Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Chris Hoy of Britain is a four-time Olympic and 10-time world champion cyclist.

CRUCIAL: British face action-packed five days against traditional rivals 

MELBOURNE:  THE Olympic gold-winning credentials of  track superpowers Great Britain faces a crucial test this week when traditional  rivals Australia host the 2012 World Championships.

   Held over five, action-packed days at the Hisense Arena, the event will  serve as a pre-London tune-up for most and a crucial stepping stone on the way to Olympic qualification for others.

   By Sunday, there should be little room for doubt concerning Olympic  selection. For those already assured of a place, what needs done to win Olympic  gold in five months' time will remain the biggest concern.

   Given their resounding success at the 2008 Olympics when they won seven of  10 track gold medals, most would expect Britain to be strutting towards their home Games in July.

   However, changes to the Olympic programme -- the men and women now compete  in the same five events and only one competitor is allowed per event -- as well  as efforts by rival teams to close the competitive gap mean Britain are no  longer assured an easy ride.

   Australia claimed only one medal, a sprint silver thanks to Anna Meares, in  Beijing but are now confident of challenging in most of the 10 Olympic events.

   "I don't think I'm being unrealistic in saying that we're in the hunt in  most of the Olympic events," Australia's high performance director Kevin  Tabotta said recently.

   Today the Australian men's team pursuit are expected to duel with Olympic champions and world record holders Britain as they aim for their third  world title since Beijing.

   Australia set a winning time of 3:54.615s, just outside the world record of 3:53.314, to beat Britain at the World Cup last month -- a defeat that Britain are desperate to avenge, preferably in London.

   "We will go to Melbourne to win, or at least to close the gap," said  Britain's start man Ed Clancy after Great Britain finished in 3:56.330.

   In the women's team sprint, the two-lap power event which will make its  Olympic debut, Anna and partner Kaarle McCulloch are widely expected to come up against British duo Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish.

   In London last month Anna and Kaarle beat their own world record,  before it was then eclipsed by Victoria and Jess as the Brits took a surprise gold.

   While Britain and Australia are expected to stake claims for medals in the women's team pursuit and omnium, other nations will be among the reckoning for the men's and women's sprint events of the sprint, keirin and team sprint.

   Despite being a four-time Olympic champion and the reigning champion in the  sprint, keirin and team sprint Sir Chris Hoy is duelling with England's Jason  Kenny for the sole sprint spot for London.

   The Scot underlined his Olympic ambitions in London last month when he won  the sprint and keirin titles and took silver in the team sprint, but despite  that success his place is not guaranteed.

   "Obviously selection hasn't been finalised for the British team yet so I'm  looking forward to putting in another good performance, hopefully in the  sprint, keirin and team sprint and try and stake my claim for selection," said Hoy.

   As well as from Kenny, Hoy is expected to meet stiff opposition from Frenchman Gregory Bauge, Australian Shane Perkins and a strong German team that also have eyes on the three-man sprint title. AFP

CYCLING: It's down to business

FOCUSED: Azizul will also target the 200m sprint besides the keirin

THERE'S no more room for selective focus on Azizulhasni Awang's menu as he prepares for the UCI Track World Championships which begin in Melbourne today.

   Three-time UCI World Cup overall keirin champion Azizulhasni's mind is fully geared towards Saturday and Sunday when he is down for the 200m sprint and keirin, with equal emphasis on both events.

   "There's no more hanky panky, now it's 110 percent for everything since both events are in the Olympics," said Azizulhasni, when contacted.

   "Before this my focus had been on one event, the keirin. I didn't fully concentrate on the sprint. But now it is going to be full gas for both. I want excellent results in both events."

   The duel between Azizulhasni and Josiah Ng for the Olympic slots in either event will be one to watch out for since one of them could yet miss the flight to London in July when the selection committee makes its final decision.

   But the 24-year old Sportsman of the Year isn't distracted by the tension caused by that topic.

   "I'm also entering this World Championships with a vengeance as I was forced to miss last year's meet. I am fully fired-up for it," said Azizulhasni.

   He missed last year's World Championships in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands due to an injury sustained in a horrific crash at the final round of last year's UCI World Cup season in Manchester where he had a 20cm wood splinter from the track pierce his calf.

   Since his return from a six-month lay-off, Azizulhasni's form has progressed with each competition.

   "It is better than before and I'm targeting podium finishes," said Azizulhasni.

   The new team sprint combination of Arfy Qhairant Amran, Edrus Yunos and Fattah Amri Zaid open Malaysia's campaign today, along with Harrif Salleh who contests the men's scratch race in the evening session.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

MNCF losing out despite booming industry

NOT many sports can claim to enjoy what cycling is currently experiencing in Malaysia, but what the sport gets out of it at the end of the road is something still left to be desired.

  Compared to   10 years ago when the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) struggled to run events frequently, today there are more cycling-related events than most other sports.

  Complementing the MNCF's calendar of 44 events this year are hundreds of mountain biking, road or fun rides organised throughout the country on a weekly basis.

  From government to corporate bodies  are jumping onto the bandwagon wanting a piece of cycling.

  The industry, Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek admits, is booming and he has studies done by the Sports Ministry's sports industry department to back his claim.

  Ahmad Shabery even calls what cycling is experiencing a phenomenon.

  So much so that around the country, more and more organisers are realising the often positive financial prospects of organising events for recreational cyclists, backed by the consistent entry lists of more than 1,000 participants for most non-MNCF sanctioned mountain bike jamborees.

  This provides even an ad-hoc organiser who can put together a decent event that runs without any untoward incident, the chance to make decent profits from entry fees and sponsorship.

  Aptly, manufacturers and distributors in the industry have in the past two years, stepped in to reap the potential from these events, while riders are benefiting from endorsements gained from their participation in such events.

  The MNCF has  allowed this phenomenon to boom rather than step in for fear of being accused of spoiling the party with the need to enforce regulations and sanctions.

  It is a scene that seems to suit everyone if not for the stories of suffering junior riders aiming to make it big via development programmes being left unheard.

  While Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam gets on his bicycle to join now frequent community rides as part of a 'Go Green' campaign in the state, the Malacca junior team of 30 riders were left with a budget of RM3,000 to cover their needs for their three-day trip to Perlis for a junior meet last weekend.

  Over in Kelantan coach Rosli Salleh runs his talent mill by scouting for talent among youth using cheap basic bikes, but  when he has the talent, he finds little support apart from the state sports council when he needs to give his riders exposure.

  In most states, you will find coaches and state associations struggling to find the support required to ensure developing cyclists are given sufficient backing.

  What this shows is the continued lack of cohesion in the cycling system, where development does not benefit from the growth in the sport.

  While a regular jamboree organiser charges between RM35 and RM50 per entry and potentially makes profits of up to RM30,000 per event, each round of MNCF's SportExcel National Junior Circuit is run with a maximum budget of RM7,000 when they feature up to 180 of the country's top juniors.

  The disparity is alarming because while others continue to show that cycling is becoming a lucrative industry, the MNCF continues to show the opposite.

  The corporate sector won't be interested in these figures because they are not mileage cows on par with track stars Azizulhasni Awang or Fatehah Mustapa, but that's because the MNCF hasn't sold any of these ideas to them.

  As unfair as it may seem, there should be a formula for the MNCF and its affiliates to capitalise on the growth in order to channel a piece of the pie towards development.

  It will not happen if the cycling bodies themselves don't begin to realise the potential they are sitting on and continue to depend on the insecure injections of government funds.

Monday, April 2, 2012

KL's Sean leaves rivals trailing

KUALA Lumpur's Sean Wilson was the biggest winner on the second day of the SportExcel Road Cycling National Junior Circuit 1 in Kangar, Perlis yesterday.

The 16-year-old rode solo across the finish line as the girls' under-16 road race field struggled to stay in touch with her pace and finished more than six minutes behind her.
It was also Kuala Lumpur's first victory on the circuit this year, as the Terengganu contingent continued to dominate the boys' races.

Terengganu's Mohd Iskandar Fitri won a bunch sprint to edge teammate Abdul Aziz Zahit in the under-18 boys' road race.

Syazwan Hilmi made sure it was a perfect day for Terengganu when he bagged seven points to win the under-18 boys' criterium ahead of Ipoh Academy rider Irwandie Lakasek.

National back-up trainee Asyraf Naim Ying made it a third victory for Terengganu when he bagged the under-16 boys' road race, beating Tunku Mahkota Ismal Sports School's Ahmad Muazam Iman Mustaffa Kamal and ASZU's Shahrul Afham Rosli in a three-man sprint for the victory.
National junior star Lauretta Eva Adrian won the sprint that ended the girls' under-18 road race ahead of rising Sarawak star Rosnina Minggu, who has certainly made an impression in this year's circuit by holding her own against the more established juniors.

Pahang's Nurul Nadia Mohd Fauzi totally swept aside the field in the under-18 girls' criterium when she bagged a total of 19 points, while Lauretta Eva settled for second with 13 points.

 RESULTS -- Boys' Under-18, 91.3km road race: 
1 Mohd Iskandar Fitri (Ter) 2:17.26s, 
2 Abdul Aziz Zahit (Ter), 
3 Mohd Nasrullah Ismanizam (Ked), 
4 Irwandie Lakasek (Pel-Ipoh), 
5 Mohd Asyraf Anuar (ASZU) all same time; 

26.4km criterium: 
1 Syazwan Hilmi (Ter) 7 points, 
2 Irwandie Lakasek (Pel-Ipoh) 6, 
3 Mohd Fauzan Nor Azman (Per) 6, 
4 Mohd Mustazlee Ishak (TMISS) 5, 
5 Mohd Nasrullah Ismanizam (Ked) 3.

 Under-16, 74km road race: 
1 Asyraf Naim Ying (Ter) 1:56.56s, 
2 Ahmad Muazam Iman Mustaffa Kamal (TMISS), 
3 Shahrul Afham Rosli (ASZU) all same time, 
4 Mohd Amirul Amran (TMISS) 1:58.29s, 
5 Mohd Adil Roslan (Mal) same time; 

26.4km criterium: 
1 Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis (Sel) 18 points, 
2 Asyraf Naim Ying (Ter) 12, 
3 Mohd Amirul Amran (TMISS) 7, 
4 Mohd Shamir Adri Mohd Shukri (Mal) 3, 
5 Dhia Danial Mohd Khairi (KL) 2.

Girls' Under-18, 74km road race: 
1 Lauretta Eva Adrian (Sab) 2:25.46s, 
2 Rosnina Minggu (Swk), 
3 Caroline George (Swk), 
4 Nur Farah Ain Amran (Sel), 
5 Nurul Nadia Mohd Fauzi (Pah) all same time; 

26.4km criterium: 
1 Nurul Nadia Mohd Fauzi (Pah) 19 points, 
2 Lauretta Eva Adrian (Sab) 13, 
3 Noor Azian Maslin Sazali (Sab) 9, 
4 Rosnina Minggu (Swk) 3, 
5 Nur Farah Ain Amran (Sel) 2;

 Under-16, 74km road race: 
1 Sean Wilson (KL) 2:25.46s, 
2 Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan (Sel) 2:32.05s, 
3 Nur Jeha Iwani Roslan (Ked), 
4 Siti Zulaikha Hamdan (Joh), 
5 Nurkahirunnisatul Aina Mohd Fadzli (Sel) all same time; 

19.8km criterium: 
1 Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan (Sel) 13 points, 
2 Nuratika Fatiha Abdul Latif (TMISS) 9, 
3 Nur Jeha Iwani Roslan (Ked) 8, 
4 Sean Wilson (KL 3, 
5 Nurkahirunnisatul Aina Mohd Fadzli (Sel) 2. 

By Arnaz M. Khairul

CYCLING: Naim sends signal with surprising win

MALACCA'S Mohd Naim Suardi sprang the biggest surprise at the SportExcel Road Cycling National Junior Circuit I in Kangar yesterday. The 14-year-old bagged a sensational victory in the Under-16 time trial.

Naim, the younger brother of Melbourne-based national junior squad trainee Firdaus, upstaged all the national back-up, academy and sports school trainees in the 18.4km run against the clock.

Having only begun training with the new Malacca development squad since last September, Naim's first victory came as a boost to the squad under coach Fairoz Izni Abdul Ghani.

Naim clocked 27 minutes 15.970 seconds to beat Tengku Mahkota Ibrahim Sports School (TMISS) trainee Mohd Hisyamudin Jaafar to victory, while Selangor's Pelapis trainee Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis finished third.

Malacca received another surprise when 17-year -old Aimi Iwasaki Mohd Moritoshi, who was a swimmer before switching to cycling three months ago, bagged a surprise second place in the Under-18 girls' time trial.

Aimi clocked 31 minutes 0.44 seconds over the 18.4km  course, a minute and 24 seconds slower than winner Nur Farah Ain Amran of the Pelapis Selangor squad.

But Aimi was also 19 seconds faster than favourite Nurul Nadia Mohd Fauzi of Pahang, giving the national junior rider a wake-up call as she prepares for the Malaysia Games in June, where Nurul Nadia is heavily tipped to be among the favourites.
"These results showed that we are heading in the right direction and with sufficient support, we can do as good a development programme in Malacca as anywhere else," said Fairoz.

 "Naim is one of our biggest prospects and with his elder brother already among the top juniors in the country, he has a lot of motivation to move forward.

 "Here Naim proved that he is one to look out for in the future. He's only 14 and is already beating established juniors in the under-16s, so that says a lot about his potential."

 The circuit continues today with road races in all four categories.

RESULTS (All 18.4km individual time trial) -- Boys' Under-18: 
1 Mohd Firdaus Abdul Karim (Pelapis) 25:53.65s, 
2 Badrul Hakimi Hamid (Ter) 26:21.05s, 
3 Mohd Nadzmi Zakari (Ter) 26:25.07s, 
4 Mohd Ameen Ahmad Kamal (Mal) 26:41.00s, 
5 Mohd Nasrullah Ismanizam (Ked) 26:53.44s;

1 Mohd Naim Suardi (Mal) 27:15.970s, 
2 Mohd Hisyamudin Jaafar (TMISS) 27:17.090s, 
3 Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis (Sel) 27:29.960s, 
4 Aiman Nasrq Sahludin (ASZU) 27:30.590s, 
5 Mohd Amirul Amran (TMISS) 27:34.390s;

 Girls' Under-18: 
1 Nur Farah Ain Amran (Sel) 29:36.15s, 
2 Aimi Iwasaki Mohd Moritoshi (Mal) 31:00.44s, 
3 Nurul Nadia Mohd Fauzi (Pah) 31:19.49s, 
4 Noor Azian Maslin Sazali (Sab) 31:35.04s, 
5 Rosnina Minggu (Swk) 31:37.91s;

1 Nur Jeha Iwani Roslan (Ked) 31:18.44s, 
2 Sean Wilson (KL) 31:18.80s, 
3 Nursuriani Mohd Noh (Ked) 31:36.70s, 
4 Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan (Sel) 31:39.38s, 
5 Nuratika Fatiha Abdul Latif (TMISS) 32:18.40s. 

By Arnaz M. Khairul


Salam ;

Melaka Maju Negeriku Sayang, Negeri Bandar Teknologi Hijau.
Melaka Bandaraya Warisan Dunia, UNESCO. Malaysia Boleh!

1. Dengan izin saya ingin meluahkan pendapat (mungkin membina) untuk masa depan Sukan Berbasikal Negara Malaysia agar sukan ini lebih terjamin dengan perlaksanaan program akar umbi diperingkat negeri (remaja) dengan pelapis dibawah naungan Pembangunan MNCF.

2. Senarai atau slot yang dipenuhi diperingkat Pelapis Kebangsaan, Serantau Ipoh, ASZU dapat membuka ruang dan peluang kepada pelumba yang masih boleh digilap lebih-lebih lagi kepada pelumba domestik yang terlepas pandang oleh satu kendalian yang berkelayakkan untuk diketengahkan di peringkat kebangsaan dan diyakini persaingan sihat ini akan terus menyumbang serta memastikan atlet kita lebih berkualiti dan bernilai.

3. Jawatankuasa Pembangunan MNCF perlu pantas dengan mulai langkah gagah dengan kesungguhan dan pihak MNCF juga perlu mengunakan khidmat anak muda yang kini lebih berpotensi dan agresif serta bertenaga dalam menjaga imej Sukan Berbasikal Negara Malaysia.

4. Saya penuh yakin bayangan yang hadir dapat disertai oleh barisan muda yg mahu kedepan bersama pembanggunan MNCF tanpa mengira umur tetapi ilmu dan komited menjadi keutamaan.

5. Kita faham bahawa masa itu tetap berjalan, berlari, berlalu dan meninggalkan kita tanpa pesanan apa-apa.

Ayuh MNCF Out the Gas !