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Sabah cyclist Chee storms to victory

PROUD MOMENT … from left, Terrance Edward Pudin, Director of Sabah Sports Council, Wan Shazmeer Aiman (Kelantan), Waldron Chee (Sabah), Isyraq bin Mohzani (Perak), Hazani Bin Hashim, Director of Sports Management (National Sports Council).

4th August, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah boy Waldron Chee won the Junior Cycling Malaysia’s (JCM) U17 criterium race held at Menara Tun Mustapha, near here last Sunday.

This was Sabah road cycling’s first ever win in a national race.

Chee, 15, stormed to maximum sprint points and finished half a lap ahead of the second fastest rival, Wan Shazemmeer Aiman from Kelantan.

The U17 race attracted 27 cyclists from around the country.

Chee, a Form Three student from Kian Kok Secondary School, was the first to storm past the first technical corner. He quickly built a 10-second gap on the chasing pack after two laps and won the first sprint lap by a big margin. His form and speed stunned his competitors and he capitalised on the indecisiveness of the chasers to increase his lead to over 20 seconds, winning all four sprint laps.

The Gleneagles-Speedster cyclist thanked his teammate Bong Yong Xian for helping him win the race, and coaches for race preparations and the tactical plan.

“We worked hard on the physiological and tactical demands of the race. The kids executed the race plan flawlessly, worked as a team, controlled their nerves and rode brilliantly today,” said Louis Pang, the head coach of Gleneagles-Speedster.

“Winning our first national race is extra special. They realised how hard work leads to success. We need to stay grounded and stick to our training plans and methods,” said Pang who is also Sabah’s road cycling coach.

In the U19 category, Lim Chun Kiat finished sixth with three sprint points in a highly competitive group, while Bong finished 5th in the U17 with three sprint points.

The duo followed up their top 10 finish in the National U21 Championship in Segamat a week earlier, with another fine showing at the JCM criterium race.

At the prize presentation ceremony, Director of Sabah Sports Council, Terrance Edward Pudin who presented the maillot jaune or yellow jersey to Waldron Chee, said it was a huge victory for Sabah cycling, one that shattered the glass ceiling on how far Sabahans can go in road cycling.

The state has been traditionally strong in mountain biking, but its renaissance in road cycling gives Sabah something new to cheer for.

JCM is a national junior criterium racing circuit established under the National Sports Council to unearth young cycling talents and stream them into the national team.

Top ranking JCM cyclists from 2016 are currently training in Belgium. – PR

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