Tue, 26 Aug 2003

Ferinanto takes third win, Razali still in lead

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Ferinanto again showed his sprint power as he won the eighth stage on Monday, but Malaysian Sharulneeza Razali held his yellow jersey in the Tour d'ISSI, with the final stage to complete on Tuesday.

Ferinanto, a 25-year-old rider from East Java, led Suwandra of West Kalimantan and Yudhantara of West Java to the finish line, covering the 234-kilometer eighth stage, which stretched from Madiun to Surabaya, in five hours, 14 minutes and 56 seconds.

It was his third win, his previous triumphs being in the third and fifth stages.

The wins have yet to lift Ferinanto's position in the overall standings, given that he failed to complete the fourth stage, from Purwokerto to Pekalongan.

Despite failing to step up to the podium, Shaharulneeza Razali still kept the yellow jersey, with an overall time of 31:06:51. Compatriot Suhardi Hassan followed in second place a minute and nine seconds adrift, with Amin Suryana of West Java in third place, two minutes and five seconds behind the leader.

Malaysia also looks set to take the team overall victory, now that it leads West Java by a minute and 45 seconds.

Ferinanto was not too bothered by his fading prospects for taking overall victory.

"I'm grateful that I was able to achieve my third win on my own route," said Ferinanto, a native of Madiun, as quoted by Antara.

With 234 kilometers to cover, the eighth stage was the longest in the tour, encompassing Madiun, Caruban, Saradan, Nganjuk, Kediri, Kertosono, Jombang, Mojokerto, Gempol, Porong, Sidoarjo and Surabaya.

However, with the route relatively flat, the peloton did not break up until the riders entered the final 10 kilometers, at which point Ferinanto, renowned for his sprint skills, proved unbeatable.

Tuesday is the final stage, and will cover a 151-kilometer route from Surabaya to Pandaan.