Too Close to Call in Jelajah Malaysia 2013
KUALA LUMPUR (19 June 2013) – With the Jelajah Malaysia 2013 just days away, it is tough to predict who will emerge victorious in one of the oldest and most grueling races in the country, slated for 26-30 June 2013.
A total of 20 teams have been confirmed this week and where following the official announcement by Dato’ Naim Mohamad, the chief executive officer of the Jelajah Malaysia this afternoon, the assessment is that it will be one race too close to call, considering that several favourites have ruled themselves from taking part.
“It may be due to the change in the schedule when we had to make adjustments to the initial date to accommodate the General Election. But whatever the case may be, it has affected the possibility of some teams to come here and defend the titles they won last year. But we are still confident that the field this time round will not be short of competitive,” said Dato’ Naim, at the sprinter’s green jersey presentation that was also attended by Milo’s Sports Marketing Manager, Ng Ping Loong.
“We have several teams this year who have brought along some of the best riders they have in their stable and that will make the race this year all the more exciting.”
Among the teams that will be spearheading the peloton on a daily basis are Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), OCBC Singapore, Matrix Powertag, Huon Salmon Genesys Wealth Advisers, Baku Cycling and also the defending overall team champion Team Putra Perjuangan Bandung.
This year’s Jelajah Malaysia will have five stages being held with the first stage on 26 June 2013 being from Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur to Rembau in Negeri Sembilan. Dato’ Naim said that what will make the difference this year in the overall crown is having credible sprinters.
"There are 13 zones for sprinting altogether so it will be a close competition for the Milo’s sprinters green jersey, what more with riders like Anuar Manan, Hariff Salleh and Nor Rizuan Zainal,” added Dato’ Naim. “This will be a good opportunity for our riders to pick up UCI points as at the moment, they are not doing as well as they should.”
Based on the current ASIAN rankings, the best-ranked Malaysian rider is Mohammad Saufi Mat Senan (from Terengganu Cycling Team) at 25th, Hariff Salleh (26th); Anuar (30); Loh Sea Keong (34) and Mohamad Adiq Husainie Othman (44).
And Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), who was ranked as the best team at the end of the 2012 season, is currently placed fifth behind leaders Drapac Porsche; Baku Cycling Project; Nippo and Aisan.
Dato’ Naim, who is also the deputy president of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) was grateful for the support given by Milo.
"This sponsorship is important in that it has helped us to continue to organize the Jelajah Malaysia which is more than 50 years old,” he added.
The Jelajah Malaysia will begin with Stage One from MSN Complex to Rembau (187.7km); Stage Two from Rembau to Batu Pahat (197.6km); Stage Three from Batu Pahat to Pontian (94.7km); Stage Four from Angsana JB Mall to Melaka (206.3km) and Stage Five from Melaka to Putrajaya (169.8km).
JELAJAH MALAYSIA 2013 TEAM LIST
Terengganu Cycling Team (Malaysia)
OCBC Singapore Continental Cycling Team (Singapore)
Matrix Powertag (Japan)
Huon Salmon Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling (Australia)
CCN Cycling Team (Brunei)
Team Baku Cycling Project (Azerbaijan)
Polygon Sweet Nice (Ireland)
Team 7-Eleven Presented by Roadbikes Philippines (Philippines)
Team LBC (Philippines)
Team Putra Perjuangan Bandung (Indonesia)
Custom Cycling Club (Indonesia)
Team Curbosier Sarawak (Malaysia)
Angkatan Tentera Malaysia
Polis Diraja Malaysia
MSN Development team