Coach Beasley calls for more local races to create cycling culture

  • Cycling
  • Sunday, 31 Jan 2016

National track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang (left) in action against Japanese Kawabata Tomoyuki in the men's sprint semi-final race 1 at the Incheon International Velodrome during the 17th Asian Games yesterday. IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star. September 24, 2014.

SINGAPORE: National head coach John Beasley has called on the powers-to-be to stage weekly cycling races if the nation hopes to be a power in world cycling.

At the just-concluded Asian Cycling Championships in Shizuoka, Japan, Malaysia only entered two riders – Muhd Daniel Haikal Suhaidee and Anis Amira Rosdi – in the junior events. Daniel did well to win the silver in the men’s junior points race while Anis also finished second in the women’s junior individual pursuit.

While Australian Beasley was pleased with their achievements, he expressed his disappointment on the measly number of juniors coming up through the ranks.

“I watched the Malaysian riders over here the past couple of days, and the thing that stands out is their lack of racing knowledge,” said Beasley.

“In Australia, we have a strong cycling culture. When you plan to learn cycling in Australia, you join a local club. After that, you can choose to progress to Open events, state championships and national championships. But this is not happening in Malaysia.

“I have been doing my best to change things. But it seems there are just too many people who do not want to help cycling move forward. Imagine football without clubs, how do you get involved?” said Beasley.

He added that money spent on cycling should be done more prudently and wisely.

“We host the Le Tour de Langkawi each year, but this is not benefiting Malaysian cycling at all.

“If we were given 20% of the Tour budget to host local track and road events around the country, this would definitely benefit Malaysian cycling.

“We need to stage regular cycling races in Malaysia at least once a week. This way we can produce more cyclists for the country.

“Without a proper cycling culture, Malaysia will have very few champions. The gap will only widen between us and other nations.

“As it is, it’s a miracle how we can win anything when there are no races to learn how to go about getting across the finish line in the first place,” he added.

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