TICKET TO RIDE: Assistant Minister of Youth Development and Housing Abdul Karim Hamzah (right) with
other officials look at the National Grand Prix Championship 2012 poster yesterday.
KUCHING: The presence of strong teams from Indonesia and Brunei is expected to spice up the National GP (Sarawak Circuit) bicycle race which will be held here this Sept 22-23.
According to Assistant Minister of Youth Development and Housing Abdul Karim Hamzah, local racers can expect a tough challenge with the presence of cyclists from the two neighbouring countries.
“Although this race is a national race, the cyclists from the two countries have requested to participate in the race. They too want the competitive exposure and we are glad to have them participate in this event,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.
Abdul Karim added that cyclists from Brunei and Indonesia, more specifically from West Kalimantan, are always active in joining races organised here in the state.
Their presence has always provided positive competition for the local racers.
“The Indonesians team are so good that some members of their team had represented their country in the Southeast Asian (SEA) games. They are indeed the real deal,” he revealed.
With current Sukma champions Terengganu confirming their participation for the race, the event will be a race to watch for all bicycle enthusiasts. A stiff competition for top spot is highly anticipated.
As for the state cycling squad, a team made up seven men and seven women cyclist has been registered.
They are currently training under the guidance of the state cycling coach Dzulkaflee Hassan.
“This race is one of the platforms used to select potential local cyclists to represent Sarawak and the country. We are also hoping to unearth new talents during this event,” commented Abdul Karim.
Elaborating further, Abdul Karim added that as the race is a national event, it is somewhat compulsory especially to all riders who represented their respective states to participate.
Joining the race will give them a chance to collect and add to their cycling points as it is a sanctioned race.
There will be a men and women’s category in the race which is divided further into a few sub-categories.
The men’s category is divided into four sub-categories which are the Elite Highway (National Open), Junior Highway U-18, Elite Individual Time Trial (ITT), Junior ITT U-18 while the women’s sub-categories are Highway Open and Open ITT.
Another category in the race which is the Sarawak Closed is organised by the state government.
It is only open for participation to Sarawakians.
The race which is a joint effort of the Sarawak Cycling Association and the National Cycling Federation is scheduled to start at the main gates of the Kuching Polytechnic, Matang.
Registration for the race is still open and will be closed on Sept 14.
For further information, cycling enthusiasts can contact the tournament secretariat at 082365404 (office), 082367404 (fax) or via e-mail: email@example.com.