Ang’s reckless riding splashed on the Net

Ang’s reckless riding splashed on the Net

He is no stranger to controversy.

From arguments over national team selection to issues with drivers on the road, Vincent Ang has earned a reputation for being a bit of a renegade in the cycling fraternity.

He was prominent on citizen journalism website Stomp yesterday, carrying his two-and-half year-old son in one arm and his mobile phone in the other hand as he allegedly cycled "fast" down Rifle Range Road - all while clad in the red and white of the national cycling team.

BAD BOY

When The New Paper met the 38-year-old yesterday, there was no sign of the bad boy, though, as the South-east Asia (SEA) Games hopeful admitted his mistake.

Said Ang: "My wife doesn't like it, it's too much of a risk.

"My mum too, she doesn't think it's safe, and she asked me why I did it.

"It's about convenience, but I definitely won't do it any more.

"However skilful a rider I think I am, it's not just worth the risk."

Addressing the incident, Ang explained that he rode his son to a childcare centre a few hundred metres away from his home after just returning from a four-hour early morning training session with the national team.

"People are watching us now (that the SEA Games will be hosted in Singapore in June), and even my family is very excited," added Ang who races on the Asian Circuit of the International Cycling Union (UCI) with Thai outfit, Singha Infinite Cycling Team.

"When I go overseas to race, they think I'm on holiday, but the SEA Games, they definitely know.

"And my mum is even telling people I will be competing."

There is another reason for Ang to stay within the lines - his young teammates in the national team.

One of two sprint specialists in a squad of mainly endurance cyclists, Ang is an integral part of a six-man road race team tasked with winning Singapore's first medal in the event.

"I used to be one of those guys who used to beat red lights when I'm cycling, but I don't do that any more - there is a code of conduct that we sign when we get into the national team.

"But more importantly, I train with a lot of young riders now, and if I do it, they will, too," he said.

"I have to be a role model."

Ang has been in and out of the national team in the past, and his issues with the Singapore Cycling Federation meant he never got to fly the Republic's flag at a SEA Games.

Things are different now.

"I was more individualistic, very vocal about things I didn't agree with, and criticised the old federation a lot," Ang recalled.

GREAT ATMOSPHERE

"But now, there are people in the federation who even put in their own money to help the sport, and they have created a great atmosphere.

"With my history, they could have easily not taken me back, but they are helping us a lot, more than we can give back, so I have to try," said the systems engineer.

Ang was inspired by the commitment he saw from his teammates on a recent nine-day training camp in Ipoh where they put in eight- hour days on the road.

"We have a real team - this is the first time I've ever felt that we've got one - and I'm confident we can win that first medal," he said.

"I'm going to have to take no-pay leave to train with these guys, and maybe even skip some of my (Singha) team's races, but I think it'll be worth it.

"I'll finally get to represent my country at a SEA Games on home ground, and if we can win that medal, in front of our family and friends, I'm sure that'll be an amazing feeling," said Ang.


This article was first published on January 31, 2015.
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