BUKIT MERTAJAM: After missing the chance to win back the King of the Mountains title, the Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team (TSG) is now shifting its focus towards winning stage races and the White Jersey for Best Asian Rider in the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2023.

TSG sports manager, Saiful Anuar Aziz, said their sprint specialist, Mohd Harrif Saleh, is now the key rider in their mission, starting with the fourth stage of the race from Bukit Mertajam to Meru Raya, Perak, today (September 26).

“We will try to get at least one podium finish for Harrif, and we are also targeting the Best Asian Rider (White Jersey).

“It can be said that the opportunity to secure the Polka Dot Jersey for King of the Mountains has slipped away. Yesterday (September 25), the points offered for the four climbing zones were very high, so there is quite a gap between our riders and Tudor Pro Cycling Team representative, Simon Pellaud,” he said.

Saiful Anuar is also optimistic that there are still good chances for TSG to secure White Jersey, especially with the challenging climbs involved in the fifth stage (Slim River-Genting Highlands), including the Hors category climb slated tomorrow (September 27).

Yesterday (September 25), TSG’s hopes of retaining the King of the Mountains title, which was won by their rider Muhammad Nur Aiman Zariff in the first stage last Saturday, were dashed after it was taken by Pellaud.

Pellaud managed to conquer three climbing zones in Jeli, Puncak Titiwangsa, and Sri Banding during the third stage from Jeli to Baling, accumulating 20 points to hold the King of the Mountains title so far.

The fourth stage from Bukit Mertajam to Meru Raya today covers a distance of 140.2 kilometres (km) and offers three sprint zones in Bagan Serai, Talang, and Sungai Siput, as well as a third-category climbing zone in Kuala Kangsar.