National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin (pic) is well aware of the challenges Ahmad Jawaahir Hj Johor and Muhd Shahrizan Awg Shaiful Rizal face at the Tour de l'Abitibi Desjardins.
The national youth cyclists left on Friday to take part in the 45th edition of the Tour de l'Abitibi Desjardins in Canada, where the duo will team up with two German riders for the junior men's mixed team.
They will be competing under the team name Allemagne-Brunei for the week-long international cycling competition that started yesterday.
The event's website describes it as a stage cycle race contested in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, an area located in northwestern Québec and reserved for racers 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 and the most important junior competition because of the sporting challenge to be met by cyclists seeking professional status.
"This will be their first ever experience like this," said Yafiz, who was unable to accompany the cyclists to Canada.
"Since they are still young, I hope this will help develop their morale to turn them into good riders in the future.
"They will be racing like professionals because the tour is under the International Cycling Union (UCI).
"They will compete amongst other junior riders who are aged from 17-18 years old.
"I hope they will be able to finish all stages because that's enough experience for now since it's their first time.
"If they can finish it this time though, for sure we will plan to join the tour again next year.
"I really want to thank one of the organisers Jessika Grand Bois and my friend Sebastian Pilotte who offered my riders the chance to join this race," he added.Pilotte is the sport director for Peugot Neilpryde Lacasse-Pro Team, a Japanese based cycling team.