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National cyclists saddle up for SEA Games fitness testing

Cambodian national cyclist Suon Panha is put through fitness testing by Khmer Cycling Federation general-secretary Vong Khanpov (centre) and coach Frank Zgoznik at NOCC headquarters on Tuesday. Chhorn Norn
Cambodian national cyclist Suon Panha is put through fitness testing by Khmer Cycling Federation general-secretary Vong Khanpov (centre) and coach Frank Zgoznik at NOCC headquarters on Tuesday. Chhorn Norn

National cyclists saddle up for SEA Games fitness testing

Chhorn Norn

Cambodian national cyclists were put through their paces this week by Australian former professional Frank Zgoznik, who is Khmer Cycling Federation and national team volunteer coach.

The six cyclists underwent fitness testing on cycling machines to make sure their fitness levels are monitored and improved as they prepare for the upcoming 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.

“What I want to do is look at the weaknesses of the riders and improve on these weaknesses so they are stronger 100 percent,” Zgoznik told The Post.

“I use modern scientific information and I want to bring that science to Cambodia to help the riders. I want to make them strong and I want to make them powerful, specially for hard racing.”

Zgoznik and Khmer Cycling Federation vice general-secretary Pierre Yves Catry tested the athletes after each underwent physicals before saddling up for two-hour stints on the machines.

General-secretary of the Khmer Cycling Federation Vong Khanpov told the Post at the testing centre at National Olympic Committee of Cambodia headquarters on Tuesday: “This is testing with high-tech machines to measure the power of the riders in watts. It is simple and accurate.”

“The machines will show us their power and the improvement or loss of performance of each cyclist. If a cyclist loses performances in the testing process twice in a row, we will give his place to a new rider because we want the best possible outcomes in our events at the 2019 Sea Games.”

Testing began on Tuesday and ended on Wednesday, and will be held every three months for the six national cyclists called up, with four held in reserve should any rider lose performance or show limited improvement.

The Khmer Cycling Federation is to enter cyclists in mountain and road biking competitions at the 2019 Manila SEA Games.

Asked whether Cambodia cyclists could compete for medals at the Games, Australian coach Zgoznik replied: “I think they will do well. I am not sure we can get on the podium, but I want them among the top teams for sure.”

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