KUALA LUMPUR: National coach Yusof Nasir will be using the upcoming National Road Cycling Championships to gauge the performances of riders he has earmarked to compete in Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) later this year.
Yusof said he has shortlisted about 10 riders to be part of the national squad for LTdL, which includes riders from the recently disbanded Team Sapura Cycling.
The national meet will be held in Melaka from July 20 to 23.
“The national championship will not really be a selection event for the LTdL squad, we just want to see these riders current form,” said Yusof recently.
“We already have a list of roughly 10 riders, but are still looking for climbers.
“I am also still trying to persuade Nik Azwan Zulkifle to be part of the team this year, but have yet to discuss this with him in detail.
“We plan to begin centralised training for the national team on Aug 1. The squad will remain together until LTdL.”
LTdL will be held from Sep 23 to 30 across 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia, covering 1,280km.
Nik Azwan, 33, is believed to be contemplating retirement from the national team. The Police rider had finished third in stage three during the 2018 edition of LTdL.
The former Sapura riders Yusof has shortlisted include time trial specialist Nur Aiman Rosli, Yusri Shaari and Mior Hazwan Hamzah.
Sapura were forced to shut down last month as they were unable to secure new sponsorship for the team.