*Rafaa keeps Skydive Dubai’s stranglehold on yellow jersey
*Shaiful of TSG retains the 100PLUS white jersey as best Malaysian rider
*Arin Iswana of Pegasus retains green jersey
HONG Kong’s Ko Siu Wai skipped the sprints and had his wish granted – to win a stage race – and he did it in style after shrugging off three other riders to win the 147km Stage 4 from Paroi, Seremban to Putrajaya in the 50th anniversary Jelajah Malaysia on Tuesday.
It was the 27-year-old Siu Wai’s first UCI Asian Tour win which left the Hong Kong team more than happy after Burr Ho retained the blue jersey as the best Asian rider despite finishing 18th in Stage 4.
Siu Wai and three other riders were timed at 3:21:20 but he had to stave off a strong challenge from second-placed Novardianto Jamalidin of team Pegasus Continental Cycling Team from Indonesia, Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi from Police Malaysia (3rd) and Uzbekistan rider Sergey Medvedev (4th) to take the chequered flag.
“This is one of the most satisfying moments in my cycling career. I did not bother about the sprints as I was hell bent on winning a stage in a major cycling event like Jelajah Malaysia.
“I had worked on winning a stage from day one but somehow things did not work out for me and the team. But today things fell nicely and here I am celebrating success.
“It means a lot to me and the team. I will cherish this moment of my cycling career and it is a big boost to my confidence,” said Siu Wai who celebrated his win with a clenched right fist as he punched the air on crossing the finishing line under overcast skies.
In the same breath Siu Wai said he did not go for the sprints as he was “totally focused and hell bent on winning the stage race” which he eventually savoured.
National rider Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi of Police was the best Malaysian finisher in Stage 4 – to give his home supporters plenty to cheer. Fauzan is a police officer attached to the Putrajaya Police.
However, Terengganu Cycling Team’s Muhd Shaiful Anwar Azis retained the white jersey as the best Malaysian rider with a total time of 15:06:38 – a 16 seccond lead over Muaz Abdul Rahim of Malaysian Armed Forces (15:06:54) Another TSG rider Muhamad Adiq Husainie (15:06:56) is in third place.
The Salleh brothers from Terengganu – Mohd Zamri and Mohd Hariff – who rode themselves into cycling history in Malaysia and probably the world with a back-to back 1-2 finish in Stage 2 and 3 – were a spent force but still did well to finish in the top 10 in Stage 4.
Hariff finished fifth and Zamri sixth with a time of 3:22:11 while Tunisian Rafaa Chtioui, who finished 10th with the same time, held on to the yellow jersey with a total time of 15:06:13 with his teammate Adil Jelloul (15:06:22) a close second.
“The yellow jersey is the pride of cycling. Myself and Adil are proud that we are still there. We will do everything to retain the jersey…it does not matter if it is me or Adil who wins it,” said Rafaa.
Zamri is not losing any sleep over his failure to get on the podium and said: “After the fantastic wins in Stage 1 and 2, I gave my best but simply could not push myself any further.
“My body could not take it anymore and tiredness showed when we fell about five minutes behind the leaders in the early stages of the race. Let us see what happens in the final stage tomorrow (Wednesday)…but we will give our best to achieve success.”
RESULTS (Stage 4 – Paroi, Seremban – Putrajaya, Presint 3, 147km)
Individual Overall Classification
1. Ko Siu Wai (Hkg) 3:21:20
2. Novardianto Jamalidin (Pegasus, Ina) 3:21:20
3. Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi (PDRM, Mas) 3:21:20
4. Sergey Medvedev (Uzb) 3:21:20
5. Hariff Mohd Salleh (TSG, Mas) 3:22:11
6. Zamri Mohd Salleh (TSG, Mas) 3:22:11
7. Arin Iswana (Pegasus Ina) 3:22:11
8. Mphd Nor Ridzuan Zainal (MAF), Mas) 3:22:11
9. Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman (TSG, Mas) 3:22:11
10. Rafaa Chtioui (Skydive Dubai 3:22.11
Leading Malaysian Rider (White Jersey)
1. Muhd Shaiful Anwar Azis (TSG, Mas) 15:06:38
2. Muaz Abdul Rahim (MAF, Mas) 15:06:54
3. Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman (TSG, Mas) 15:06:56
Leading Asian Rider (Blue Jersey)
1. Burr Ho (Hkg) 15:06:38
2. Muhd Shaiful Anwar Azis (TSG, Mas) 15:06:38
3. Arin Iswana (Pegasus, Ina) 15:06:52
Mountain Climbing (Red Jersey)
1. Lesmana Dani (Pegasus, Ina) 12 points
2. Adil Jelloul (Skydive Dubai) 8 points
3. Muhammad Ameen Ahmad Kamal (Trg, Mas) 6 points
Sprints (Green Jersey)
1. Arin Iswana (Pegasus, Ina) 43 points
2. Hariff Salleh (TSG, Mas)) 42 points
3. Mohd Zamri Salleh (Skydive Dubai) 40 points
General Classification (Yellow Jersey)
1. Rafaa Chtioui (Skydive Dubai) 15:06:13
2. Adil Jelloul (Skydive Dubai) 15:06:22
3. Morton Angus (St George Merida. Aus) 15:06:24
4. Burr Ho (Hkg) 15:06:32
5. Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai) 15:06:38
6. Muhd Shaiful Anwar Azis (TSG, Mas) 15:06:38
7. Soufiene Haddi (Skydive Dubai) 15:06:48
8. Arin Iswana (Pegasus, Ina) 15:06:52
9. Muaz Abdul Rahim (MAF, Mas) 15:06:54
10. Muhammad Adiq Husainie Othman (TSG, Mas) 15:06:56