NATIONAL youth cyclist Ahmad Jawaahir Hj Johor was disappointed with his performance at the Tour de l'Abitibi Desjardins in Canada on Tuesday after he failed to finish the first stage of the tour with racing partnerMuhd Shahrizan Shaiful Rizal.
The Bruneians teamed up with Germans Fabian Geissenberger and Alexander Hofner to take part in the junior men's mixed team category, where they raced under the banner of Allemagne-Brunei.
Hofner was the only rider in the team who managed to complete the 117.2km first stage from Amos to Rouyn-Noranda, finishing 51st in the race that is being held in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, an area located in northwestern Québec.
"Dropping out of the first stage never crossed my mind during the flight to Canada," Ahmad Jawaahir told The Brunei Times.
"The race was very tough for me as I couldn't manage to keep up with the peloton (racing pack).
"They were too fast even from the rolling start, and it was all high speed.
"It was horrible and I was disappointed that I couldn't finish the race.
"I think I will have to train harder with the guidance of our national cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin.
"I've gained a lot of experience from the tour and I have learnt new things I can bring back to Brunei," he said.
Though the competition may be over for Ahmad Jawaahir and Muhd Shahrizan, the duo have used their remaining time in Canada to continue training.
Sebastian Pilotte, the sport director for Peugot Neilpryde Lacasse-Pro Team, a Japanese cycling team, has been teaching the two Bruneians some tips since they can no longer race.
The Bruneian duo were given the chance to race in Canada by Pilotte, a friend of national cycling coachYafiz.
"As long as we are here, Pilotte will be teaching us about about the races," said Ahmad Jawaahir.
"He has been giving me a lot of good advice on how to become a good rider," he said, adding that he would like to thank the organisers for giving him and Muhd Shahrizan the chance to take part in the tour.
The event's website describes it as a stage cycle race for cyclists aged 17 and 18.
Sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI), the Tour de l'Abitibi Desjardins is an international road racing competition in the men's junior category and is the only competition of that scope in America.
It is also the most important junior competition because of the sporting challenge to be met by cyclists seeking professional status.
The Brunei Times