*Another superb show from Salleh brothers for a 1-2 finish
*Tunisian Rafaa of Skydive Dubai retains yellow jersey
*Arin Iswana of Pegasus takes over the green jersey
The Salleh brothers from Terengganu – Mohd Zamri and Mohd Hariff – rode themselves into cycling history in Malaysia and probably the world with a back-to back 1-2 finish as they added more colour to the 50th anniversary Jelajah Malaysia. And fittingly the Terengganu siblings, representing Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), wrote history in the historic city of Malacca during Stage 3 of the Jelajah Malaysia from Nilai, Negri Sembilan to Alor Gajah on Monday when they clinched their second successive 1-2 finish after achieving a similar feat in Stage 2 on Sunday.
The back-to-back 1-2 finish became the talking point at Dataran Keris in Alor Gajah where the 171.1km race ended after Zamri, the elder of the two siblings came out tops while his younger brother Hariff came in second in another blanket finish which saw the top 10 riders credited the same time – 4:07:11.
This has set the tone for another thriller Stage 4 from Paroi, Seremban to Putrajaya (147.3km) is held on Tuesday.
“I have no words to describe this historic 1-2 finish. After winning the Stage 2 in Jempol, I did not expect that we (brothers) will be able to achieve this scenario back to back,” said a jubilant Zamri, amidst congratulatory handshakes and pats from officials and spectators.
“It was a rolling route today with no mountain climbs but it was another challenging race but in somewhat cooler conditions. Umardi, Adiq, Hariff and the rest of my TSG teammates played crucial roles once again for today’s win after I managed to catch up in the last 10km.
“Skydive Dubai riders controlled the race but we did the right moves at the right time to cash in when it mattered most. Still, I did not expect such a finish…I am extremely happy with my cycling achievements at this time. My career looked doomed at one time when (Sebastien) Duclos left.”
“Credit to all in the team and we look forward to the remaining two stages. Our confidence is sky high and Duclos needs special mention for what TSG has achieved thus far,” added Zamri.
Skydive Dubai rider Rafaa Chtioui retained the yellow jersey with a total time of 11:44:02 – 9 seconds ahead of teammate Adil Jelloul. However, the Tunisian surrendered the green jersey to Indonesia’s Arin Iswana from team Pegasus who is the new leader in sprints with 34 points – ahead of Hariff (31) while Rafaa is third with 30.
Losing the green jersey is “no big deal” to Rafaa. Instead, he is determined to keep the yellow jersey to help his team win the overall title which covers a total distance of 771.7 km.
“Me and my teammate Adil are not ready to give up although we are aware that it is getting tougher by the day. The battle is on and we will be there to keep our flag flying,” said Rafaa.
Muhd Shaiful Abdul Azis of TSG retained the white jersey as the best Malaysian rider with a time of 11:44:27 with Muaz Abdul Rahim of Armed Forces a close second with 11:44:43 and another TSG rider Adiq Husainie Othman third (11:44:41).
RESULTS (Stage 3 – Dataran Nilai, Nilai – Dataran Keris, Alor Gajah 171.1km)
Individual Overall Classification
1. Mohd Zamri Salleh (TSG, Mas) 4:07:11
2. Mohd Hariff Salleh (TSG, Mas) 4:07:11
3. Soufiene Haddi (Skydive Dubai) 4:07:11
4. Mohd Nor Ridzuan Zainal (MAF, Mas) 4:07:11
5. Sharp Patrick (St George Merida, Aust) 4:07:11
6. Patria Rastra (Pegasus, Ina) 4:07:11
7. Arin Iswana (Pegasus Ina) 4:07:11
8. Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi (Police, Mas) 4:07:11
9. Sofian Nabil Omar (MSN, Mas) 4:07:11
10. Burr Ho (Hkg) 43:07.11
Leading Malaysian Rider (White Jersey)
1. Muhd Shaiful Anwar Azis (TSG) 11:44:27
2. Muaz Abdul Rahim (MAF) 11:44:43
3. Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman (TSG) 11:44:45
Leading Asian Rider (Blue Jersey)
1. Burr Ho (Hkg) 11:44:21
2. Muhd Shaiful Anwar Azis (TSG) 11:44:27
3. Arin Iswana (Pegasus, Ina) 11:44:41
Mountain Climbing (Red Jersey)
1. Lesmana Dani (Pegasus) 12 points
2. Adil Jelloul (Skydive Dubai) 8 points
3. Muhammad Ameen Ahmad Kamal 6 points
Sprints (Green Jersey)
1. Arin Iswana (Pegasus) 34 points
2. Hariff Salleh (TSG) 31 points
3. Rafaa Chtioui (Skydive Dubai) 30
General Classification (Yellow Jersey)
1. Rafaa Chtioui (Skydive Dubai) 11:44:02
2. Adil Jelloul (Skydive Dubai) 11:44:11
3. Morton Angus (St George Merida) 11:44:13
4. Burr Ho (Hkg) 11:44:21
5. Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai) 11:44:27
6. Muhd Shaiful Anwar Azis (TSG) 11:44:27
7. Soufiene Haddi (Skydive Dubai) 11:44:37
8. Arin Iswana (Pegasus) 11:44:41
9. Muaz Abdul Rahim (MAF) 11:44:43
10. Muhammad Adiq Husainie Othman (TSG) 11:44:45