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News number: 9003180281

10:18 | 2011-06-08

Sports

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Iranian Cyclists Win Stage 2 of Singkarak Cycling Race

TEHRAN (FNA)- Two Iranian cyclists won the yellow jersey in stage 2 of the 2011 Tour de Singkarak cycling race in West Sumatra on Tuesday.



Iran's Amir Zargari took the yellow jersey when he finished the 105 kilometers of stage 2 from Taman Budaya cultural site in Padang downtown to Gandoria Beach in Pariaman city through Sicincin in Padang Pariaman regency within 2 hours 20 minutes and 3 seconds, ahead of another Iranian cyclist, Rahim Emami, and Logan Calder of Plan B Racing Team of Australia.

"We faced a lot of challenges from other riders from the beginning of the race because the stage 2 track was a flat one," Zargari, who is a climber specializing in mountainous tracks, told a press conference after the race.

Zargari and counterpart Emami managed to break away from the leading peloton in 45-kilometers after a start fighting for their lead position.

"We completely took over the lead 16 kilometers before the finish line," said the 30-year-old, whose team won the International Presidency Tour in Iran, a five-day 708-kilometer mountainous race designed for bantam weight climbers, last week.

Zargari, who won first place in stage 2B and stage 4 of last year's tour, said the hot weather in the first two stages had hampered him during the race.

"Monday was hot and today even hotter, but we did our best. Hopefully, (Wednesday) will be cooler as we will start the mountainous route," he added.

Zargari saw a big chance for him to rule the race, claiming that his team was performing well. Iran's Azad University successfully beat strong squad Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team of Iran in the recent International Presidency tour. Tabriz was the unbeatable defending champion in the Tour de Singkarak 2009 and 2010.

"Wednesday's race will be difficult, but we will also do our best, starting from in the middle of the race," said Zargari.

Despite losing the yellow jersey, Indonesian Herwin Jaya of Polygon Sweet Nice cycling team from Surabaya, stole the green jersey from Alireza Haghi of Iran's Azad University.

In Tuesday's race, seven riders of 120 starting cyclists were out of the race.

Wednesday's race will take a 125.8-kilometer route from Pariaman to Bukittinggi regencies. The event, hosted by the Indonesian Culture and Tourism Ministry, offers a total US$75,000 in prize money.