News for February 10
Oriental express - Team Telekom Malaysia
By Steve Thomas in Genting Highlands
Just before this year's Tour de Langkawi had its grand finale in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, the multi national composite Team Telekom Malaysia reflected on a good race, yet again, but were surely left wondering what might have been had their men performed as expected on the evil road to Genting Highlands, a stage which with good form and luck could have seen them creeping up to a podium position for Indonesian rider Tonton Susanto. Which would have been a first for Asian cycling.
Manager: Gerard Stock, former New Zealand team track rider.
Graeme Miller age 41 of New Zealand; Miller is very much the team creator and captain. The former double Commonwealth games Champion has been riding this event for many years, and regularly heads and organises the Telekom team. He is a former points champion in the race, and will be racing this year for Team Mercury in the USA.
After going off course in the prologue time trial he has been suffering from a stomach bug, but still manages to control the team on the road and is always at the head of affairs.
Wong Kan Po age 27 from Hong Kong; Wong is most probably the biggest star of Asian cycling, and one of the best all round amateur riders in the world. His all round ability has earned him mountain stage victories in this race, as well as numerous bunch sprint victories in races the world over, as well as a top 20 placing in the Olympic games points race.
Last year the former Asian champion won the blue jersey of the best Asian rider in this race.
Musairi Musa age 28 from Malaysia; Musa is ranked as Malaysia's leading rider, and proudly wears the jersey of national Champion. In 200 he also won the Tour of the Philippines, while last year he won a stage in the Tour of Malaysia. He has represented Malaysia in the Langkawi tour four times.
Nor Effendy Rosli age 34 from Indonesia; Effendy is no stranger to this event, having participated five times in all. He is best remembered for his superb second place in the 1998 Commonwealth Games, which was quite a breakthrough for an Asian rider.
Kadar Mizbani Iranar age 25 of Iran; Mizbani made his Langkawi debut for Team Telekom last year and finished a fine second to Wong in the Asian rider category. His name may not be familiar in the west, but this Iranian is one superb climber, and performed admirably on the stage to Genting earlier today, finishing a fine 20th on the stage, and best Asian rider.
Ahad Kazemi age 21 from Iran; Kazemi is yet another eastern delight. The young Iranian has bundles of talent, unfortunately due to the difficulty of travelling outside of his country it's hard for him to get the opportunities and competition he needs to make it big time in the world of road racing.
When he does get the chance he makes the most of it; last year he won the UCI 2.5 rated Tour of Saudi Arabia, against opposition from teams such as Nürnberger. Along the way he also took a time trial and a mountain stage victory.
Tonton Susanto age 28 from Indonesia; Tonton was the leading Asian rider in the race this year, and the best placed rider on GC in the Telekom team. Last year he raced as part of the Indonesian national team and finished up 27th overall. Stage 9 didn't go as well as expected for Tonton, he eventually finished in 27th spot, dropping him from 5th to 15th overall.