Canada - Ahmad Jawaahir bin Haji Johor and Muhd Sharizan bin Awg Shaiful Rizal will make their Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) circuit debut when they take to the roads of Canada for the Tour de l'Abitibi Desjardins today.
Jawaahir, 17, and Sharizan, 16, will line up alongside some of the world's finest international men's junior cyclists as they look to make an impression at the annual competition.
The duo will be riding under the team name Allemagne-Brunei and will be joined by two riders from Germany.
Brunei's contingent, led by Hj Oj Omar bin Hj Mohd Salleh, departed the sultanate on Friday and marks yet another milestone for the Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation as the sport continues its rapid growth and development in recent years.
"Sebastian (Pilotte) is a good friend of mine. He's the Sporting Director for the Peugeot Neilpryde Lacasse - Pro Team. His team recently joined the Japan Pro Tour, and it was him who offered to send my riders to Canada by forming a mix team under the name of Allemagne-Brunei," explained national head cycling coach, Yafiz Jamaluddin.
The 45th edition of the Tour de I'Abitibi Desjardins will take place in AbitibiTemiscamingue in north-western Quebec, Canada and is reserved for riders aged 17 and 18.
Yafiz, however, was not setting the bar too high for his fledgling riders, and insisted he would be content if they just crossed the finish line of the six-day race.
"I hope they can finish each and every stage. It will be good enough for them if they can finish all of the stages, seeing as this will be their first international competition," said the national head cycling coach.
"They will be approaching this race like professionals, because this tour is under the UCI and they will be competing among junior riders from all around the globe," he added.
"This is their first experience and since they are still young, I hope this tour can help develop their morale and push them to become better riders.
"If they can finish this time around, then next year we will be looking at getting a better result from this tour. But if they can win, then that's a bonus for them and our country.