KUALA LUMPUR: The national cycling team have set their sights on snatching the white jersey (Best Asian Rider) when the eight-day, eight-stage Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2023 begins on Saturday (Sept 23).

National coach Mohd Yusuf Abdul Nasir said they will be counting on the experienced duo of Muhammad Zawawi Azman (team captain) and Muhammad Nur Aiman Rosli, who used to be with Sapura Cycling Team, to achieve their target this time.

“Zawawi is the most senior and experienced rider. Muhammad Nur Aiman is a good climber,” he told reporters here today.

He believes the two riders stand the best chance of winning the white jersey in two out of the eight stages, namely State 3 from Jeli to Baling(177.1km) and Stage 5 from Slim River to Genting Highlands (133.3km).

Mohd Yusuf also said they have been training for three months, including at all the routes to be contested in the LTdL this time.

In addition to the duo, he said the national squad have also been strengthened with the inclusion of two more Sapura Cycling Team riders, namely Mohamad Izzat Hilmi and Muhsin Ali Redha Misbah, as well as the versatile Muhammad Shaiful Adlan and Zulhelmi Zainal.

As such, he hopes all the former Sapura riders will use the opportunity to shine with the national team after being outshone numerous times by foreign riders in their former team.

LTdL 2023 will feature 132 cyclists from 22 teams with WorldTeam, ProTeam and Continental status apart from the national team.

This edition will riders covering routes involving 11 states, with Stage 1 from Kerteh to Kuala Terengganu (184.4km); Stage 2 Kuala Terengganu-Kota Bharu (186.2 km); Stage 3 Jeli-Baling (177.1km); Stage 4 Bukit Mertajam-Meru Raya (140 km); Stage 5 Slim River-Genting Highlands (133.3km); Stage 6 Karak-Melaka (176.6km); Stage 7 Muar-Seremban 2 (125.7km) and Stage 8 Setia Alam-Kuala Lumpur (157km). - Bernama

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