LTdL: Malaysia’s Mamat wins stage five

LTdL: Malaysia’s Mamat wins stage five

IPOH: Terengganu Inc TSG Cycling Team sprint specialist Mohd Harrif Saleh’s never-say-die spirit saw him winning  the 165.8-km Stage 5 of the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from Kuala Kubu Bharu to Bandar Meru Raya here yesterday.

With the finish line in sight, the 31-year-old, more fondly known as Mamat,  put everything he had to edge out two other print specialists, NTT Pro Cycling Team’s Maximilian Richard Walscheid of Germany, and Italian Matteo Pelucchi  (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), who came in second and third respectively.

Compatriot  Anuar Manan, representing the national team, finished in 9th place out of a cast of 117 riders.

The last time Mohd Harrif won a stage in the prestigious LTdL was in 2019, which was Stage 2, from Dataran Senawang to Melaka.

The head juror awarded the same time, 3 hours 39 minutes and 42 seconds, after the top 10 riders finished in a bunch.

The Terengganu-born Mohd Harrif told reporters afterwards that he was very happy to have won the stage and thanked his teammates for their support to enable him to create history in this 25th edition of the race.

He dedicated the win to the TSG management and all Malaysians for their undivided support for him.

“It has yet to sink in. Alhamdulillah (thanks to Allah). My teammates were of great help.

“Today, I was in a good position because the route was wide, so I knew I had the edge in making the dash to the finish line,” he explained.

Asked about the Stage 6 today,  Harrif said it had some climb zones but was still optimistic of a podium finish.

Sharing his sentiments was TSG head coach, Jeremy Hunt who was surprised but happy with Harrif’s unexpected victory.

Meanwhile, Walscheid was delighted with his performance, while acknowledging that Harrif deserved to clinch yesterday’s victory after a nail-biting sprint to the finish line.

“I think it’s a pretty good performance by my teammates once again. I’m also pretty happy with the sprint (to the finish line), but another rider was much faster than me, so congratulations to him (Harrif).

“Tomorrow’s stage is very difficult because its involves a few climbing zones, so probably our team would take it easier than today’s race,” the German national said.

Stage 6 is over 150.9 km from Taiping to Penang and has three sprint zones, in  Bagan Serai, Parit Buntar and Balik Pulau, besides two hill terrains, in Teluk Kumbar and Teluk Bahang.

Bernama


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