KUALA LUMPUR: The Tour De Iskandar Johor (TDIJ) scheduled from April 17-21 has hit a snag.
A total of 22 teams from 12 countries have confirmed their participation for the five-stage Tour, sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) with a 2.2 hors status, but the organisers had to scale down the race due to financial constraints.
The organisers have only received RM800,000 out of the RM3mil budget pledged for the Tour.
The five-stage Tour has now been reduced to three and the total prize money of RM97,000 has also been reduced to RM66,000.
A disappointed Mohamad Johari Mohd Sah (pic), the managing director of Sovereign International Ventures Sdn Bhd, the organisers of the TDIJ, said it was too late to cancel the race.
“We cannot cancel the event as it involves the word Iskandar, which is related to the Johor royal family,” said Johari.
“And despite reducing the event to three stages, it will cost us RM1.7mil. We’ll have to come up with another RM900,000 to host the event,” said Johari.
“We are asking Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman to assist us with another RM500,000. He knows our plight.”
Sovereign International Ventures Sdn Berhad chairman Jaafar Hashim said they would keep the show going.
“We’ve taken the necessary steps to organise the Tour despite the limited funds. We don’t want the TDIJ to be a failure like Tour of Malaysia and also Tour of Sarawak. We hope to promote cycling in the state,” said Jaafar.
The first stage of TDIJ will be on April 17 from Iskandar Puteri to Batu Pahat (122.9km). The second stage is from Muar to Yong Peng (172.4km) and the third and final stage is from Kluang to Johor Baru (107.7km).
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