Team Sapura Cycling with high hopes for Turkey

A year without international action, Team Sapura Cycling are looking to mark their return to racing on a bright note at the Tour of Turkey on April 11-18. Sapura will be up against a strong field at the UCI ProSeries race which includes WorldTour teams such as Astana-Premier Tech and Deceuninck-Quickstep. The UCI Continental team, who left for Turkey yesterday, have included Danilo Celano (Italy), Jesse Ewart (Ireland), Ahmet Orken (Turkey), Nur Aiman Rosli, Zawawi Azman and national road champion Akmal Hakim Zakaria in their squad. “Danilo has been especially…

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Team Sapura Cycling have cancelled their plan to Greece

Team Sapura Cycling have cancelled their plan to race in Greece after one of their Italian riders tested positive for Covid-19. Team principal Sayuti Zahit revealed that Pierpaolo Ficara, who finished fourth overall in Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) last season, tested positive for the virus in Syracuse, Sicily last month. Sapura’s foreign riders have been training in their own countries since the pandemic struck last year. “Pierpaolo’s condition has improved, he has informed us that he has been discharged from hospital and is now undergoing home quarantine in Italy,”…

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Few more tweaks on custom built bikes for Azizul and Shah

National Sports Institute (NSI) will make a few more tweaks to the custom-built track bikes used by Azizulhasni Awang and Shah Firdaus Sahrom before they head to Tokyo in July for the Olympics. “This Olympic bike development project is in its fourth year now after beginning in 2017. The intention is to build a bike which is tailored to each rider’s physiology,” said NSI chief executive officer Ahmad Faedzal “Azizulhasni and Shah each have one bike, and they have been using it for some time now. But we feel there…

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Harrif Saleh admitted that he struggled

MALAYSIA- Road cyclist Harrif Saleh admitted that he struggled to keep up with the peloton early on but revealed the “secret” behind his historic win at the Grand Prix Manavgat in Turkey last week. After spending a year without competition due to Covid-19, the Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) rider said he found it hard to keep up with the early pace and even suffered mild cramps during the 145.8km race. “This was really tough for me as I had gone a year without racing. I did my best to tuck…

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Azizulhasni Awang and Shah Firdaus Sahrom to start picking up the pace heading into the Tokyo Olympics

National track cycling coach John Beasley expects Azizulhasni Awang and Shah Firdaus Sahrom to start picking up the pace heading into the Tokyo Olympics. Beasley has always stressed the importance of “big blocks” of strength training as the foundation in his preparation, and it is no different for this Olympic cycle. Spending hours in the gym, a switch to more track-focused training is likely in store for the duo over the final few months ahead of the Tokyo Games. Hopes to convert the muscle that they have built into explosive…

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MNFC want Fatehah as national-level coach

Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) vice president Datuk Amarjit Singh Gill would prefer former national rider Fatehah Mustapa to take up a national-level coaching role rather than a state-level position. Amarjit disclosed that the former Asian Games silver medallist has also attracted interest from her home state, Terengganu. The east coast state are a traditional powerhouse in the sport and have produced some of the biggest names in Malaysian cycling such as Fatehah, Azizulhasni Awang, Harrif Saleh and Anuar Manan among others. “We have heard that Terengganu (Sports Council) have…

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Pocket Rocketman slows down

With the Covid-19 pandemic putting the brakes on life as we know it, national track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang is taking on Ramadan in a different gear this year. Azizulhasni, who is based in Melbourne with other national elite squad members, admitted that he is going through Ramadan at a slower pace this year. “Ramadan will be a unique experience (for Malaysians) this year as there will be no terawih prayers in mosques and no (Ramadan) bazaars,” said Azizulhasni. “But above all that is happening around us (pandemic), we should be…

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Beasley: Biggest bang for the buck in sprints

NATIONAL track cycling coach John Beasley believes Malaysia should place greater emphasis on the sprint disciplines when it comes to development programmes. The Australian, dubbed as the father of Malaysian track cycling, feels that Malaysians have better chances to shine in sprint-based events such as individual sprint, team sprint and keirin. Beasley said training for the sprint disciplines is also safer compared to the many hours road riders spend on public tarmac. “Malaysians should concentrate on the sprint disciplines… that is what they are best at,” said Beasley. “So that…

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Pocket Rocketman reflects on his 2017 world title

WITH the Tokyo Olympics having been postponed to next year, national track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang took a moment to reflect on his historic win at the 2017 World Championships. Azizulhasni, then 29, won the keirin gold in emphatic style in Hong Kong after taking a commanding lead at the final bend which allowed him to cross the line with his trademark wheelie. It clinched him Malaysia’s first world title in track cycling and more importantly proved the doubters wrong. “After 10 years of hardship and (settling for) one silver and…

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Azizul: Help Fatehah adjust to new life

NATIONAL track cycling star Azizulhasni Awang has urged the authorities to help Fatehah Mustapa start a new cycle of life after her retirement recently. Former world keirin champion Azizulhasni said it is not easy to make a transition from the elite sporting arena to a normal life, especially for those who have dedicated much of their years to sports. Fatehah, who has spent 17 years as a competitive cyclist, announced her retirement on Saturday. Azizulhasni, 32, and Fatehah, 31, rose up together under national coach John Beasley. “We are shocked…

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