Malaysian cyclist Loh Sea Keong will make his debut with a World Tour Team, Giant-Shimano in France on Sunday. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Although he has been a professional since 2008, cyclist Loh Sea Keong could not hide his jitters as he makes his debut with team Giant-Shimano at La Drome Classic race in France on Sunday.
After two months getting acquainted with the different level of training in Europe with his team-mates, Sea Keong has been listed alongside Warren Barguil, Thomas Damuseau, Johannes Frohlinger, Chad Haga, Thiery Hupond, Cheng Ji and Tom Peterson for the 195km race.
“I’m kind of nervous for Sunday actually, but all I can say is I have prepared well for this weekend,” said the 26-year-old.
The race will take riders on a circuit around Valance, with several short and sharp climbs dotting the route. The final loop with two difficult climbs would probably decide the winner.
Sea Keong made history as the first Malaysian and South-East Asian to feature for a World Tour team. He got a breakthrough season last year with OCBC Singapore when he won Jelajah Malaysia.
“Considering this is the first race for me since I joined the team in January, I don’t think I could have done anything more to prepare,” said Sea Keong, who is known for his bravado for attacking in a race.
Giant-Shimano coach Lionel Marie, who will guide the team in the race said they are bringing a young team and all will have the opportunity to have a go, including Sea Keong.
“It will be a good chance to see how they work together and it will be a nice opportunity for Sea Keong to be in the middle of the action,” said Marie.