Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tour of Borneo to put Sabah on cycling map

Kota Kinabalu: A total of 120 cyclists comprising 20 teams including a Sabah team have confirmed to compete in Sabah's first international cycling road race, the Tour of Borneo 2012 to commence from April 27 to May 1.

Tour of Borneo (ToB) organising chairman, Dato' Fredie Sua said the inaugural race in Sabah will feature cyclists from Malaysia and more than 10 countries are participating in the race.

He said a total of six professional teams from Malaysia are participating while the remaining teams come from continental, national and club teams from all over Asia, Europe, United States of America, New Zealand, Australia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Philippine, and Brunei Darussalam, among others, and will be accompanied by over 520 race officials.

The championship is rated 2.2 by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and listed on UCI's Asian Tour calendar.

Fredie said this international race has fulfilled all vital requirements and it is at par with the 'Jelajah Malaysia' Cycling and the annual Le Tour De Langkawi.

"The Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman will do the flag-off on April 27 to begin the race at Semporna.

And the Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin together with the race's Honorary Patron, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad will grace the closing ceremony to receive the final winner here on May 1. "ToB is a five-stage race that covers a total distance of 758.4 kilometres starting at Semporna and passing through picturesque locations of Tawau, Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Sepilok, Kundasang and ends in the State Capital here," he said.

Fredie said this to reporters after paying a courtesy call to the Head of State Tun Juhar Mahirudin at the Istana Negeri here on Wednesday.

He also presented a special invitation to the Head of State to grace the closing ceremony of the event with Dr. Mahathir early next month.

Juhar also witnessed a handing over of a mock cheque of RM100,000 from a Sarawak-based company, Sutranah Development Sdn Bhd Chairman Datuk Lau Chen Kiong to Fredie as the ToB's organiser.

Fredie said the race will introduce a new challenge featuring the most gruelling and longest ride from Sepilok to Kundasang for a total distance of 215km for the fourth stage.

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