PETALING JAYA: A lot of work needs to be done in the next four months if Malaysia are to end a decade-old drought in road cycling at the Singapore SEA Games in June.
Adiq Hussainie Othman, seen as the best bet for a medal, finished 15th in the men’s road race at the Asian Cycling Championships in Korat on Wednesday night.
Adiq was on pace in the first three loops but the rider from Terengganu Cycling Team was forced to concede to the more tactically astute Asian rivals at the end of the 130km race.
Adiq, the 2009 world junior championships bronze medallist in the scratch race, clocked 2’49:00.
Hossein Askari of Iran won the gold and an automatic ticket to ride in men’s road race at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after coming in first at 2’47:23 ahead of United Arab Emirates’ Yousif Mirza Al-Hammad and Kohei Uchima of Japan.
Mohd Zamri Salleh finished 37th, 11:56 behind Hossein while Mohd Harrif Salleh and Saiful Anuar Abdul Aziz failed to finish the race.
The Malaysian National Cycling Federation president Datuk Abu Samah Wahab said the race in Korat gave a good indication of the competitiveness level of South-East Asian riders.
“The SEA Games in Singapore will stage the road race event on similar flat conditions as in Korat.
“We know who our competitors are and I hope those who competed in this meet will strive to improve from now.
“We will put the best line-up to put up a challenge in Singapore,” he said.
Malaysia have not won the SEA Games gold medal in road cycling since Suhardi Hassan romped to victory on the streets of Manila in 2005.
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