CHIANGRAI TIMES – It’s all shaping up well for the Terengganu Cycling Team and leader Harrif Salleh even believes this is the best prepared team he’s been in ahead of the 17th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) on Feb 24-March 4.
The squad, under new French coach Sebastien Duclos, are in their final phase of a training camp in mountainous Chiang Rai, Thailand and will put the finishing touches with focus on the lead-out for sprinter Harrif next week.
We’ve had a really good training camp so far and what’s most important is that the team have gelled together well,” said Harrif, over a Blackberry Messenger chat from Chiang Rai.
“With this level of preparation, we are going to be ready for Le Tour de Langkawi.”
The team, now Malaysia’s only remaining UCI Continental outfit, will also line up reigning national road champion Shahrul Mat Amin, Saufi Mat Senan, Japan’s Shinichi Fukushima, South Korea’s Jang Chan Jae and Harrif’s elder brother Zamri in LTdL.
“Right now, we’re in a phase where we’re working on power and speed work, with motor-pacing, which is going really well for everybody. The spirits are high and everyone is so focused,” said Harrif.
The coach has planned for us to work on the lead-out for me next week. That will be good as we get to practice the sprints and brush up on how we’re going to finish the stages.”
This time around with an improved line-up of European teams, much focus will also be on the battle between the two top sprinters in the country, who are expected to be right in the mix in the race for the finish on flat stages.
A mouth-watering battle between Terengganu, who will lead out Harrif, and the Champion System team of China, which will bank on Anuar Manan, is expected.
God willing, we’ll be right there. I’m feeling good about this. We are going to challenge for victories, said Harrif, who will also feature in the national team for the road events in the Asian Cycling Championships in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya on Feb 8-18. By Arnaz M. Khairul