While cycling fans have been (understandably) absorbed by the 2012 professional road cycling season – with recent racing in France, Qatar, Italy and Oman – the 32nd Asian Cycling Championships & 19th Junior Asian Cycling Championships have been taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Held from 08-18 February, the 2012 Asian Cycling Championships (ACC) provide Asia’s national cycling federations the opportunity to show off their local riders* in a truly diverse competitive environment. Track cycling disciplines dominated the first half of the Championship’s schedule, with road cycling events starring this week.
This morning (Malaysian time), 20 riders from 20 countries started the Elite Men’s individual time trial on a 12.8km circuit that was completed three times (for a total of 38.4km). Though five of the twenty starters are on UCI-registered professional cycling teams for 2012, it was hardly a clean sweep by the “pro’s” today. This serves as a reminder that the 2,700 road cyclists on the UCI’s professional teams database are only a drop in the global talent pond.
Though obtaining images from today’s race has proven difficult, a very helpful official from the local organizing committee forwarded Cycling iQ official results moments after Kyrgyzstan’s Eugen Wacker crossed the finish line in first place – as he did in 2011. In fact, the three steps of the 2012 Elite Men’s ITT podium will support exactly the same riders, in the same order, as last year. The 160km Elite Men’s road race will be held on Saturday.
*It’s actually more serious than this. Crucial UCI points are available for the top eight riders in the ITT, and the top fifteen riders in the Road Race.