It will be a long and arduous road for Nur Alia, but she’s game for it


PETALING JAYA: Terengganu road cyclist Siti Nur Alia Mansor is ready for an arduous challenge ahead with the Canyon-SRAM Racing Team in Spain.

Nur Alia created history by becoming the first Malaysian and Asean woman to ride for the international team.

The 21-year-old cyclist is on a one-year contract with the world No. 5 ranked team and she is hoping to use the stint in Spain to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Nur Alia, who left for Spain yesterday, started her career in track cycling when she competed in the CIMB Junior cycling championship and said she would still join training in the discipline on weekends in Spain.

Her contract was made possible after she was contacted by Adam Szabo, the former Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) coach, who is now handling the Canyon-SRAM Racing Team.

“The first race is in March. The team will assess my performance for seven months with seven other participants. Only one will be absorbed into their elite squad on achieving outstanding results,” said Nur Alia.

“My background is from track cycling, so it’s a bit of shock for me to get a road racing chance. I rarely won road events... So I take this stint as a chance and a challenge, I want to do well. I trained on road cycling with Terengganu and won track events, so I want to use this opportunity to test myself.

“My target is to qualify for the Paris Olympics. The team have many Olympic Games riders, so I can observe and learn from them for a year.”

Nur Alia added that she would return to Malaysia in April or May to participate in the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Kuala Lumpur in June.

In her last outing for Terengganu at the 2018 Sukma edition in Perak, she won a silver in the sprint and a bronze in the 500m time trial event.

“I need to win when I return for Sukma, I need to show my training results... to be honest, I’m a bit scared and nervous with this Spain stint.

“It will be tough to challenge the established riders but I want to push myself,” she added.

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