NATIONAL rider Muhamad Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff retained the Red Jersey in stage four of the 2020 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) today.
The 22-year-old from Team Sapura Cycling (TSC) has collected 30 points after four stages, 15 points clear of teammate Danilo Celano of Italy and Australian rider Rylee Field of Team BridgeLane.
“This (Red Jersey) has been my best achievement, Alhamdulillah.
“My total number of points (collected) for (winning) the Red Jersey is quite high, but I’m still not comfortable yet, as I need to pay attention to other riders. I will try my best to retain the Red Jersey in the remaining two stages that have climbing zones,” Muhamad Nur Aiman said when met by reporters after finishing the 156.1km-long ‘Queen Stage’ from Dataran Putrajaya to Genting Highlands here.
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec rider Kevin Rivera Serrano of Costa Rica won stage four with a time of 4 hours 18 minutes and 55 seconds, followed by Muhamad Nur Aiman’s teammate Danilo Celano, who finished 10 seconds behind.
Former LTdL champion Artem Ovechkin of Russia from Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team finished in third place with a time of 4 hours 19 minutes 38 seconds.
Muhammad Nur Aiman finished 45th out of 120 riders after clocking 4 hours 31 minutes and 28 seconds in today’s race, which ran into heavy fog and rainfall throughout the climb to Genting Highlands.
Meanwhile, TSC team manager Ahmad Sayuti Mohd Zahit said he was pleased with the achievements of Celano and Muhamad Nur Aiman, but warned of stiff competition from the World Teams and Pro Teams in the remaining four stages of the race.
“People said we were lucky for winning the Yellow Jersey (overall) last season, but this time we have proven it (with good performances), and this is a great achievement for the Malaysian team, especially Sapura.
“I don’t think any team can win a second consecutive Yellow Jersey, especially in Genting Highlands, and Muhamad Nur Aiman managed to keep the Red Jersey for the second time in a row, something no other Malaysian rider has ever done,” said Ahmad Sayuti, who is also a former rider.
Stage five of the race tomorrow will cover a distance of 165.8km from Kuala Kubu Bharu to Ipoh with three sprint zones at Tanjung Malim, Slim River and Tapah.