KUALA LUMPUR, August 4 - Motoshoot Event Sdn Bhd, the organiser of the Tour of Peninsular (ToP) cycling race, has decided to postpone its second edition to next year due to uncertainties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It chief operating officer Emir Abdul Jalal said the five-stage race slated for Oct 13-17 will be held around the same time next year.
“We are still under the Recovery Movement Control Order (to combat COVID-19) which is due to end on Aug 31. Also we have yet to the know the government's exit plan (on the pandemic) and are unable to invite foreign teams because the country's borders are yet to be reopened.
“Sponsors are also not sure about giving their full commitment as they had promised before. So all things considered, we do not want the take the risk by going ahead with the race (this year),” he told Bernama.
He said if participation only involved local teams, it would affect the race's 2.1 status in the Union Cycling Internationale (UCI) calendar.
This, he said, was because only three teams in Malaysia – the national team, Team Sapura Cycling (TSC) and Terengganu Inc TSG Cycling Team (TSG) - fulfilled the criteria to compete in races of 2.1 status.
Besides ToP, this year's Tour de Femina, Jelajah Malaysia (Tour of Malaysia) and National Cycling Championship events have also been impacted by the pandemic.
Only the prestigious Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) was not affected as it was held in February, before COVID-19 hit Malaysia hard.
The inaugural edition of the ToP held from Oct 15-19 last year attracted almost 200 riders, from 18 continental and two national teams and was a huge success.
It involved a total distance of 751.6km with the stages being from Dungun-Kuala Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu-Chukai, Kuantan-Karak, Sungai Koyan-Cameron Highlands and Kuala Lipis-Setiawangsa. - R. Vikneswaran | BERNAMA.