With 20 team featuring riders from 23 nations in the mix, the inaugural Tour of Peninsular (ToP) on October 15th-19th is set to be a highly exciting affair for cycling fans hungry for top class action.
The focus of attention will no doubt be on the battle between Malaysian heavyweights Terengganu Inc. (TSG) and Team Sapura Cycling (TSC).
TSG and TSC have both been in strong form this season and are currently the top two teams in the UCI Asia Tour rankings. TSG is in first place with 2,215 points while TSC are a close second on 1,819.97 points and ToP will offer both teams a chance to earn more valuable ranking points.
TSC’s Benjamin Dyball has had a stellar year which has already seen him taking the overall title at Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) as well as finish third at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, both UCI 2.HC events.
Dyball’s fine performances have seen him being snapped up for 2020 by world tour team Dimension Data, who will be renamed as Team NTT next season.
The Australian rider, with support from teammates such as Marcus Culey (Australia) and Muhammad Zawawi Azman, will thus be keen to deliver another fine performance for TSC before he moves on to his new South African team.
TSG will be placing their general classification (GC) hopes on the shoulders of 2018 LTdL winner Artem Ovechkin of Russia who will have the support of teammates Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki, who won Tour de Siak last month, Metkel Eyob (Eritrea) Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin, Goh Choon Huat as well as Mohd Harrif Saleh.
Harrif, always a popular figure with Malaysian fans, will also be eying sprint glory in the flat stages.
TSG and TSC will, however, have to be at their best if they are to stand at the top of the podium on the final day of the tour with HKSI Pro Cycling Team (Hong Kong) and Vino – Astana Motors (Kazakhstan), who are currently fourth and sixth in the Asia Tour rankings, also in the mix.
There are plenty of familiar faces elsewhere in the field with Kinan Cycling Team (Japan), Aisan Racing Team (Japan), St George Continental Cycling Team (Australia), Oliver’s Real Food Racing (Australia), 7Eleven Cliqq – Air21 by Roadbike Philippines, KFC Cycling Team (Indonesia) and Brunei Continental Cycling Team and Thailand Continental Cycling Team all having experienced racing in Malaysia before.
Taiyuan Miogee Cycling Team (China), Protouch (South Africa), Uijeongbu Cycling Team (Korea), PGN Road Cycling Team (Indonesia), Hurom BDC Development (Poland), Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan (Iran) are also competing.
The only two non-continental teams competing this year are the Malaysia national team as well as the Azerbaijan national team.
ToP, which is organised by Motoshoot Event Sdn. Bhd with the support of the Youth and Sports Ministry, is Malaysia’s first ever UCI 2.1 tour.
1 TERENGGANU INC. TSG CYCLING TEAM – Malaysia
2 TEAM SAPURA CYCLING TSC – Malaysia
3 KINAN CYCLING TEAM – Japan
4 VINO – ASTANA MOTORS – Kazakhstan
5 TAIYUAN MIOGEE CYCLING TEAM – China
6 KFC CYCLING TEAM – Indonesia
7 7ELEVEN CLIQQ – AIR21 BY ROADBIKE PHILIPPINES – Philippines
8 THAILAND CONTINENTAL CYCLING TEAM – Thailand
9 PROTOUCH – South Africa
10 ST GEORGE CONTINENTAL CYCLING TEAM – Australia
11 AISAN RACING TEAM – Japan
12 BRUNEI CONTINENTAL CYCLING TEAM – Brunei
13 UIJEONGBU CYCLING TEAM – Korea
14 OLIVER’S REAL FOOD RACING – Australia
15 PGN ROAD CYCLING TEAM – Indonesia
16 HKSI PRO CYCLING TEAM – Hong Kong
17 HUROM BDC DEVELOPMENT – Poland
18 FOOLAD MOBARAKEH SEPAHAN – Iran
19 MALAYSIA – Malaysia
20 AZERBAIJAN – Azerbaijan