Brunei cyclist Loqman placed second in Zwift virtual meet

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam national cyclist Loqman bin Hadzid added a podium finish in a virtual platform to his growing list of successes after he sealed a first runners-up finish in the Cycling Selangor Zwift competition recently.

Loqman completed the race with a time of 42.38s in the power metre open category, just 0.1 second shy of the eventual winner Charles Kin Diking, who clocked a time of 42.28s. Dzul Husni completed the podium in third place with a time of 43.12s.

The Wakanda Cycling Club rider was pleased with the result adding that the Zwift platform served as a good opportunity to race against professional riders from neighbouring countries.

“Racing on Zwift is a great feature. I’m very happy to win the Zwift race organised by Cycling Selangor,” said Loqman in an interview with the Bulletin.

He further added, “It’s a good opportunity to join the race with professional riders from Malaysia and Singapore.”

Brunei Darussalam cyclist Loqman bin Hadzid; and Loqman racing through the Zwift application. PHOTOS: LOQMAN HADZID

Asked how he fared, he said, “For me, it’s not an easy race. It tests your own strength and agility to win the race. The last final kilometre is when everyone is trying to keep up with the fast pace and sprint to the finishing line.”

While virtual racing offers an alternative to live competition, Loqman explained that there are differences which are commonly found in a real life environment.

“There are pros and cons between virtual and real racing. Basically in a virtual race, we can’t feel the adrenaline rush when we are sprinting in a bunch group,” said Loqman, whose major score this year prior to the COVID-19 enforced break was the Individual Time Trial National Championship.

“We didn’t get to experience the real environment of cycling race (for example a puncture, crash and communication with teammates, other than network problems or if there is a bad connection).”

“A virtual race is an alternative way of cycling race event especially during this period.”

Set on a utopian land of Watopia, one of the popular route maps in the world of Zwift, the competition, an initiative from Cycling Selangor, drew participants from Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, United States and Colombia.

Wakanda, one of the leading cycling clubs in the country, has enjoyed success in the regional scene this year with Loqman’s second-place finish following rising star’s Muhd Azwar Hairolani’s triumph in the Zwift Time Trial earlier this month.