I'maadi Abd Aziz will compete at
the Tour de East Java today.
Picture BT file
Five national cyclists will be getting themselves in gear for the Tour de East Java today when they face a grueling 180km stage one mountain race from Surabaya to Sidoarjo.
Reduan Yusop has been appointed captain of the pack for the three-day event in Surabaya, Indonesia, with I'maadi Abd Aziz, Muhammad Rafiuddin Zikara, Mohammad Nazri Mastani and Rifa'ie Hj Johor completing the group.
The difference in terrain will be the biggest issue on the riders' minds, with their captain noting as much in what will be the national team's first tour since the Tour de Brunei last year.
"So far we haven't really had good results with mountain tours because we don't have mountains in Brunei to train on," Reduan told The Brunei Times.
"I'maadi is our best climber for this tour so hopefully he can do something for good results.
"This is part of our preparation for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December, so we need to focus on this tour.
"We have been doing two hour easy rides since we arrived here on Sunday.
"Our training has only been on the flat roads whilst we have been here to help climatise," said Reduan.
The tour consists of three stages with a total distance of 343.1km in the mountains.
Stage two is an 84.5km race from Sidoarjo to Tosari while the final stage is the shortest at 78.6km from Sidoarjo to Mojosari.
The tour has attracted 15 teams in total, with eight of them being continental teams.
The eight continental teams are Brunei-based CCN Cycling Team, Tabriz Petrochemical Team (Iran), OCBC Cycling Team (Singapore), Terrenganu Cycling Team (Malaysia), Synergy Baku Cycling Project (Azerbaijan), PSN (Ireland) and Japanese outfits UKYO Cycling Team and Aisan Racing Team.
Apart from Brunei, Bahrain, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia and Kazakhstan will also be sending their national teams.
Also on the list are Mes Kerman from Iran and Dome Coffees Cycling Team from Australia.
Kazakhstan's Ivan Tsissaruk, who races for Track Team Astana, picked up the title in last year's event.