Fri, 22 Aug 2003

Ferinanto wins fifth stage of Tour d'ISSI

Suherdjoko, The Jakarta Post, Semarang

Indonesian riders dominated the 146-kilometer fifth stage of the cycling Tour d'ISSI on Thursday from Pekalongan to Semarang, taking all three podium positions.

Ferinanto of Eest Java matched his stage three triumph to take his second stage of the race. He averaged 42.82 kilometers per hour to cover the stage in two hours, 25 minutes and 44 seconds.

Suwandra of West Kalimantan and Kaswanto of Lampung followed in second and third place, respectively. Both riders had the same time as Ferinanto, but the winner was awarded a bonus of 10 seconds, Suwandra six seconds and Kaswanto four.

Musairi Musa of Malaysia, the winner of stage four, finished in a distant 61st position. His countryman Suhardi Hassan finished in seventh, but kept the yellow jersey of the overall leader with a time of 16 hours, 21 minutes and 11 seconds.

Amin Suryana of West Java is eight seconds behind in the overall standings, while Musairi Musa remained in third place 38 seconds behind the leader.

The second stage win for Ferinanto helped his East Java team win the stage on Thursday, but overall the Malaysian team is still on top followed by West Java and Yogyakarta.

The 2003 Tour d'ISSI, which was marred by the death of a rider during the second stage from Bandung Tasikmalaya, will cover a total of 1,391 kilometers from Jakarta to Surabaya in nine stages.

The riders will head south on Friday for the 161-kilometer sixth stage from Semarang to Yogyakarta. The riders will pass through some beautiful landscape, with Mount Merapi and Merbabu forming the backdrop, but they will also have to contend with notoriously steep climbs.

There will be a climbing section beginning at kilometer 92 from Cepogo to Selo, where the Climbing King will be decided.

With the absence of Indonesian Tonton Susanto, the Malaysian cyclists, who like Tonton are known for their climbing ability, are expected to dominate the stage. Tonton decided to skip this event in favor of a race in China.

Friday's stage will begin at 11 a.m. local time. After reaching Yogyakarta, the riders will have a one-day break before embarking on the next stage from Yogyakarta to Madiun in East Java.

Meanwhile, the organizers announced they would give 15 riders drug tests.

Husein Argasasmita, the chairman of the event's organizing committee, said four riders had already been tested following the fourth stage. He said those tested were the top three finishers in the stage and the holder of the yellow jersey.

"The remaining riders (to be tested) will be chosen from the seventh and eighth stages," Husein said as quoted by Antara.

He said any rider who tested positive would face sanctions from world cycling governing body UCI.