Manan chasing ProTour contract
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Manan chasing ProTour contract

by VeloNation Press at 10:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Speaking after making history as the first Malaysian to win a stage of the Tour de Langkawi, Anaur Manan has identified a European pro contract and riding the Tour de France as his goals for the next phase of his career.

The 23 year old has impressed greatly in this edition of the race, showing considerable determination as well as an aptitude to learn from experience. Winning the stage to Port Dickson moved him back into the lead in the points classification, a competition he’s aiming to win on Sunday.

“My dream is to join a big pro team, and to do the Tour de France as well,” he told reporters at today’s post-race press conference. “I am slowly going in the right direction. I will try to find a good team for me, which can bring me out from Asia and let me do races in Europe.”

Manan, who currently competes with the Geumsan Ginseng Asia squad, reportedly would love to race with Columbia HTC. He showed his ability in 2007 when he took several wins, including stages in the Tours of Hainan and Azerbaijan plus the Jelajah Malaysia. He also won the points classification in the latter.

The following season he placed second on a stage in the Tour de Langkawi, wore the points jersey for several stages and finished second overall in that classification.  

But it is this year’s race where he is really impressing. He placed fourth, fifth, fourth and sixth in the first four days of the race, before changing his tactics slightly and winning today. His consistency in the intermediate sprints has also helped him amass a nine-point lead in the classification.

“This year my target was Langkawi as I almost won here in 2008 and wore the green jersey,” he said, explaining the importance of the race to him. “In 2009, I didn’t have a good result, but I knew that I could improve on 2008. This year I had good preparation for Langkawi. I was training hard. My team-mates were also better, and my manager is also good. I have better strategy, we are always talking about the stages. Those reasons are why I am better than before.”

 His modified tactics encompassed saving energy for the finale by easing back on his efforts during the stage. This followed a mistake made yesterday when he went too deep in the intermediate sprints and had nothing left for the finale.

“Today I changed the strategy, to save more energy, to get to the finish line fresher, like [closest rival Michael] Matthews. I saw that I can beat him as I was beating him in the intermediates many, many times.

“The goal now is to try to keep the green jersey but I must be careful with Matthews as he is also a good sprinter. Tomorrow I will try to get more points and to build a bigger lead over Matthews. Then there is a hard climb, I will try to stay in the best group for me.”


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