PETALING JAYA: Two falls put paid to Mohd Azizul Awang Hasni’s hopes of staying among the chasing pack for honours in the 119.7km individual road race in the Asian Cycling Championships at Putrajaya here yesterday.
Azizul, who stamped his mark in the track events by winning three individual gold medals, finished 25th out of the 48 riders with a time of 2:56.44 in the nine-lap race.
Kazakhstan, however, had a grand day when they swept to the top three places through Sergey Kuzin, Alexandr Afanasyev and Andrey Kucherov.
The win did not come as a surprise. The Kazakhstan juniors had been riding more than 100km a day on hilly terrains for almost a year as part of their preparations for the Asian meet.
The 18-year-old Azizul was disappointed.
“At the start of the race, I was knocked down by a rider from South Korea. I fell but got back into the race,” said Azizul.
“Towards the end, disaster struck again. This time, another Korean tried to squeeze pass me in one of the corners.
“I fell again and this time my bicycle was damaged. I had to change the tyre before getting back into the race,” he lamented.
Teammate Mohd Faris Abdul Razak finished ahead of Azizul at the 24th spot with a time of 2:56.42.
“But overall, it has been a great outing for me in this Asian meet. Although my concentration will be on the track events, I will still continue to take part in road races. It will help me improve my endurance.”
Meanwhile, the seniors also failed to win any medals yesterday when Uracca Leow and Norizan Musa completed the women’s 119.7km individual road race in 15th and 21st places respectively.
Today, the Asian meet will conclude with two more road races – individual road races for senior men (199.5km) and the junior women (53.2km).