*Tunisian Rafaa takes the yellow and green jerseys in Stage One
TUNISIAN Rafaa Chtioui gave Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team a flying start in the 50th anniversary Jelajah Malaysia with a double by clinching the yellow jersey and also the green jersey for sprints in the first stage in Port Dickson on Saturday. The 28-year-old Rafaa outwitted Moroccan teammate Adil Jelloul and Australian Morton Angus from Team St George Merida in a photo finish with a final burst of speed in the last 500m of the 150.3km stage one from City Park, Seremban 2 to Bandar Tentera Darat, Port Dickson.
Rafaa clocked 3:44.51 for bonus 10 points with Adil a close second for his bonus six points while Morton came in third with the same time for his four bonus points.
Skydive Dubai also clinched a 1-2 finish in the sprint with Rafaa, Adil and Muaz Abdul Rahim of Malaysian Armed Forces occupying the first three places with 15 points each.
Muhd Shaiful Anuar Azis was the best Malaysian finisher when he finished sixth overall with a time of 3:45.01 to win the white jersey. Muaz came in second in 3:45.17 with Shaiful’s teammate Rosdi Nur Umardi (3:45.20) third.
“This is my first win in Malaysia,” said a happy Rafaa, who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, after his win.
“I did not expect to win but my team’s teamwork made it all possible. Winning the yellow and green jerseys in the first stage has set the tone for Skydive Dubai’s confidence in the remaining stages.
“Now that we have the yellow jersey it is a big boost for the team for the second stage tomorrow. It is satisfying to win the individual honours but it is the team that matters.”
Muhd Shaiful was equally elated with his “success” and also attributed his sixth place overall to teamwork.
“Hopefully we will be able to get things done better in the coming stages,” said Shaiful.
Stage One – City Park, Seremban 2 – Bandar Tentera Darat, Port Dickson, 150.3km
Individual (Yellow Jersey)
1. Rafaa Chtioui (Skydive Dubai) 3:44.51
2. Adil Jelloul (Skydive Dubai) 3:44.51
3. Morton Angus (St George Merida) 3:44.51
4. Ho Burr (Hkg) 3:44.55
5. Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai) 3:45.01
Malaysian Rider (White Jersey)
1. Muhd Shaiful Anwar Azis (TSG) 3:45.01
2. Muaz Abdul Rahim (MAF) 3:45.17
3. Rosdi Nur Umardi (TSG) 3:45.20
Asian Rider (Blue Jersey)
1. Ho Burr (Hkg) 3:44:55
2. Muhd Shaiful Anwar Azis (TSG) 3:45.01
3. Muaz Abdul Rahim (MAF) 3:45:17
Mountain Climbing (Red Jersey)
1. Lesmana Dani (Pegasus) 12 points
2. Adil Jelloul (Skydive Dubai) 8 points
3. Muhammad Ameer Ahmad Kamal 3 points
1. Rafaa Chtioui (Skydive Dubai) 15 points
2. Adil Jelloul (Skydive Dubai) 15 points
3. Muaz Abdul Rahim (MAF) 15 points