Fazlan ‘Faz’ Adhili Mustafa Kamar is no stranger to the cycling world.
Having competed professionally for Cinelli Chrome team – the only Asian rider in a team of nine – and later Continental Team CCN, Fazlan has been a headline maker for the past five years.
But since quitting competitive cycling a year ago to concentrate on his business – Plan A is a lifestyle brand and not limited to just cycling – he is now partnering Kencana Capital Sdn Bhd to develop young talent.
The team – Kencana Plan A Racing Team – will focus on riders aged 15-22-years-old. Open selections were conducted recently for Under-16 and Under-19 talents, while the more experienced 20 to 22-year-olds are from the National Sports Council (NSC) national team.
This group of more proficient cyclist will act as the mentors to the younger riders.
“More than 25 riders came for the open selections but we could only select seven at this time.
“The riders from NSC will mentor the team and will only join us for events if their schedule permits,” said Fazlan, whose young team bagged eight medals in the first round of the Selangor Criterium Series at Taman Tasik Shah Alam on Saturday.
There are five more rounds to the Series – Sepang International Circuit (Aug 18), Stadium MBPJ, Petaling Jaya (Sept 7), Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam (Oct 6) and Persiaran Semarak Api, Cyberjaya (Nov 9) which is at 7am and one night race at Sepang International Circuit (Dec 7) starting at 7pm.
Helping the cause is a partnership with Yayasan Raja Muda Selangor which will help provide pathways in cycling as well as technical and vocational education for the riders.
Fazlan’s partner Izhar Moslim, who is the Team Principal, helped secure the support of the foundation which will help eligible riders get full scholarships for skills training programmes (vocational and technical).
“The medals (from the Selangor Criterium Series) were a bonus. As we told Tan Sri Mokhzani (Mahathir) of Kencana, we want to help young talent,” Fazlan said.
“He was all for the idea and didn’t put pressure on us to win anything.”
“The plan was to find avenues for talented riders to compete and for us to also provide technical and vocational education.”
The target in the next few years is for at least two younger riders to represent the state or even nation.
Even if the riders fail to make the cut as professionals, Plan A Kencana hopes its training will help them.
Fazlan, who was born in Perak but grew up in Selangor, was a state track and field star before going to study graphic design at Mara University of Technology Melaka (UiTM Melaka). It was while in UiTM that he stumbled upon a career as a cyclist.
“I used to ride to class as it was convenient – I could cycle right up to my classes. If I had driven, I would have had to park quite a distance away. Motorcycles were also not encouraged,” he said.
He liked riding so much that he took part in a ‘Haru Fixed’ bike race (a fixed-gear bicycle is a bicycle that has a drivetrain with no freewheel mechanism).
Much to Fazlan’s surprise, he was ‘Faz-ter’ than the rest of the competitors and won the event.
From then on, he became fixated with racing and when he went to London to continue his studies, he ended spending more time at bike racing. He was spotted by Antonio Colombo who signed him for Cinelli Chrome where he stayed for two years before joining Team CCN.
“I enjoyed my time as a professional cyclist but now I want to concentrate on my business and helping young talented Malaysian riders,” said Fazlan, who turns 29 on Sept 1.
“Hopefully I can do that with Plan A and Kencana.”