Arvin Moazami Godarzi (Pishgaman) winning the yellow jersey and polka dot as South Korean Park Sung Baek (KSPO) wins the sprint classification blue jersey, Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkiflie (National Team) won the best Malaysian rider Red jersey while Australian Jesse James Ewart (7 Eleven) took the best young rider white jersey. (Aizzul A Majid)

KUALA LUMPUR : Defending champion Pishgaman Cycling Team from Iran will be back to defend their overall title, King of the Mountains and overall Team classification at the 2017 edition of Jelajah Malaysia, from 3rd to 7th October.

Event manager Life Pro Fit Sdn Bhd have confirmed Pishgaman will be among the 20 teams confirmed for the 53 rd edition of the UCI Asia Tour 2.2 category race, along with Tabriz Shahrdary also from Iran.

The two Iranian teams will be challenged by Malaysia’s top team Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), and will be taking on some of the best teams in the continental series South Korea’s KSPO Bianchi, Japan’s Aisan Racing Team, 7 Eleven Roadbike from the Philippines and Infinite AIS Cycling Team from Singapore.

Making their Jelajah Malaysia debut will be Thailand registered UCI Continental team, Thailand Continental Cycling and Malaysia’s Sapura Cycling Team. Indonesia’s KFC Cycling Team returns for the second time while club team CCN Cycling Team from Laos and the Brunei National Team are eager to show their strength this time.

In all, ten of the 20 teams that make up the start list of this edition of Asia’s oldest cycling tour, with Malaysia also represented by the Malaysian national team, PDRM-G, Armed Forces (ATM), Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu, Kelantan and Kedah.

Life Pro Fit Sdn Bhd Chief Executive officer Noraidiazhar Sulaiman expressed that the competition between the 20 teams chosen to compete in this year will be very intense, the battle for the five jerseys and overall team classification will be interesting to watch.

“With the participation of Pishgaman as the defending champion, I’m expecting an intense battle by other competing teams to ensure that they (Pishgaman) won’t dominate the race this time.”

“Local cycling fans are hoping that our two continental teams, TSG and Sapura Cycling will be able to challenge Pishgaman and Tabriz Shahrdary ‘s dominance in the climbs,” said Noraidiazhar.

Noraidiazhar also added that the technical department of Jelajah Malaysia 2017 is finalizing the route and the start-finish locations for the 5-stage race. “We want to ensure that we have an exciting route for the riders competing for the 5 jerseys. We are looking forward to receiving the rider list from the teams.”

The 2017 edition will have five jerseys in contention; with yellow jersey for the overall leader, grey jersey for the best young rider, the polka-dot jersey for the king of the mountains, green jersey for the top sprinter in the race and a red jersey for the best Malaysian.

The 2016 edition of Jelajah Malaysia was won by Arvin Moazami Godarzi (Pishgaman) taking both the yellow and polka dot (KOM) jersey, while South Korean Park Sung Baek (KSPO) wins the sprint classification blue jersey, Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkiflie (National Team) won the best Malaysian rider Red jersey while Australian Jesse James Ewart (7 Eleven) took the best young rider white jersey.

Teams confirmed for Jelajah Malaysia 2017
Continental Teams
1. PISHGAMAN CYCLING TEAM (PKY) – Iran
2. TABRIZ SHAHRDARY TEAM (TST) – Iran
3. KFC CYCLING TEAM (KFC) – Indonesia
4. INFINITE CYCLING TEAM (IAC) – Singapore
5. AISAN RACING TEAM (AIS) – Japan
6. THAILAND CONTINENTAL CYCLING TEAM (TCC) – Thailand
7. 7-ELEVEN ROADBIKE PHILIPPINES (7RB) – Philippines
8. KSPO BIANCHI ASIA PROCYCLING (KSP) – Korea
9. TERENGGANU CYCLING TEAM (TSG) – Malaysia
10. TEAM SAPURA CYCLING (TSC) – Malaysia

Club / State Teams
11. CCN CYCLING TEAM (CCN) (CLUB) – Laos
12. PDRM-G CYCLING TEAM (CLUB) – Malaysia
13. ATM CYCLING TEAM (CLUB) – Malaysia
14. SELANGOR STATE TEAM – Malaysia
15. KEDAH STATE CYCLING TEAM – Malaysia
16. KELANTAN STATE CYCLING TEAM – Malaysia
17. KUALA LUMPUR CYCLING TEAM – Malaysia
18. TERENGGANU STATE CYCLING TEAM – Malaysia
19. MALAYSIA NATIONAL TEAM
20. BRUNEI NATIONAL TEAM