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Puncture dashes cycling hopes
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ariya Phousavath of Vietnam crosses the line to win gold yesterday. BT/Yee Chun Leong

Brunei's riders, wearing black-white-yellow jerseys in the peloton during yesteryday's men's 163-kilometre road race. BT/Yee Chun Leong

It was a disappointing end to the national cycling team's campaign at the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw.

Brunei finished last out of eight countries in the men's 163-kilometre road race yesterday with only three out of the five cyclists crossing the line at the Leiway Clock Tower.

Ahmad Rifa'ie Hj Johor, Muhammad I'maadi Abd Aziz and Reduan Yusop were the trio that finished the race for a total time of 14:39:12.

They arrived in the final eight-rider peloton and individually registered a time of 4:53:04.

Muhammad Rafiuddin Zikara and Azmi @ Lokman Abd Hadzid were two out of the eight that failed to complete the race, which started with 48 participants at the Lane Li Bridge.

The Sultanate were the only team to be over 60 minutes behind from winners Indonesia.

The latter - Robin Manullang, Aiman Cahyadi and Bambang Suryyadi - combined for a total of 13:43:33 to finish at the top of the podium.

Malaysia - Loh Sea Keong, Mohammad Saufi Mat Senan and Muhamad Rauf Nur Misbah - were second 2min 32s back.

The Philippines - Ronald Oranza, Mark John Lexer Galedo and Rustom C Lim - claimed third position with their total of 13:41.04.

Over in the individual classification, Ariya Phousavath of Laos shocked everyone to win the gold after crossing the line wih a time of 4:27:22.

Vietnam's Nguyen Hung Mai bagged the silver 1min 45s back while Manullang of Indonesia completed the podium with his time of 4:29:26.

It was a campaign to forget for the national cycling squad considering that national coach Yafiz Jamaludin had targetted a good finish in the team events.

The team had finished second last out of eight countries - beating only hosts Myanmar - in the men's 100km team time trial on Tuesday.

They clocked a time of 3:03:43 and were 27 minutes off the pace from winners Vietnam.

The national cycling team had opened their account in the competition with the cross country olympic event at Mount Pleasant on Friday. Both participants - Rafiuddin and I'maadi - failed to complete the race.

The main target was a strong finish for Rafiuddin but he was hit by bad luck after suffering from a tyre puncture in the first lap of the 4.1km course.

Rafiuddin was the only Bruneian in the men's 50km individual time trial on Sunday where he finished 14th out of 18 participants.

He clocked a time of 1:18:49 in what was his first attempt in the event.

Courtesy from Brunei Times