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CYCLING: Honeymoon over

THE trio of Azizulhasni Awang, Fatehah Mustapa and Josiah Ng end their post-World Championships break on April 28 and it is full speed ahead for the London Olympics from then on.

The planned pre-Olympic stint in Belgium is confirmed and there will be no room for any let-offs in the coming months.

"They'll head back to the training base in Melbourne first where they'll start their Olympic preparations," said Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad, who is also track team manager.

While the MNCF have indicated after the World Championships in Melbourne last week that Azizulhasni will be riding in both the 200m sprint and keirin at the Olympics, veteran Josiah, 32, will likely make the trip to London as a reserve.

Fatehah will compete in the women's 200m sprint and keirin in her Olympic debut.

"We're now just awaiting the final word from the selection committee on the two riders who will represent the country in the road events at the Olympics," said Naim.

"That decision is due before the closing dates for registration of athletes on July 9, so the MNCF road committee still have time to review the performances of the shortlisted riders.

"The riders too have to put in the results if they want their spots."

The track team leaves for University of Ghent in Belgium on June 28 for a month where they will prepare for the Cottbus Sprint GP on June 5-9 and the Cologne Sprint GP on July 21-22. Both races are in Germany.

"There is a high level of technical and medical support available in Belgium, plus it is under a joint project where the university hosts Olympic athletes preparing for the Games," said Naim.

"But the duration of the stint is subject to the availability of the London Olympic velodrome. We'd like to be there as early as possible because the riders need to get accustomed to the rounder configuration of the track."

The road squad is due to join them in Belgium for their final preparations for the Olympics.

The road team's select two are yet to be decided but Adiq Husainie Othman and Anuar Manan are well into their European stint with China's Champion System team.

Anuar started his third race in Europe yesterday in the Tro-Bro Leon in France, while Adiq Husainie is in Italy where he started the Giro del Appenino yesterday and will be in the Giro del Trentino which starts tomorrow.

Adiq Husainie had earlier found the going tough where he failed to finish the GP Pino Cerami in Belgium last week, but assured that as was the case with Anuar, it was all due to a lack of acclimatisation.

"It was my first race in really cold weather and we'd just arrived three days earlier. But now I'm feeling much better and we're doing some races in Italy where the weather is much better," said Adiq Husainie when contacted.

Also in the running for the two slots are Harrif Salleh, Zamri Salleh and Amir Mustafa Rusli.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 April 2012 06:36

 

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