After spending time off the track since 2011 to focus on BMX, Rizal made a full return to the velodrome in June with an eye on the Rio Olympics in 2016.
However, the 29-year-old will have a lot of catching up to do judging by his performance in the Track Asia Cup in Bangkok on Oct 4-6 where he finished sixth in the 1km time trial in 1:08.645.
His best time – 1:01.658, which is still the national record – was clocked in Pruszkow.
“I know there are still tons to be done but I’m slowly gaining momentum. But I need to go back to Melbourne in order to get back to my previous form,” he said.
The core of the national track cycling team, including Azizulhasni Awang and Josiah Ng, is based in Melbourne and training under coach John Beasley.
“I didn’t expect a lot in Bangkok because I knew I still hadn’t hit top form yet. But I trained hard for it, nonetheless,” said Rizal.
“I was only targeting 1:10 because it was my first overseas competition since returning to training ... but clocking 1:08 is a good start.
“But I need the specific and intensive training in Melbourne under John. My actual targets are the Asian Games (Incheon) and Commonwealth Games (Glasgow) next year.”