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Wednesday April 22, 2009

Hossein powers to victory in Stage Three

KOTA BARU: Iran’s Hossein Nateghi powered his way to win Stage Three of the Tour of Malaysia from Grik in Perak to Tanah Merah in Kelantan yesterday.

The Azad University Continental Team rider clocked 4’05:30 to reach the finishing line of the 172.7km race ahead of a group of 34 other riders.

“This was the hardest stage. My target at this stage was to win the red polka dot jersey (awarded to the King of the Mountain) but winning the stage is also a big thing,” he said.

Riding to glory: Iran’s Hossein Nateghi (right) raising his hands to celebrate after winning Stage Three of the Tour of Malaysia Tuesday. — Bernama

“Although I did not win it (the jersey), at least, my team-mate has it.”

Hossein noted that the next two stages were meant for the sprinters and said he would leave it to the sprinters to accomplish his team’s target of winning this year’s race.

In yesterday’s race, Abbas Saeditanha collected 15 points to grab the red polka dot jersey. “I am happy that I achieved my target to win the jersey.

“I’m happy with the results as our team are on top in the team standings.

“I hope the jersey remains with us until the end,” said Abbas.

Another Iranian, Team Tabriz Petrochemical’s Mehdi Sohrabi grabbed the yellow jersey (overall leader) from Makoto Iijima of Bridgestone Anchor team.

Seasoned campaigner Suhardi Hassan is tops in the Malaysian individual standings.

“It was a tough race. After completing three stages, my hopes of winning the yellow jersey have been dashed.

“But being the top Malaysian rider is still a good accomplishment as this year’s race is not easy,” he said.

Today’s 177.5km Stage Four is from Pasir Mas in Kelantan to Kuala Terengganu. — Bernama

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