Confusion Over Suhardi’s Double Registeration
THE national team’s plans have hit a snag following Kuala Lumpur’s sudden decision to include leader Suhardi Hassan in their outfit for the Jelajah Malaysia on Jan 7-13.
There was confusion as the organisers, 10-Speed Events Sdn Berhad, saw a double registration as both Kuala Lumpur and the national team listed the 25-year-old in their teams.
National coach Aminuddin Sulaiman, however, said he would be willing to do without the services of Suhardi.
This, despite Sea Games silver medallist Suhardi being part of the national programme funded by the Government in preparation for Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) on Feb 9-17.
“I was only informed that Suhardi has been listed with KL for the race, there was no request whatsoever, but it is not the end of the world,” said Aminuddin.
“I’m looking at the Jelajah as a platform to prepare the team for LTdL and that is where they will peak, so the Jelajah Malaysia will be where we also have a good look at all the Malaysian riders.”
The national team head into Jelajah Malaysia on a rich vein of form, having shown marked improvement in the Tour of Thailand last week, where all the riders put on aggressive performances in all six stages.
“If Suhardi is not available, then we have to look at a replacement, but I won’t make a decision right away. The riders return to camp on Monday (tomorrow) and that is when I will start weighing my options,” said Aminuddin.
The other riders in the national training squad are Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi, Zamri Salleh, Rauf Nor Misbah, Faris Abdul Razak and Loh Sea Keong.
Sea Keong, however, won’t be available as he will be riding for his continental team Trek-Marco Polo.
That leaves Aminuddin with few options, including Ng Yong Li, who has recently signed with Japanese team Equipe Asada, which won’t be starting the race.
It would be either that, or risking young riders.
“As it is, the riders in the training squad are showing improvement. I won’t say we’re targeting any jersey wins, but I’m confident the boys will be giving it a fight, better than previously,” said Aminuddin.
“It will be a different national team in the Jelajah and LTdL this time around.”