PETALING JAYA: Cyclist Adiq Husainie Othman (pic) will be on the road for the next three months for competitions with Melbourne-based outfit Drapac Porsche and as well as for the national team.
The 19-year-old, will first have to race for the national team in the Tour of Thailand (April 1-6) before flying off to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates for the Asian championships (April 8-17).
After the Asian championships, Adiq will meet up with his Drapac team-mates in Belgium to take part in races across Europe.
“My schedule will be busy for the next few months. But I’m okay with it,” he said.
“My focus for now is obviously on the race in the UAE as the national road cycling team will be out to get among the best in Asia.”
The road cyclists have been taking a lot of stick for their lacklustre performance in competitions compared to their more successful track counterparts.
At the Laos SEA Games last December, the men’s team only managed to win a bronze through Mohd Zamri Salleh. Track events were not contested at the Games.
But the recent success of Anuar Manan, who became the first-ever Malaysian to win a stage in the Tour of Langkawi (Stage 5, Muar-Port Dickson), as well as a good showing by Adiq to be the best Malaysian finisher in the general classification (35th) has raised hopes for a better show in the Asian championships.
Anuar, who raced for team Geumsan Ginseng Asia of South Korea in the Tour, is part of the team to the UAE.
“It won’t be easy though for us to fight with Asian cycling powerhouses, especially Kazakhstan, who made a clean sweep of medals in last year’s championships (in Indonesia),” said Adiq.
“But now we have the services of a foreign coach, William Walker (of Australia), who has a wealth of racing knowledge with him as he was a professional rider before.”
The previous coach, Jamaluddin Omar, was axed after the team’s failure at the Laos Games.
In last year’s Asian championships in Indonesia, Adiq competed in the junior category and bagged a silver medal in the road race. He also won two bronze medals in the track events (scratch and Madison).
“It will be a different ball game this year as I will racing with the big boys. Team strategy is crucial and the Tour of Thailand will act as our last preparation before we go to the UAE,” he said.
Besides the road race, Adiq will also see track action in the scratch event.