PETALING JAYA: Malaysian riders, Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Marzuki and Harrif Saleh of Terengganu Inc (TSG), stamped their mark in the third stage of the inaugural Tour of Peninsular (ToP).
Amirull won the race while Harrif came in third in the 172.7km race from Kuantan to Karak yesterday.
Amirull and Taiyuan Miogee Cycling team’s Amir Kolahdouz Hagh of Iran launched an attack from roughly 70km into the race until the finish line.
Amirull, 27, took the win in 3’49:59 while Amir crossed the finish line a close second. Harrif, like he did in stage two, came in third along with the chasing peloton (+11s).
“Our team have been trying to win a stage since the opening day and I guess it was my fate to win it today, ” said Amirull.
“At first I was not confident in our chances because it was a long way out and there was only two of us in the breakaway.
“But we planned it out together and decided to take it easy until the last 40km when we pushed hard until the finish.”
Despite being on the same time as Azerbaijan’s Elchin Asadov, Amirull now leads the general classification (yellow jersey) due to his higher finish position.
Amirull’s win also saw him move into the lead in the Best Asian Rider (white jersey) and Sprint Competition (blue jersey).
PGN Road Cycling Team’s Aiman Cahyadi (Indonesia), who took full points in the climb at Srijaya (Category 4) reclaimed the mountain competition (red jersey) from Muhamad Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff (Team Sapura Cycling) who came in second.
Amirull admitted that the fourth stage which starts in Sungai Koyan and ends in Cameron Highlands (89.5km) will be tough for him but not for his team.
“I’m not a true climber but we do have riders such as Artem (Ovechkin) and Metkel Eyob who can climb, ” added Amirull.
“I will try my best to keep the yellow jersey but if I am not able to I will try to hold on to the other two jerseys.”
Artem and Metkel are just 32 seconds behind in the general classification and will have a good chance to make up time in today’s stage.
Team Sapura Cycling’s Christian Raileanu, who is six seconds behind Amirull, is also expected to put in a strong challenge.
Stage Three (172.7km): 1. Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Marzuki (Mas) Terengganu Inc TSG 3’49:59,2. Amir Kolahdozhagh (Iri) Taiyuan Miogee 3’49:59,3. Mohd Harrif Saleh (Mas) Terengganu Inc TSG 3’50:59,4. Mahdi Nateghi (Iri) Terengganu Inc TSG 3’50:59,5. Dominic Perez (Phi) 7 Eleven Cliqq-air21 by Roadbike Philippines 3’50:59,6. Abdul Gani (Ina) KFC Cycling Team 3’50:59,7. Reynard Butler (Rsa) ProTouch 3’50:59,8. Arin Iswana (Ina) PGN 3’50:59,9. Craig Wiggins (Aus) St George Continental 3’50:59,10. Arjay Peralta (Phi) 7 Eleven Cliqq-air21 by Roadbike Philippines 3’50:59.
(Note: Race Commissioner gave same times after riders finished in bunches)
General Classification (Yellow Jersey): 1. Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Marzuki (Mas) Terengganu Inc TSG 11’18:09,2. Elchin Asadov (Aze) 11’18:09,3. Cristian Raileanu (Mda) Team Sapura 11’18:13.
(Note: Nur Amirul leads based on finishing position)
Red Jersey (King of Mountain): 1. Aiman Cahyadi (Ina) PGN 10pts, 2. Mohd Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff (Mas) Team Sapura 8pts, 3. Amirhossein Jamshidian Ghlehsefidi (Iri) Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan 2pts.
Blue Jersey (King of Sprint): 1.Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Marzuki (Mas) Terengganu Inc TSG 44pts, 2. Rohan du Plooy (Rsa) Protouch 41pts, 2. Mohd Harrif Saleh (Mas) Terengganu Inc TSG 34pts.
White Jersey (Best Asian Rider): 1. Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Marzuki (Mas) Terengganu Inc TSG 11’18:09,2. Mohd Daniel Haikkal Edy Suhaidee (Mas) 11’18:15,3. Igor Chzhan (Kaz) Vino-Astana Motors 11’18:19.