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Aiman aims to finish in the red

WITH no points on offer today, climbers classification leader Nur Aiman Zariff will look to take a breather in the seventh stage of Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL).

The seventh stage from Bagan to Alor Star has a relatively flat profile and should be one for the sprinters to fight over.

The eighth stage in Langkawi tomorrow will, however, determine whether Aiman, who currently holds a nine-point advantage over his nearest rival, will be able to enter the history books as the first Malaysian winner of the red jersey in LTdL.

There will be a total of seven categorised climbs in the final stage.

The team Sapura Cycling rider admitted that the sixth stage yesterday did not go exactly to plan but made it clear that he is determined to finish the job.

“Today was a very hard stage, I missed out in the first and second climbs because there was a breakaway group ahead of me and they took the points,”"said Aiman.

“But none of my (climbers classification) rivals were among them (group), so it was not that bad. I just focused on helping my teammate (Danilo Celano) defend his Petronas yellow jersey.

“Tomorrow will be a flat stage, so I will again try to help defend yellow and if possible try and get some rest ahead of the last stage.

“There will be many points on offer in stage eighth and the goal is to collect more points and defend this red jersey until the end.”

Aiman's aggressive riding in the third and fourth stage has seen him collect 29 points points but the big efforts he put in will undoubtedly have taken a lot out of him physically.

Frenchman Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept KTM) is second behind Aiman in the climbers classification standings with 20 points while stage four winner Kevin Rivera (Androni Giocatoli-Sidermec) is third with 15 points.

New Straits Times, 13 Februari 2020

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