Tue, 08 Feb 2000

ISSI disappointed with Tour de Langkawi's result

JAKARTA (JP): The deputy secretary-general of the Indonesian Cycling Association (ISSI), Sofian Ruzian, expressed his disappointment with the performance of Indonesian cyclists in the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia.

In the individual competition of the 12-stage tour which ended on Sunday, Goang Sulistiyono managed the best showing for Indonesia, finishing 17th out of 26 East Asian cyclists, and 83rd out of the 126 cyclists from around the world competing in the event.

His compatriots Herry Janto Setiawan, Wawan Setyobudi, Suyitno, Hengky Setiawan and Joni Soeryo Agung finished 21/104, 22/110, 23/122, 24/124 and 26/126, respectively.

The six cyclists, however, salvaged some pride for Indonesia by finishing fifth in the overall East Asian team event, clocking a time of 118 hours 40 minutes and 11 seconds. They found themselves behind Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia and China.

Besides Indonesia, the teams competing in the East Asia division were Japan, South Korean and Southeast Asian countries.

Sofian said the result was Indonesia's worst showing in the tour.

"We earlier targeted winning the East Asian championship in this tour. But this was not fulfilled. With this result, we don't know if we will be invited to next year's tour because the organizer had warned us to send our best and strongest team to this year's tour," he said.

He said ISSI should have sent its national cyclists to compete in the event, which offered 1 million ringgit in prize money.

"ISSI can't afford to pay for the transportation and accommodation of the national cyclists.

"The six cyclists who took part in this championship came from East Java. They received financial support from certain parties in their province. The championship should serve as a warm-up tournament for the 15th National Games which will be hosted by East Java," he said.

He said Indonesia's top cyclist, Tonton Susanto from West Java, won the East Asian riders overall title at the event in 1998. Tonton also finished third in the East Asian division in the 1997 tour. At that time, Kazakhstan was included in the East Asian division. Indonesia also finished third in the team event at the 1997 tour.

Sofian said the East Java cyclists were weak in the mountains. "They were spineless when they rode in the mountains, so they were left behind," he said.

In the individual competition, Christopher Horner from Team Mercury finished first, followed by Julio Alberto Perez (Panaria Gaerne) and Fortunato Baliani (Aguardiente Nectar).

Wong Kam Po of the Telekom Malaysia team won the overall title for East Asian riders. He was followed by Malaysian cyclist and 1999 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Shahrulneeza Razali, with Japan's Hidenori Nodera in third.(ivy)