Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nor Rizwan wins ninth stage

Malaysian National Team rider Nor Rizwan Zainal, in green, celebrating as he leads the peloton across the finish line after the ninth stage of the Tour d’Indonesia on Tuesday.

BANYUWANGI, East Java - Malaysian National Team rider Nor Rizwan Zainal won the Tour d’Indonesia’s ninth stage on Tuesday.

Zainal led a large peloton which finished the 179-kilometer race from Probolinggo to Banyuwangi in 4 hours, 31 minutes and 39 seconds.

Australian Douglas Repacholi of Plan B was second, while Russia’s Sergey Kudentsov of Polygon Sweet Nice, who the eighth stage, completed the podium.

“I won a stage at last. Thanks to my teammates for the great teamwork,” Zainal said. “That was a grueling stage, especially because of the heat. I just tried to be in the front group.”

Iranian racer Mehdi Sohrabi of Tabriz Petrochemical still tops the individual classification with a total time 28:20:06. He will likely keep the yellow jersey and win the Tour, which ends on Thursday, as he is 2:27 in front of teammate Ghader Mizbani. Another Tabriz rider, Andrey Mizuroj, is at third.

Tabriz also looks set to retain the team trophy as it leads the team standings in 84:39:14, while fellow Iranian team Azad University is 21:31 behind in second.

Firmansyah of Bintang Kranggan Cycling Club was the fastest Indonesian in the ninth stage, while Didit Purwanto of DI Yogyakarta and Reno Yudha Sansoko of Giant DKI Jakarta were second and third.

Hari Fitrianto of Polygon Sweet Nice holds the red and white jersey with a total time of 28:34:10 and is likely to win the local riders classification. He is 1:58 ahead of Didit in the standings.

“I’ll try to be with the front runners in the next stage to retain this red and white jersey,” Hari said.

United Bike Kencana rider Budi Santoso won the stage’s first sprint event at the 59.8-kilometer mark, and Dadi Suryadi of Putra Perjuangan Bandung won the second after 96.5 kilometers.

Sohrabi still leads the sprinters’ classification with 21 points, while Zainal sits in second place with 10 points.

After arriving in Banyuwangi, cyclists were ferried to Bali for the Tour’s final two stages. Today’s penultimate stage is a 136.8-kilometer race from Gilimanuk to Denpasar, and the Tour will finish with a criterium event in Denpasar on Thursday. -Antara

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