Sapura’s Saari pedals to glory in national c’ship as he eyes SEA Games next


Pedal on: Team Sapura Cycling rider Mohd Saari Amri Abd Rasim (left) clinched the men’s elite mass start event in the National Road Cycling Championship. On the right is third placed Irwandie Lakasek of Terengganu Cycling Team.

PETALING JAYA: Team Sapura Cycling stamped their supremacy in the National Road Cycling Championship with Mohd Saari Amri Abd Rasim riding to the men’s elite mass start gold medal in Bukit Katil, Melaka.

Police’s Mohd Elmi Jumari came second while Irwandie Lakasek of Terengganu Cycling Team was third in the race which was decided by a photo finish with the top three riders clocking 4’31:01.

Saari said his plan was to help Akmal Hakim Zakaria retain the championship and did not expect to pip his teammate to the title. Akmal ended up fourth.

Now, Saari’s plan is to train harder to prepare for May 2022 Hanoi Sea Games.

“I didn’t expect to win the championship because my aim was to help my teammate retain the title,” said Saari, who competed in the junior category last year.

“We were in the best momentum after participating in a competition in Thailand recently. “The team also did well to ensure the title remained with Sapura this time.”

In the men’s Under-23 category, Terengganu Cycling Team rider Wan Abdul Rahman Hamdan clinched the gold after clocking 3’52:32, followed by Mohd Yusri Shaari of Perak A with 3’52:37 while Mohd Faisal Izuddin Ahmad Joyo of Terengganu A was third with 3’52:37.

Team Sapura Cycling principal Sayuti Zahit said the chance of winning the title was 50-50 and their opponents had several teams in the mix while Sapura only fielded one team.“We managed to keep the title through Saari in the end even it was tough. When we had early breakaway, we thought our plan worked but it did not.

“Towards the end we struggled and in the last lap we managed to close the gap with the breakaway group and Saari managed to sprint to the finishing line in the last 300m,” said Sayuti. Team Sapura also successfully retained the men’s elite individual time trial title in Melaka on Wednesday.

Nur Aiman Rosli completed the 45.3km course in Bukit Katil in a time of 1’17:742 to win the title for the second straight year.

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