Ariehaan claims time trial title

Indonesia's veteran warriors still the best South East Asia

Indonesians Ryan Ariehaan and Tonton Susanto scored an interesting 1-2 in Vientiane, Laos, in the 25th Sea Games, which are the "Olympics" of the 11 countries from South East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Timor Leste).

"I was hoping to win but I didn’t expect it so much because I didn’t have a proper race program to prepare for these games," said Ariehaan, who is the defending champion for the road race, but had never won the time trial at the Sea Games before.

Previous champion Prajak Mahawong from Thailand was surprisingly beaten by Vietnamese Cong Hieu Mai for the bronze medal. "He never found the right rhythm," said Thailand’s French coach Sébastien Duclos.

Ariehaan posted an average speed of 48.413km/h despite the hot weather conditions and being known as a climber. At the age of 30, he remains one of the best riders in Asia. "I’m looking for a team for next year," said the former LeTua rider, who was has been left without a squad for more than one year already.

However, second-placed Susanto, 37, is set to return with Iranian outfit Azad University. With retirement around the corner, the winner of the 2008 Jelajah Malaysia reckons these Sea Games will be the last of his career.

Indonesia is also very likely to get the gold medal for the road race on Monday with sprinter Samai, who this year became the only South East Asian rider to have won a stage at Le Tour de Langkawi. As the course is relatively flat, a duel is expected with Malaysia’s Anuar Manan.

The road race peloton will be missing the participation of Cambodia and the Philippines due to national federation failures.

1Ryan Ariehaan (Indonesia)1:01:58 
2Tonton Susanto (Indonesia)0:00:10 
3Mai Cong Hieu (Vietnam)0:00:21 
4Prajak Mahawong (Thailand)0:00:55 
5Phuchong (Thailand)0:01:52 
6Ng Yong Li (Malaysia)0:02:47 
7Anousay (Lao People's Democratic Republic)0:04:41 
8Jesus Da Costa (Timor-Leste)0:21:51 
DNFSomphavanh (Lao People's Democratic Republic)  

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