More than 1,000 cyclists participated in Repsol Malaysia’s Repsol Fellowship Ride, a closed-circuit cycling event held at Negeri Sembilan on 15 September 2019.
While the start and end point was at the Youth and Sports Complex, Paroi, the 75km circuit went as far as Rantau town. The event was organised in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration with the objective of bringing together Malaysians from all ages from all walks of life in the spirit of unity.
Flagging off the Fellowship Ride was Negeri Sembilan State Assembly Speaker YB Dato’ Zulkefly Mohamad bin Omar who said, “A country’s success is not only measured in terms of the economy, but also, the wellbeing of its people. It is encouraging to see the private sector voluntarily organise initiatives to celebrate unity during the Malaysia Day week.” He was accompanied by the Youth and Sports Development Action Committee Chairman YB Tuan Haji Mohamad Taufek bin Abdul Ghani.
“As cycling is becoming more popular amongst Malaysians, we want to leverage this opportunity to encourage a culture of healthy and active living amongst the rakyat,” said Repsol Malaysia Business Unit Director Jorge Milathianakis. “More than that, cycling is also an activity that unites families, friends, and communities where differences are put aside, reflecting the true spirit of Malaysia.”
“Being a company that prioritises safety, we are committed to advocating and raising awareness on this matter for all road users, emphasizing on the most vulnerable – cyclists.”
After being flagged off at 7:45 am, participants pedaled their way to Rantau, passing through Senawang town and Sungai Gadut, before making their way through the hillside road route through Rantau-Siliau, where they were treated to a scenic view of the forest’s greens.
Clocking a solid 2 hours 45 minutes, cyclist Azhar Nizam who completed the 75-km route with his training partner, Farah Muhamad, said that the ride was a satisfying one, albeit the mild haze.
“The last stretch of the race was challenging as the weather got warmer,” said Nizam. “Nonetheless, we pushed ourselves to complete the ride in tandem with each other.”
The Fellowship Ride was more of a community cycling event than a competition. “Cycling is the best sport to meet people and training partners, aside from its health benefits,” said bronze-medalist from the 2019 Asian Cycling Championship, Dr. Norhasmat ‘Kep’ Abdul Aziz, who was also a participant in the Ride. “Riding on the Malaysia Day weekend makes it even more special because we have everyone of different races cycling together as a group.”
Apart from the cycling event itself, there were food and beverage stalls set up around the complex alongside carnival games booths and play areas for visitors to enjoy. Visitors had the opportunity to experience MotoGP racing virtually through a simulator at the Repsol Malaysia booth, while the children enjoyed themselves in the batik-painting competition, eating free ice cream and cotton candy.
Sheema and her children were one of the many who enjoyed the family quality time at the carnival. “It is the long weekend and I wanted to take my children to enjoy the outdoors,” she said. “This is also the first time they are standing at the finishing line to cheer the cyclists.”
As an energy company, Repsol Malaysia is honoured to contribute to the government’s vision in energizing and uniting a sporting nation. Akin to the spirit of fellowship rides whereby cyclists of all ages, shapes, and size move together in a united formation, not leaving anyone behind, Repsol Malaysia aspires to celebrate Malaysians unity in diversity as the nation propels in one direction – forward.