETALING JAYA: National road champion Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin is giving the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) a miss this year.
The Terengganu Cycling rider has opted to stay back with his wife Anis Natasha Ishak who is scheduled to deliver their first child on March 7. The LTdL will be held from Feb 27-March 8,
“I’m excited about the race but the truth is I just can’t wait to be a father. I think it’s better for me to be beside my wife,” said the 23-year-old.
Despite missing Shahrul, Terengganu Cycling will not be short of quality riders.
Tipped to be the main rider for stage wins is sprinter Mohd Harrif Salleh. He will have the support from former LTdL stage winner Anuar Manan, who returned to the team after his stint with Azerbaijan outfit Synergy Baku Cycling last season.
Also in the team is 2012 London Olympic cyclist Adiq Husainie Othman, who will start his first season with the team after his former team Champion System folded last year.
Others in the team are Mohd Zamri Salleh, Mohd Saufi Mat Senan and Mohd Saiful Anuar Aziz.
Shahrul, a regular LTdl competitor since 2010, believes his team-mates have the ability to mix it up with the big boys in the race.
Among the stars coming for the race are two-time stage winner Theo Bos of Holland (Belkin), defending points classification champion Francesco Chicchi of Italy (Neri Sottoli) and Italian Andrea Guardini (Astana), the record holder for LTdL stage wins with 12 victories,
“We were unable to get on the podium last year. This time, I believe we have a good chance.
“We participated in a number of races to prepare for the LTdL this year so I think we are in much better form. Last year we didn’t have any races under our belts before the LTdL,” said Shahrul.