| Fadhil Yunus |
FIVE cyclists of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) Cycling Team competed in the annual Varsity Cycling Challenge (VCC 2018) held at Technical University of Malaysia Malacca (UTeM) Main Campus, Durian Tunggal recently.
The team comprised Dr Haji Fahmi Ibrahim, Zainidi Abdul Hamid, Dr Haji Khairul Jaafar Masri, Hamdani Haji Ibrahim and Syazwi Azhar.
The 45km meet attracted more than 200 participants from various universities in Malaysia such as UTeM, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP). Univeristi Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).
“It was tough with a few steep climbs along the way that made the race hard. Furthermore, there were headwind, along some section of the race route such as sharp corners that provided extra challenge. It was far different from the road we trained in Brunei which is pretty flat and straight,” said Hamdani Haji Ibrahim who had his first experience in VCC.
Dr Haji Fahmi Ibrahim finished in second place where he lost to the winner who broke away from the peloton in the early part of the race.
“I am a bit disappointed not to achieve my target to win the race but I must be happy with the team performance as we were racing as a team and they put me in a good position to stay out of trouble and launched a decisive attack to break up the front group dominated by UTeM and UIA team. They had sacrificed themselves using their energy to pull me in the peloton, ” said Dr Haji Fahmi.
The team finished in the top 10 respectively with Zainidi Haji Hamid (7th), Dr Haji Khairul Jaafar Masri (8th) and Hamdani Haji Ibrahim (9th). Meanwhile Syazwi, the team’s sole representative for student category, managed 18th place.
“The race was quite fast where my average speed was 41 km/h. It was not easy as most Malaysian University students are national riders and have more experience. Basically I am racing against top riders who dominate most domestic races in Malaysia,” Syazwi remarked, whose field totalled 80 entries.
Their participation in the event two years in a row has brought a good and positive image and reputation for UTB. The event has full media coverage where UTB’s presence was noticed and acknowledged by the host UTeM Vice-Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Shahrin Sahib and UTeM Assistant Vice Chancellor of Students Affairs Associate Professor Dr Nurul Fajar.
“The spirit of competition and desire for good and excellent results from our riders can be seen from this event and that is the most important,” Dr Haji Khairul Jaafar Masri said.
“Furthermore, the participation of the event has built up teamwork and togetherness among us which are the main values towards the university’s aspiration,” he added.
The team plan to return next year with better training and preparations to win the race. The team also expressed gratitude to Vice Chancellor of UTB Professor Dr Hajah Zohrah binti Sulaiman who supported the team to participate in the event for two consecutive years.