KUALA LUMPUR: National team sprinter Izzat Hilmi Abdul Halil ended his Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) campaign with a second top-five finish in the UCI ProSeries race today.
Izzat placed fifth in a fast and furious eighth stage which started in Setia Alam and finished in Kuala Lumpur city centre (156.5km).
Astana Qazaqstan’s Gleb Syritsa won the stage in three hours, 12 minutes and 27 seconds. Daniel Babor (Baja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Arvid de Kleijn (Tudor Pro Cycling) came in second and third.
Izzat, who finished fourth in the opening stage, said he was determined to go all out today.
“The pace was really fast, especially in the first 100km. We were going about 55 to 60km per hour from early on,” said Izzat.
“I followed (teammates) Nur Aiman Rosli and Zulhelmi Zainal in the last 5km before splitting up (in the last kilometre) and going on my own.
“I was in a good position in the last 500m and tried my best to maintain my placing.
“It was really fast and there was a lot of contact, I was mentally prepared if we were going to crash.
“But I knew I had to give it everything I had because this was the last stage.
“I am quite happy to get two top-five finishes in LTdL this year. It was definitely an improvement over last year and I hope to keep progressing.
“Hopefully, we will be able to retain the same riders for next year’s LTdL.”
Izzat, like national teammates Aiman, Zawawi Azman, Muhsin Misbah and Shaiful Adlan Shukri, is a former Team Sapura Cycling rider. The 28-year-old is currently employed by the armed forces.
Meanwhile, Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team’s (TSG) Harrif Saleh, 35, ended the eighth stage in 21st position.
Harrif, who has three LTdL stage wins (2019-2020) to his name, has not been in the best of form in this edition of LTdL.