Cycling: Is Wan Abdul Rahman shaping up to be TSG's next sprint king?

05 Feb 2023 12:53pm
SHAH ALAM - If there was doubt among the local cycling community about the next generation of sprinters to count on to deliver stage victories from bunch sprints on the international stage, then Terengganu-Polygon Cycling Team's (TSG) Wan Abdul Rahman Hamdan seems to have began providing a lot of answers.

The 23-year old was left disappointed at the finish line of the Grand Prix Apollon Temple in Turkiye yesterday, finishing fourth after getting boxed in as a bunch sprint ended the final kilometre of the 129.9 kilometre UCI 1.2 status Europe Tour race, but that should spark some expectations of things to come.

He only just missed out on a second podium finish in a week, after a third place finish in Stage Two of the Tour of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates last week and this time, he left it too late to strike as Russia's Sergey Rostovsev of the Beykoz Belediyesi Spor Kulubu team too victory ahead of Germany's Adrian Zuger of the Bike Aid team and Kazakhstan's Vladimir Mulagaleyev of the Vino SKO team.

"He got boxed in as the bunch sprint climaxed and while he had a lot left in the tank, it was too late. He was left very frustrated as this would have been another podium finish, our first in the Europe Tour this season," said team manager Wan Mohd Nazri Wan Ahmad, when contacted in Alanya.

Wan Mohd Nazri said the overall performance however, provided a lot of positive motivation to the team as they prepared for their main assignment in Turkiye, the Tour of Antalya on Feb 9-12.
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"This race was good preparation for the team as it was run in temperatures below 10 degrees celsius. But the team did well to lead-out Wan Abdul Rahman and put him in a good position in the final kilometre. This was a good sign that the riders are performing well in these conditions," said Wan Ahmad Nazri.

With the team's main sprinter Harrif Saleh now approaching the twighlight of his career at 34, the rise of Wan Abdul Rahman, who is in his fourth season with the team, could excite the local fans flocking to finish lines when they return for their home races, the Jelajah Malaysia next month and Le Tour de Langkawi.

The TSG line-up for the Tour of Antalya will be Wan Abdul Rahman, veteran Shahrul Mat Amin, youngster Zhe Yie Kee, Nor Aiman Zariff, Eritrean Metkel Eyob, Ukranian Anatoliy Budyak and Indonesian Aiman Chahyadi, winner of the mountains classification in the Tour of Sharjah last week.
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