PETALING JAYA: Cyclist Mohd Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff had been looking forward to donning national colours for the Asian Road Championship (ARC) this year but is now resigned to the fact that he will just have to wait until the next edition.
The Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) have decided to pull the plug on the 2020 ARC, which had first been scheduled for March 17-21 in Cyberjaya before being rescheduled to June 9.
The ARC was to be the qualifying race for the 2020 Road World Championships (RWC) in Switzerland from Sept 20-27. The participants for the RWC will now be chosen based on their world rankings.
Aiman, the 2020 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) Red Jersey winner, and Harrif Salleh, who won two stages, had been Malaysia’s best bets to earn the tickets to Switzerland but the pair can now only hope that Malaysia will get to host the ARC again next year.
“Hosting the ARC in Malaysia was supposed to give the local riders an edge in earning a berth for the RWC but now it’s gone, ” said Aiman.
“I have to accept the decision, I think ACC have no choice but to cancel it because of the Covid-19... I’m sad about missing the chance to earn a ticket for the world championship but the participants’ health is a bigger concern.
“I can only hope that the situation will improve and the competition can return soon.”
The 22-year-old Aiman said despite the cancellation of the ARC, he would continue with his training in Terengganu with Team Sapura Cycling (TSC) as he’s scheduled to take part in a competition in Thailand in October.
“The International Cycling Union (UCI) will be starting competitions from August in Europe but it’s likely only riders from Europe will take part... I think Asia will need more time to get cycling to return.
“The plan is for me to compete in Thailand in October but the details are still sketchy. I am in no rush. My focus is just to maintain my physical condition now.”
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