It was a bittersweet outing for the national cycling team at the 2nd Mountain Bike (MTB) Kerala International Mountain Cycling Competition in India.
With only 16 out of the 26 riders making their way to the finish line of the International Cross Country Competition XCO (Elite Men) category, Mohd Nurjamri Johari was the best rider for the Sultanate, placing sixth with a time of 1:57:30 on Saturday.
Teammate Muhammad Raiffiudin Zikara was in 15th position but finished seven laps off the pace.
Compatriot Muhammad Syazwi Azhar Muhammad Hairolrani, who was riding for CCN, was in 12th place, six laps behind the winner.
Thailand's Peerapol Chawchaingkwang finished at the top of the podium with a time of 1:39:01.
Nepal's Ajay Pandit Chhetri followed in second place on 1:41:26 while another Thai Keerati Sukprasart completed the top-three on 1:44:35.
Nurjamri felt that it was a good result for his first competition of the year after achieving his target of a top-10 finish at the event.
"The race was alright but the main problem was when riding to above 2,000 feet... my head felt painful due to the lack of oxygen," said Nurjamri in an interview with The Brunei Times after the race on Saturday.
"There weren't as many steep climbs in the previous edition (back in November 2012). I also had a problem with my chain as it dropped in the second last lap," he added.
"Overall, I was still happy to be able to complete the race. It was a good result for me to be able to achieve my target," continued the Tutong native, who walked away with winnings of 25,000 rupees ($510).
A busy calendar is in store for Nurjamri as he is set to compete in Kuching, Sarawak, early next month followed by another race in China in April under his team Chiru Endurance.
National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin was disappointed with the results and was hoping for better times.
"It is not a good result because the time is far from the winner who is a gold medallist at the Myanmar SEA Games," said Yafiz.
"The riders had continued training (from after the SEA Games in December) and knew about this event since last year.
"But maybe they were not as fully prepared because they didn't train with me since I was away for a month," he added.
"But it is okay. We are looking forward to prepare for the next race."