One of the major surprises has been the incorporation of Jo Celso as new Kelly Samuelson colleague that will forge a Cinelli Chrome girls team extremely competitive. But there are changes not only in girls team, other three heavyweights riders joined the team of the big C (Cinelli): the veteran Stefan Vis “Fish”, the recent champion of 2014 RHC Series, Thibaud Lhenry and, some months ago, one of the riders more representative of Asian cycling: Faz Adhili.
We talked with Faz to discover more about him and his new adventure with this amazing team.
- Who is Faz Adhili?
Hi I’m Faz Adhili, 24, full time designer, filmmaker and part time cyclist. Just a small guy from a small town called Puchong in Malaysia.
- How did you get into fixed gear races? When did you start? Why do you like it? What makes fixed gear special for you?
Back then in college I had so much trouble looking for a car park and end up walking 5km when I found one. On top of that my rent house was just 2km away from my college. So it doesn’t make sense at all to drive. A friend of mine introduces me to a fixed gear bike. Since then I saved so much time and money for fuel because I can just park my bike in front of the college.
When I was in school I used to race track and field for my states in sprint events. But after I graduated from high school there’s no such activities related to track and field. I knew that I have a good pair of legs and I didn’t want to waste it. I tried football and indoor soccer but it never really stick as a passion. I’m so blessed that I found cycling as my true passion. Since then I know that I’m going to do it forever.
- Euro trip. Tell us about your amazing Euro trip and…Differences between Europe/Asia. How was your experience at RHC?
Oh man, I don’t even know where to start. It was a whole new experience. I always wanted to take part into RHC but the way to get there wasn’t easy. First of all, I have to thank all of my wonderful sponsors for helping me throughout the season. Without them it would be impossible!
Let’s start with culture and weather. IT’S TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM ASIA. Over here everything is pretty much traditional and not as open as in Europe intern of mentality and the way we live out life. Talk about weather, when I was in Barcelona it was totally fine because it was during summer and I come from a place where the temperature is around 35-40 Celsius and we have summer all year long. But when I was in Milan during autumn, I was shaking all the time! The weather is too cold for me. I took so much time to warm my body before the qualifying and the final race. Some of my friend was even laughing at me but I don’t find it funny at all. Sigh.
My first RHC race was hella crazyyyyy man. Only after my qualifying round I know how high the sky is. I was in shocked. The European standard compare to Asian is too far. But I’m glad I do it to finals during my first attempt. If I’m not wrong I’m the first Asian guy to be qualified for finals after years of RHC events. Since then I knew I had to step up my game. When I was in Milan I progressed because I started next to Neil Bezdek! Can you imagine that? I had a good start and manage to get to the front of the group but luck wasn’t on my side. But my Cinelli family was really supportive. They said don’t give up and luck will be on my side one day. One fine day.
I can’t really describe all of my experience in one page but overall I had a great experience. I met a lot of great people and make a lot of good friends. Sometimes I can’t believe that I’m there because of cycling.
- Asian Fixed Scene. Races, teams and cities which are cool and growing like fixed scene.
Well, to be honest cycling isn’t a part of our culture at all. But all fixed gear teams from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia make it possible. When I say it happened, they made it GREAT. They put so much money and effort to organize a lot of events every year. In Malaysia we used to have KL International Fixed Gear Tournament, in Singapore they have Holy Crit almost every months before the local authorities banned the race, Bangkok Criterium in Thailand is getting bigger every year and Jakarta Fixed Fest in Indonesia where I reckon used to be the biggest fixed gear event in the world! I’m sure you have heard one of these events before. I know the entire organizer and I’m really impressed with what they have done. We are all good friend or what I love to call a big family. They created the culture out of dust and now you can see track bikes almost everywhere! I hope this spirit will keep on growing.
I’m sure there area lot of good riders from Asia and I would love to see more and more Asian riders to take part in RHC this year.
- Cinelli Chrome. How this collaboration has been started? And tell us about your feelings of being Cinelli rider, ambassador and tester…
It was started when I first met Antonio and his lovely wife during their trip to Singapore. I went down to compete for Holy Crit which I won 7 times and Eric from Fix Up Your Gear introduce me to Antonio before the race. I was really nervous because I should show him what I have but once again I was lucky that night and I won the race. I talked with Antonio and Alessandra the day after. They offered me to be member of Cinelli’s family. I was so astonished with their proposal but I tried to keep cool and try not to show them so much emotions. But deep inside my heart I was jumping up of happiness J
I feel so thankful to be a part of the biggest bike brand in the world. To be the only Asian rider and to ride alongside respected riders, I know I have to work hard in order to be on the same level as them. Also don’t forget to represent the company with all of my heart. This opportunity doesn’t come often so I have to make full use of it.
- Tell us about the latest BANGKOK CRITERIUM, a brief summary of your experience.
Well, I’ve been following the event for the past 3 years but I never had the opportunity to take part into. Also I really don’t know what to expect, because I heard there are a lot of fast riders in Bangkok and it will be my very first time to race as a Cinelli Chrome rider. To make mattersworse the airline mislaid my bike! I waited till the next day but still no news. I was freaking out! Imagine my bike, helmet, shoes, gloves and almost everything was in my bike box! I didn’t know what I shall do. But fortunately the guys from Free Life Sport were there with me and helped me out by building up a brand new bike and cycling gear just for me to race. I give a shout out to Mawpun, the owner of the shop and the crew for being so kind! I’ll never forget their kindness.
I only had a few hours to get use to the new bike. It was a totally different geometry and set up but by hook or by crook I had to get used to it. I didn’t do so well during qualifying. My team mate Paolo and Stefan from Germany are so fast that I could barely see them during the race. I had to race without my prescription lens and I wore contact lens for the first time. One of the contacts lens went off and basically I rode with one eye.
During the race day I told myself HTFU and I concentrated 100% my efforts to the race. For the first time I managed to stick with Paolo until the end and 3 of us (Paolo, Stefan and me) went for the last sprint. But I guessed Stefan had a better sprint legs on that night. There was only few inch of gap between us. I had to thank Paolo for helping me throughout the whole course. I was more than happy to finish the race. It was a strong debut as a Cinelli’s Chrome rider.
- Which is your favorite bike between all you have gotten? Which is your favorite discipline, Criterium, Road, CX, BTT or Velodrome?
My Cinelli Vigorelli and my new Cinelli Saetta. It’s Criterium on road or track. The adrenalin, high intensity and from my point of view is the most aggressive race, so I like it.
- Can you tell us your Best and worst moment on a bike?
Every time when I’m on my bike it will be my best moment. There are always new roads to explore, new experiences to share with friends and family. The worst moment could be when I’m not on my bike.
- A sentence that represents your passion for bikes and cycling.
Go hard or go home and stay true.
- Thanks to…
My family especially my mom and dad, my sponsors, Cinelli, Chrome, Pestle & Mortar Clothing, Fix Up Your Gear, The Grumpy Cyclist, Bike Tech Subang, Godzilla Cycle, Free Life Sport and not to forget my friends.
More pictures on Silvia Galliani‘s Flickr