Petite and pixie-ish, Siti Farah Eliza is one of an up and coming coterie of riders that are making winning moves in local road races and jamborees. In November 2014, she has been selected to join RapiDino team under RapiDino International Cycling Program. Since then she has raced successfully for Rapidino team, finishing on the podium several times. Cycling Malaysia spoke to cover girl Siti Farah Eliza about herself and her dreams.
Siti Farah Eliza, or “Elly” to her friends, is a 21 year old, recent graduate of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM). Standing barely 5’ 4”, this petite young lady walks into the Cycling Malaysia office with a confidence that comes in knowing her abilities and what she is capable of. Elly speaks about her start in local cycle racing, a sport she fell into by pure happenstance.
“I got into cycling 2 years ago. I started in 2012 in an eco-challenge event. I got involved after some of my friends asked me to join the eco-challenge event. There was a running event, cycling and water rafting. Then I said, I can’t cycle because I don’t know how to cycle, but I used to be a sprinter during my school days, a runner. My friend said, just try your best. So I did just that, I tried my best, with 7 kilometers of cycling, and my team came in first. We won RM3, 000 divided between the 4 of us.”
This initial success prompted Elly to engage the services of a coach in order to improve her performance. “During my second semester mid-term holidays, I had a coach who wanted me to concentrate more towards cycling. His name is Encik Amri bin Ismail. He trained me for about 3 weeks, without going for any races. He just trained me every day from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. After 3 weeks, he then said I should enter a race to see what improvements I have made. I got second place for this race. The surprise to me was the third place winner was Junaidah Asmawi. I couldn’t believe it, that I had beaten Junaidah, with only 3 weeks of training.” Elly carries a memory of that race with her, “I remember what my coach said to me, no matter if I won or lost, he would be waiting for me at the finishing line. And there he was.”
Elly continued her success through the rest of 2013, winning most races in the top three or top four. In June 2014, Elly joined the Wilayah Persekutuan team as a rider, training under Datuk Ng Joo Ngan. She did a lot of road and track work while with the Wilayah team, working on her strength and sprinting skills.