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Malaysia overall champion at Lombok Mandalika

Panca Nugraha

The Jakarta Post

Mataram  /  Mon, April 16, 2018  /  08:55 am
Malaysia overall champion at Lombok Mandalika

Cyclists take part in a circuit race in capital city Mataram during an event to promote the 2018 Tour de Lombok Mandalika in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, on Sunday. The 366.8-kilometer tour will run from April 13 to 15. (JP/Panca Nugraha)

Team Sapura Cycling of Malaysia secured the overall champion title at the Tour de Lombok Mandalika, which was held from Friday to Sunday in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. 

The team clocked in at 29 hours, 18 minutes and 48 seconds, followed by Indonesian team KFC Cycling at 29:36:39 and the Ukyo Team of Japan in third place with 29:40:37

The best cyclist title, however, went to Colombian Alvaro Raul Duarte Sandova, who rode for the Malaysian Forca Amskin team. Behind him was M. Zawawi Azman of Malaysia, who rode for Sapura Cycling. He shared the stage with teammate Wilmar Zahir Perez Munoz, who was held to third place. 

The tour is a sports tourism event jointly initiated by the Indonesia Sport Cycling Association (ISSI), West Nusa Tenggara Tourism Agency, the Tourism Ministry and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The organizers registered 18 cycling teams from 24 countries for the event. 

The tour officially opened on Friday with the first stage stretching 84.4 kilometers from Kuta Mandalika to Mataram, the island’s capital. Eritrean cyclist Metkel Eyob of the Malaysian Trengganu cycling club won pole position in this stage by clocking in at 1:52:14. Second place was secured by Yousif M. Ahmed Mirza al Hamadi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at 1:52:15, followed by Singaporean cyclist Choon Huat Goh of the Malaysian Trengganu Cycling Club at 1:52:20.

Read also: Five must-visit destinations on Lombok

The second stage was held on Saturday with a 172-km route from Mataram to Sembalun, eastern Lombok. Malaysian cyclist M. Zawawi Azman reached the finish line in Sembalun village clocking in at 5:11:49. 

Azman, who rode for the Malaysian Spaura cycling team, had to go the extra mile to conquer the notorious Sembalun climb, which is widely known as one of Asia’s most extreme climbs. Behind Azman were Alvaro Raul Duarte Sandoval in second place and Wilmar Zahir Perez Munoz of Sapura Cycling Malaysia in third.

The third stage on Sunday saw cyclists endure a 110-km route in Mataram. Japanese cyclist Shiki Korueda of Japan’s Aisan racing team managed to grab pole position clocking in at 2:39:39, followed by Anuar Manan of Malaysia’s Forca Amskin Team in second place and Indonesian cyclist Aiman Cahyadi, who rode for Malaysia’s Sapura cycling team, in third. 

Race director Sondi Purnomo said the event offered Rp 300 million in prizes in addition to additional UCI points for the winners so they could compete in bigger races. He also said it was a huge relief that the event was on the UCI calendar, like several other races such as the Tour de Singkarak, Tour de Flores and Tour de Ijen Banyuwangi. 

“Actually we limited the participants to 16 teams but then two teams came from the UAE and Indonesia. These two teams entered the race with their own money,” he said. 

Florida Pardosi of the Tourism Ministry expected positive impacts from the participation of foreign teams in the event. 

“This event has been an effective tool to boost tourism in Lombok,” she said.

West Nusa Tenggara Tourism Agency head Lalu M. Faozal said the tour had been meticulously organized to incorporate tourist spots. He mentioned Kuta Beach within the special economic zone of Mandalika and Sasak tribal village in Sade and Ende, as among the promoted spots. 

“Generally, they give a good impression of Lombok. I hope they share their experiences here with people in their home countries,” he said.