Team gears up to win big

TEH ATHIRA YUSOF

KUALA LUMPUR: Winning is everything for most cyclists, and the same holds true for a group of young talents from the CM Bikesports team based in the Klang Valley. The team participates in a cycling competition every week. Like many of its counterparts, it undergoes vigorous training routines which start as early as 5am. CM Bikesports has represented the Federal Territory in the Sukma Games, and its members aspire to become professionals in the sport. Their youngest member, Lee Jian Li, 17, represented the CCC Villeneuve Germain Cycling Club to a tournament in France in June. Eight members from the team will participate in the New Straits Times C-Cycle Challenge 2018 in Eco Sanctuary, Kota Kemuning, on Sept 23. CM Bikesports team captain Azli Najmi Zulkefli, 20, said their gruelling training session was due to their passion and determination to win in competitions, locally and abroad. He said the team trained every day to test the members’ endurance and skill. A usual training session takes the members on a 100km to 120km route in Hulu Langat that crosses the Selangor border. “Our long-distance routes training will prepare us for the NST C-Cycle event in Kota Kemuning, which involves a 160km route,” he said. The team members, aged up to 21, trained after school. Azli said only those with determination and motivation would succeed in the sport. “In Malaysia, there are many young cycling enthusiasts. The most important thing is to stay focused throughout training. The hardest part about cycling is to maintain our interest in the sport. “Many quit because the pressure of long-distance cycling can be too intense. We will not have much time for ourselves if we take up cycling competitively.”

Azli has been cycling competitively since he was 11 years old and was almost drafted into the national cycling team a few years ago. He decided to continue studies in sports science in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and turned down the offer to be in the national team. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd