KUALA TERENGGANU, Jan 22: Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), a UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) continental team, have roped in three new faces in anticipation of a more intense and challenging season this time.
TSG chief executive officer Che Ku Mohd Izmuddin Che Ku Mahmood said the trio are Andreas Miltiadas of Cyprus, Eritrea climb specialist Merhawi Kudus Ghebrenedhin and former Team Sapura Cycling ace Nur Aiman Rosli, who replaces Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin.
“The five imports retained are Aiman Cahyadi, Jesse Ewart, Youcef Reguigui, Metkel Eyob and Anotalii Budiak, who is now into his third season with TSG.
“We also have eight local riders this season, namely Harrif Saleh, Irwandie Lakasek, Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff, Wan Abdul Rahman Hamdan, Zuladri Amin Zulkurnain, Kee Zhe Yie, Muhammad Shahmir Aiman Abd Halim and Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki, who is also the team captain,” he said at the launch of the 2024 TSG team here last night.
Che Ku Mohd Izmuddin also said that TSG, who are based in Kuala Terengganu, closed the 2023 season in excellent style by being crowned the top-ranked UCI Asia Tour team for the third year in a row and ranked the best continental team in the world.
“We also managed to improve our world ranking by moving up to 29th spot out of 215 teams compared to 30th the previous season, making it TSG’s best achievement since its formation in 2011,” he said.
In a related development, Che Ku Mohd Izmuddin said TSG will begin the 2024 season by competing in the 2.2-status Tour of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Jan 26-31.
He said six riders would be selected for the Tour under the guidance of head coach Mohd Saiful Anuar Aziz.
“We will compete in seven races, including in Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE throughout this month and next month.
“For this year, we have received sponsorship totalling RM10.84 million… a little less than last year due to the economic slowdown. This may be a challenge in terms of managing the team’s finances,” he said.