MUHAMMAD Raihaan Abd Aziz further cemented his status as Brunei's top cyclist after capturing both the Cross Country Olympic (XCO) and Cross Country Circuit (XCC) categories at the Malar Setia MTB (Mountain Bike) Challenge 2013 on Sunday.
Riding for Giant GK Cycling Team at the Berakas Forest Reserve, the national cyclist clocked a time of 1:21:21 to win the former event.
His younger brother, Muhammad I'maadi, of BRO's Cycling Team finished in second place on 1:28:20, followed by Muhammad NurjamriJohari of Chiru Endurance in third on 1:30:46.
It was the same scenario in the XCC, where Raihaan won the event on 36:57.384 followed by I'maadi on 38:52.398 and Nurjamri on 38:54.701.
Meanwhile, Mohamad Azizi Kamal of BRO's Cycling Team clinched the Downhill category with a time of 1:37.043.
His teammate, Md Shahnizam Hj Tamin, followed in second position on 1:39.391 while MahmodinIbrahim of 3 Pigeon completed the podium with a time of 1:43.405.
Raihaan was happy with the results and hoped that he can keep up with the good performance.
"My performance is going well right now and I'm happy with the times that I posted too," said Raihaanin an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"I'm looking forward to my next race in Putrajaya (Metro Mountain Bike Grand Prix opener) this weekend and I'm hoping to finish in the top-five.
"I will do the best for my team, sponsors, department and especially my country," added the 24-year-old.
National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin was delighted with his riders' performance at the tournament.
"Raihaan is on good form right now and I'm also impressed by his brother's showing, especially with him finishing ahead of Nurjamri," said Yafiz.
"Nurjamri is an experienced rider, but I believe he hasn't had enough recovery after falling sick and being admitted to the hospital earlier in the week though," added the Malaysian.
Yafiz was also grateful to the sponsors for allowing cyclists in the Sultanate a chance to compete on local soil.
"We want to thank Malar Setia for sponsoring this event and also the Department of Youth and Sports for their support," he stressed.
"The event was very well managed by the Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation as well, and I hope others from the private sector will also put in support to organise races for the national series because it is important for development of the sport," he added.
Present as the guest of honour to give out the prizes to the winners was Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources.
The Brunei Times