Saturday January 26, 2013
Anuar has no qualms riding in third division
By SHAMSHUL FITRI
PETALING JAYA: Anuar Manan is down but not out in his cycling career.
The 26-year-old enjoyed the media limelight for featuring in a Pro Continental (second division) Champion System team last year but Terengganu-born Anuar will be returning to the third division in the Continental ranks this year.
Champion System retained Adiq Husainie Othman on their roster for the second successive year but decided to release Anuar who was snapped up by new outfit Synergy Baku Cycling Project of Azerbaijan for the 2013 season.
“I don’t mind returning to race with a third division team. To some, it may seem that I’m taking a step backwards but in fact I’ve learnt a lot while with the team,” said Anuar, who is currently training with his new team-mates in Melbourne.
“Racing with a second division team means you get to race in a much higher level competition. But expecting to deliver results within the first year in the team at such level ... I think it’s a bit too much to ask.”
A subdued start saw him get on the podium once in the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) last year, when he finished third in the Malacca-Parit Sulong stage.
He had two more podium finishes – a third placing in the Tour of China (September) and a second placing in the Tour of Hainan (October). This was in stark contrast to his stunning performance with Terengganu Cycling team the year before when he notched 10 podium finishes – with three stage wins.
“I’m not disappointed to drop back to the third tier. For me, I think there are some positives that can be taken from it. I can win more stages in the smaller races and I will work my way back up again,” said the former LTdL points jersey winner.
Anuar will be working under former Team Sky rider Jeremy Hunt who is now the sporting director of Synergy after retiring from competition last year.
“To be under the guidance of such a calibre man is a great boon for me. I am really looking forward to working under him as he has a wealth of experience.
“The LTdL (Feb 21-Mar 2) will be our first race together with the new team. It will be a big test for us,” said Anuar.