National cyclists dominate Labuan’s inaugural road bike championship


NATIONAL cyclist Nik Mohd Azwan Zukifli (middle) emerged champion with a breathtaking sprint in the inaugural Labuan Challenge 2019 in the Road Bike Open 120km category to seal his first victory on the island.

From an initial peloton of 60 to 70 riders, Azwan, a Kelantanese, burst from the pack to pip his rivals in a dramatic finale to get on the podium as the first champion of Labuan Challenge 2019 in two hours, 52 minutes and 41 seconds (2:52:41sec).

The Best Asian rider of Stage 3 in the Le Tour de Langkawi, Sofian Nabil Omar Mohd Bakri of Terengganu finished second in 2:53:19sec and another national cyclist from Terengganu, Muhammad Shahmir Aiman, clocked 2:53:23sec to finish third, both hot on the heels of Azwan.

Two former nat ional women cyclists from Sabah swept the Road Bike Ladies Open 120km with Vierawatie Haris clinching the title in 3:24:14sec and her compatriot Natahsya Soon finished second with a time of 3:28:12sec, while Siti Farah Eliza Zainuddin was in the third place in 3:28:13sec.

The champion of the Road Bike Men Veteran (120km) was Isma Rizuan Mohamad Esa of Kuala Lumpur (KL), with a time of 2:53:28sec, while Terengganu cycling coach Syed Mohd Hussaini Syed Mazlan who represented Malaysia in the KL Commonwealth Games in 1998 took the second place in 2:54:21sec and the third place went to Azizulazli Shaari who clocked in 3:00:54sec.

Sabah’s promising cyclists, Joshua Mairon won first place in the Mountain Bike Men’s Open 90km in 2:37:45sec and trailing one minute behind was Nicklos Minol (2:38:13sec), while JR Stanly came in 2:38:13.8sec.

The ladies’ open was won by Ainie Markus from Keningau who clocked in 2:43:52sec and Anita Markus finished second in 2:45:38sec, while Suk Fong Fang clocked in 2:57:13sec for the third place.

The Kelab Berbasikal Road Cyclists’ event which was flagged off by MP Labuan Datuk Rozman Isli at 6am at Labuan International Sea Sports Complex with 400 professional and amateur cyclists from across Malaysian and Brunei Darussalam taking part.

“With the encouraging number of national cyclists taking part in this Labuan cycling tour championship, we believe Labuan has the potential to be the venue for international cycling tournaments in the future,” he said.