A local cyclist has become the first Southeast Asian woman to sign up for internationally renowned Spain-based Canyon-SRAM Racing Team
Siti Nur Alia Mansor was recently signed up by Canyon-SPRAM for a one-year contract.
The Terengganu cyclist said that the offer from the team was like a dream come true for her.
Not just that, the 21-year-old will now be the first and only Malaysian woman cyclist to compete in the UCI Women's World Tour, a premier female elite road cycling tour.
The Terengganu Malaysia Games (SUKMA) athlete revealed that she was approached by former Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) coach Adam Szabo, who is now coaching the Canyon-SRAM Racing Team
According to Siti Nur Alia, Adam contacted her in June last year with the intention of signing her up for the team.
"I took a month to think about my future and cycling career development before agreeing," a Bernama report quoted her as saying at an event celebrating her success at Wisma Darul Iman in Kuala Terengganu.
During the event, she was given an allowance of RM3,000 from Terengganu Youth Development, Sports, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Committee chairman Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah.
Wan Sukairi said the state government, through the Terengganu State Sports Council, will continue providing RM1,500 monthly allowance to Siti Nur Alia for a year.
"We are very grateful that Alia's new team is ready to allow her to return in April to participate in SUKMA. So we hope she will use the opportunity to gain valuable experience there and bring glory to the state during the 2020 SUKMA, which is expected to take place in June," he added.
Siti Nur Alia, who is a 2018 SUKMA silver and bronze medallist, shared that while she is excited about cycling abroad, she is also nervous about the prospect of cycling with her more experienced teammates
Nevertheless, she considers this opportunity a stepping stone for her to chase bigger dreams.
The 21-year-old dreams of competing in the Olympics.
"I will repay the sacrifices made by my family, coaches, and the Terengganu cycling fraternity by bringing glory to Terengganu and Malaysia at the world stage one day," she said.