Jelajah Malaysia leader Makoto Ijima has said he fears the leader's jersey will only remain in his grasps for a short time, as the event enters the hilly stages today.
"For me, it will be okay if a teammate takes the jersey, but I see the Iranians and Hong Kong teams looking quite dangerous," Ijima told the New Straits Times. "They've not done too much, but our team is also still in quite good shape."
The Asian Games silver medallist's biggest threat is Games gold medallist Kam Po Wong. At just over two-minutes behind, the 32-year-old Wong is more than capable of taking victory with four stages remaining. "Also the Malaysians, we have to watch, because they are always training in the mountains," said Ijima.
Giant Asia's Hossein Askari and Asian Champion Mehdi Sohrabi are two other names being murmured as threats to the leader's jersey, with both within 65-seconds range of Ijima.