PETALING JAYA: Spain is a scenic country but Siti Nur Alia Mansor knows she is not there for a holiday.
The 21-year-old cyclist will leave tomorrow for the start of her journey with Canyon-SRAM Racing Team.
She is the first Malaysian woman to be recruited by a professional road cycling team and if she does well, a chance to ride in the UCI women’s World Tour is in the offing.
Sports runs in the Terengganu lass’ family as her brother is a former national weightlifter and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Hafifi Mansor.
Nur Alia will be in Spain for one year and is aware that she needs to toughen up mentally and physically as she is joining a team that are ranked in the top five in the women’s World Tour rankings.
“It’s not going to be easy adapting to a different environment but I will give it my best shot as it’s my dream to be a professional cyclist.
“I have an idea of what to expect as I’ve trained in Melbourne for a short time under national team coach John Beasley.
“I also expect the workload to be twice of what I went through with the Terengganu team.
“The surface conditions in Spain will be demanding so I really need to work hard,” added Nur Alia.
Her contract was made possible after she was contacted by Adam Szabo, the former Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) coach last year.
Szabo is now handling the Canyon-SRAM Racing Team.