LTdL stage winner Harrif is good bet for medal at Asian meet


  • Cycling
  • Monday, 02 Mar 2020

Moment to savour: Harrif Saleh (centre) posing with his medal after winning Stage Seven of the Le Tour de Langkawi on Feb 13. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) double stage winner Harrif Saleh will be an automatic pick for the Malaysian team for the Road Cycling Asian Championships in Cyberjaya.

The flat terrain in Cyberjaya favours a sprinter like Harrif in the men’s road race event and the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) are convinced of getting a good result from Harrif and the other local riders.

Harrif, who is from Terengganu, became the first Malaysian cyclist to win two stages in the LTdL edition last month. He claimed Stage Two from Kuala Kubu Baru to Ipoh and later triumphed in Stage Seven from Bagan to Alor Setar a few days later.

Harrif, who also won a stage in the 2019 edition, is thus the first Asian rider to win three stages of the LTdL.

“His achievement is memorable as he was up against some of the best pro cyclists. It is not easy to win even one and it shows he is a world class sprinter,” said MNCF president Datuk Abu Samah Wahab after chairing the preparation committee for the Asian meet.

“We will offer him a place in the six-member team as we feel he has a good chance to get a medal in the Asian championships.

“The winner of the Asian championships will also get an automatic ticket to the Road Cycling World Championships in Switzerland in October, so there is extra incentive to do well,” he said.

MNCF also discussed the new dates for the Asian meet, which was initially scheduled from March 17-22 but was postponed indefinitely because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We will give a few dates but preferably the ideal one is from June 30 to July 5. But we’ll leave it to the Asian Cycling Confederation to decide on the dates.

“We have about 650 participants who have signed up already.”
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