Cycling: TSG flies in Yie Kee for European debut in Tour of Antalya

02 Feb 2023 04:42pm
SHAH ALAM - Promising youngster Zhe Yie Kee has been flown into Alanya, Turkiye to begin preparing for his first ever race on European soil as the Terengganu-Polygon Cycling Team (TSG) gear up for the Tour of Antalya on Feb 9-12.

The 20-year old from Dungun will join 2022 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) mountains classification winner Nor Aiman Zariff to complete the squad's seven-man line-up for the UCI2.1 status Tour of Antalya.

Irwandie Lakasek, with a podium finish already under his belt in the Tour of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates last week, has left the Turkiye-based squad under team manager Wan Mohd Nazri Wan Ahmad to join their first squad under sporting director Saiful Anuar Abdul Aziz for the UCI Pro Series Tour of Oman on Feb 11-15.

Wan Mohd Nazri said the team does not expect fireworks from up-and-coming talent Yie Kee right away, but want him to maximise the opportunity in his first race on European soil.

"He had a decent debut in LTdL last year with the Malaysian national team, so we believe the time is right for him to make the step up," said Wan Mohd Nazri of Yie Kee.

The seven-man TSG squad for the Tour of Antalya will also include Ukranian Anatoliy Budyak, Eritrean Metkel Eyob, Indonesian Aiman Chahyadi, who won the mountains classification at the Tour of Sharjah last week, Wan Abdul Rahman Hamdan and Shahrul Mat Amin.

The team will spend the days leading up to the Tour of Antalya 120km away in Alanya, a hotbed of cycling, where many professional teams spend their pre-season.

"The setting here is ideal for preparations. The city is popular among cyclists and even the hotel we are staying at is owned by the former president of the Turkiye cycling federation Kuddusi Muftuoglu and is geared to facilitate cycling. On top of that, there are local races here every week," said Wan Mohd Nazri, adding that the team were impressed with the facilities at the Avena Hotel in Alanya, which not only facilitated cycling but situated in area close to popular training routes utilised by cyclists from around the world.

The Tour of Antalya and Tour of Oman are vital races for the defending UCI Asia Tour champions in their bid to top the overall UCI Continental teams standings this season.
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