PETALING JAYA: Malaysia can forget about having a road cyclist at the Rio de Janiero Olympics.
Mohd Harrif Saleh and Anuar Manan are absent from the road race line-up for the Asian Cycling Championships in Japan from Jan 20-30, thus effectively ruling out any hopes of a repeat from the previous 2012 Olympics in London.
Malaysia were then represented by Amir Mustafa Rosli and Adiq Husainie Othman.
The men’s elite road race event at the Asian meet will be on Jan 24 with the winner going to Rio as the continental representative.
The Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) had to leave out the duo, a double gold medallist at the Singapore SEA Games last June, after receiving the official route communique from the organisers recently.
The 150km route in Oshima Island calls for the participants to tackle a three kilometre uphill climb from the start itself. Altogether, the field will have to do three loops.
The five cyclists picked are form the Terengganu Cycling Team outfit. They are Muhd Fauzan Lufti, Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin, Mohd Saiful Anuar Aziz, Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkifle and Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Mazuki, who won the King of the Mountain title at the Tour of Malaysia last month.
MNCF deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad said the cyclists for the Japan meet were deemed to be better climbers.
“Our chances of doing well at the road events at the Asian Championships are very hard this time considering we also have to cope with the very cold weather. It is now around 10-15ºC.
“We are already out of contention to get the road Olympic quota from the UCI Asia Tour, so our hopes are now on having a representation in the track event.
“We hope track cyclists Azizulhasni Awang, Fatehah Mustapa and Ju Pha Somnet can qualify after the World Track Championships in London from March 2-6,” he said.
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