Richer pickings

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PETALING JAYA — Road cyclist Harrif Saleh is delighted Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) will go back to its roots in Langkawi next year.

The Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) rider noted the race was first held in 1996, where it started and ended on the island.

It was last held in 2015 before being scrapped due to budget constraints.

“Great news to TSG and local teams. All the riders including the professional teams will be looking forward to race back in Langkawi.

“I’m also convinced next year’s edition will attract a lot of sponsorships.

“LTdL is our Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s brainchild. I strongly believe more sponsors will come forward after this. No doubts.”

Harrif said with new sponsors on board, the prize money will be more lucrative.

“LTdL is the most important race in TSG’s calendar and Langkawi has given us great memories.

“TSG made their debut in 2011 and I managed third place in Stage 1,” he said.

This year, TSG rider Artem Ovechkin emerged the overall winner — the victory being the first for a Malaysian team in 23 editions of the 2.HC race.

Harrif said they will resume training on the third day of Hari Raya.

“We’ll do our own ‘Jelajah Malaysia’ on June 25 as part of our Asian Games training,” he said.

Four TSG riders were selected for Asian Games in Indonesia this August.

They are Shahrul Mat Amin and Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Mazuki (road) as well as Irwandi Lakasek and Afiq Huznie Othman (track).