KUALA TERENGGANU, January 4 – Terengganu cyclist Siti Nur Alia Mansor has become the first woman from Southeast Asia to join a world-renowned professional cycling team, after joining the Spanish Canyon-SRAM Racing Team .
The 21-year-old will now be the first and only national cyclist to participate in the UCI Women’s World Tour.
She said the one-year contract offer from the world’s fifth-ranked women’s cycling team was like a dream come true for her.
“I was contacted by Adam Szabo, the former coach of the Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) who now coaches the Canyon-SRAM racing team last June. He told me he was interested in signing me up for the team.
“I took a month to think about my future and the development of my cycling career before accepting,” he said at an event celebrating his success at Wisma Darul Iman here today.
Siti Nur Alia, a Games athlete from Terengganu Malaysia (Sukma), received a stipend of RM3,000 from the Chairman of Youth, Sports and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Development Committee Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah during the ‘event.
Even though she is excited about cycling abroad, 2018 Malaysia Games (Sukma) silver and bronze medalist Siti Nur Alia said she felt nervous about cycling with her more experienced teammates.
“It will be a stepping stone or a start for me to pursue bigger dreams, like competing in the Olympics.
“I will repay the sacrifices made by my family, my coaches and the Terengganu cycling fraternity in one day bringing glory to Terengganu and Malaysia on the world stage,” she said.
Meanwhile, Wan Sukairi said the state government, through the Terengganu State Sports Council, will continue to provide the monthly allowance of RM 1,500 to Siti Nur Alia for one year.
“We are very grateful that Alia’s new team is ready to allow her to return in April to participate in Sukma.
“We therefore hope that she takes the opportunity to gain valuable experience there and bring glory to the state during Sukma 2020, which is expected to take place in June,” he added. – Bernama