Don’t get it wrong. He is not a doctor, his name is neither Dagoo. The word “Dagoo” was derived from a Malay word, dagu meaning chin. With his hair that grows between the lower lip and chin, Raziff has been called Dagoo since he was young.
What does his title mean, though? “I think it sounds cool.” Raziff replied cheekily. Hence, the distinctive name he labels himself. Anyway, Dagoo actually planned to get himself PHD certified, but his parents did not support him.
Raziff Jaafar, better known as Dr. Dagoo was a former national rider, representing his hometown, Perlis back in 1998, as well as the country, Malaysia back in 2000. By now, many have probably known the fact that he gave up a career as a professional cyclist; however, many have yet to know what is truly behind this dedicated and determined 35-year-old.
We recently caught up with Dagoo to find out what he experienced and is doing now that he is no longer racing for the country. Dagoo could tell us how the sport, cycling has developed in sophistication. He is competent in that he has seen the genuine side of cycling over the years.
DAGOO’S CYCLING ODYSSEY
It began with a cycling program, where National Sports Council (MSN) showed up in Perlis to scout for talented riders in the state. By chance, Dagoo was selected. He began riding road bike back in his hometown, Perlis. There had been many highlights for Dagoo in a profession that essentially began when he was still a junior. Back in 1998 until 1999, this then state rider raced not just for the state, but also all sorts of international events.
After completing his SPM in year 2000, his family wanted him to focus on studies. However, he did not finish his pre-university course as he was determined to pursue his ambition. He took his priority over fully concentrating on cycling. We asked, “Why didn’t you choose to finish your studies before going back to cycling?” “I had to train every day, particularly 4 to 5 hours a day. In addition to training hard, I was already 21 years old. I did not want to miss out my teenage years while I still had great potential.” Dagoo definitely could grasp what he really wanted in his youth.
He started off riding in small races and managed to get into top 10. Eventually, 10 riders were carefully chosen but out of the 10, Dagoo was the only one who did not have a chance to represent Malaysia. Along the way in approximately 10 months, Dagoo successful gained recognition and grew into a national rider where he used to represent KL Team alongside other national riders. Back then, his coach was also a national rider. He started off riding in small races and managed to get into top 10. Eventually, 10 riders were carefully chosen but out of the 10, Dagoo was the only one who did not have a chance to represent Malaysia. Along the way in approximately 10 months, Dagoo successful gained recognition and grew into a national rider where he used to represent KL Team alongside other national riders. Back then, his coach was also a national rider.
During the period of representing Malaysia spanning 2003 through 2007, he participated in big events such as Le Tour de Langkawi, Asian Cycling Championship and so much more. Through LTDL, Dagoo got to know about a cycling course in Europe. “Belgium is well known as the world-leading cycling hub. It produces a lot of champions, especially Mark Cavendish, the number one sprinter.” Dagoo elucidated.
In 2006, he decided to make a trip to Europe to get exposure to his cycling journey. Having stayed for six months in different regions in Europe also helped Dagoo gain valuable knowledge that he could never imagine. Dagoo went to Belgium, France and Holland to take part in international-level races as well as training with the local teams. In that period of time, he was grateful to be riding alongside Mark Cavendish and this precious experience made him more determined to perform better.
He returned to Malaysia becoming more experienced and proposed a suggestion to Ministry of Sports with his knowledge he expanded in Europe. In spite of the fact that his cycling performance had been improved, in the meantime, he also faced his biggest breakdown. No one was ever able to relate Dagoo when he became unable to compete two big races.
“Competing in SEA Games 2005 and Le Tour de Langkawi 2006 were my dreams, however I got dropped spontaneously a week before despite being selected at the first place.” Dagoo brought his disappointing memory to mind. Therefore, in 2007, he made the hardest decision which was to quit entirely from the team.