OVER 100 cyclists flagged off from the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday as they embarked on the first of five races which is being held as part of the National Cycling Championship Series 2014.
The first of its kind in the Sultanate, the series continues on May 11, Aug 10, Sept 14 and Dec 21.
A total of 102 riders from 18 teams competed in the Open Category (137 km) while five took part in the Junior category (33 km) and six in the Beginner category (5.6km).
The Beginner Category is open to 13-15 year olds, the Junior category to 16-18 year olds and the open category for Under-23, Elite, Masters and Veterans riders. All age categories under the BDCF.
“Considering it is the first in our series, there has been a very good response,” said event director Omar Ali Hj Ibrahim in an interview with The Brunei Times before the races flagged off.
“With the series we hope to see more races so cyclists can improve. It is part of our commitment to our national riders (and) to enhance their performance when they are not competing overseas,” he said.
“We want to get more youth involved in our races as (to provide) back-up to our national riders,” he said noting the competition was also an effort to develop the sport in the country.
Omar Ali added that most in the Beginner and Junior category train under national coach Yafiz Jamaludin.
The event director also explained that 21 teams registered for the series but three teams did not participate in the first race yesterday, though he hopes all registered teams will compete in the next race on May 11.
In the 137 km Open category, national cyclist Reduan Yusof broke away from the pack and sped past the finish line for Cannasia Cycling Team in 3:40:11.08. Teammate Abdul Hadri Morsidi was second on 3:41:41.07 and Bro’s Cycling Team’s Ahamad Rifa’ie Hj Johor third (3:41:41.35).
Bro’s Cycling Project’s Muhammad Aziz Abdul came in first in the Junior Category with 57:50.24, beating teammate Ahmad Jawaahir Hj Johar (57.50.26) by a whisker – with the teammates celebrating together going into the final stretch of the race. They were both tailed by Md Hamizan Hj Herman from Kedayan Cycling Team in 58:19.86.
Bro’s Cycling Project’s Muhammad Azwar Muhammad Hairolrani crossed the line first in the Beginner Category after clocking 28:30.69. He was closely followed by Belait Cycling Team’s Mohammad Fadhli Hj Rosli (28:33.58) and Kedayan Cycling Team’s Muhd Haziq Hj Herman (29:34.36).
Cannasia Cycling Team lead the Team competition followed by Bro’s Cycling Team and G530 Team ‘A’. The team classification is based on the top-three riders in their respective teams for each series edition.
The top 10 in each category will receive points for each race; the winner 100, runner-up 80 and second runner-up 70. The fourth to 10th placed entries in each category will get points depending on their position while those who complete the race will get one point.
Cash prizes up to $3,000 for the Individual Men’s category and $4,000 for the Team category will be awarded to the individuals and teams with the most points at the end of the series.
The series is organised by the Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation (BDCF) in collaboration with the Department of Youth and Sports.
The Brunei Times