Overall winner Filipino George Okonar | Daily News

Overall winner Filipino George Okonar

Sri Lanka Tea Cup winners: The overall winner, George Lewis Okona from Philippine (yellow Jersey), Overall Best Sprinter Malaysia's Sofian Nabil Omar Bakri (Green Jersey), Best Sri Lankan Cyclist Buddhika Warnakulasooriya (Blue Jersey) and King of the Mountain Rayan Subet of Philippine (Red dotted Jersey) with officials and representatives from organizers.
Sri Lanka Tea Cup winners: The overall winner, George Lewis Okona from Philippine (yellow Jersey), Overall Best Sprinter Malaysia's Sofian Nabil Omar Bakri (Green Jersey), Best Sri Lankan Cyclist Buddhika Warnakulasooriya (Blue Jersey) and King of the Mou

George Lewis Okonar of Golden Target team from Philippine emerged the overall winner of the inaugural Sri Lanka Tea Cup international cycle race concluded at Negombo yesterday.

Hamdan Hamidun (Malaysia) winning the third stage while Jeewan Jayasinghe and Naveen Ruchira Ruchira following second and third. Pictures by Saman Mendis

The three-day race is considered as a milestone in Sri Lankan cycling and conducted by Lanka Sportreizen in collaboration with Sri Lankan Airlines from Pasikuda to Negombo covering a total distance of 348.5 kms bridging the island's East coast to West coast. Okonar took 8:17.13 hours to complete the race. He donned the Yellow Jersey during the final stage. Samuel Walks of CCN team from Netherlands became overall second with a timing of 8:17.18 hours while his teammate Hari Fitrianto secured overall third place clocking 8:19.07 hours.

Sri Lanka Navy's Buddhika Warnakulasooriya was the best performer for Sri Lanka (8:24.14 hours) and he won the Blue Jersey. He was placed overall seventh and was followed closely in ninth place by another Sri Lankan representing Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council team, Suranga Ranaweera.

The overall Best Sprinter award went to Team Malaysia's Sofian Nabil Omar Bakri who was the winner of stage one from Pasikuda to Mahiyanganaya. Rayan Subet of Philippine won the King of Mountains award. The Best overall team award was won by CNN team while Philippine team and Malaysian team won the second and third places respectively.

The third and final stage (124.5 km) from Kandy to Pasikuda was won by team Malaysia's Hamdan Hamidun clocking 2:58.09 hours. The second, third and fourth places of the final stage was won by Lankans.

South Asian Games double gold medalist Jeewan Jayasinghe of SL Air Force finished second while his team mates Naveen Ruchira and Dane Nugera secured third and fourth places. Malaysia's Aervandi Lakasek won the sprint award while Jayasinghe and Ruchira came second in the final stage sprint contest.

Fifty cyclists entered the final stage. Even though a few cyclists climbed the hills ahead of the main bunch, others too united with them during the flat track. Lakasek advanced during the first sprint at Mawathagama while Lakshan won the second sprint stage at Puskoladeniya. But unfortunately he fell and never returned to compete.

When the leading bunch reached Giriulla, eight of Lankan cyclists were in front. The second bunch was just a minute away from them and only another 10kms to the finishing stage. Hamdan Hamidun (Malaysia), Jayasinghe, Ruchira, Nugera, Nedalof and Hemantha crossed the finish line in a one bunch and followed by Mohamed Hikal and Gihan Pushpakumara after five seconds.


 

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