S'pore's only pro cycling team aim high for next year's OCBC Criterium

S'pore's only pro cycling team aim high for next year's OCBC Criterium
Various stakeholders from the cycling community gather together at the Conrad Centennial Singapore to officially launch the OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014.

Two of their cyclists created history in April when they became the first representatives from a Singapore team to complete the Professional Criterium race of the OCBC Cycle Singapore.

Now, the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team are setting their sights even higher, targeting a podium finish at next year's edition of the Republic's marquee cycling event, which will take place in March.

Speaking to The New Paper after the official launch of the 2014 edition of OCBC Cyle Singapore, which will take place from March 28 to 30 at the F1 Pit Building, OCBC team principal Daniel Loy said yesterday: "We expect the OCBC team and their jersey to be a lot more prominent in next year's race.

"To be frank, we want to be on the podium but if the race features 10 world class riders, it's going to be tough.

"That said, we're going to aim high to be on the podium next year and, again, target similar achievements like the intermediate sprints."

Team OCBC, Singapore's only professional cycling outfit, have enjoyed a successful year, with their riders winning jerseys and posting stage wins on the Union Cycliste International (UCI) Asian Tour.

HIGHLIGHT

The highlight was Loh Sea Keong's yellow jersey triumph at the Jelajah Malaysia in June.

At the 2013 OCBC Cycle Singapore Professional Criterium, the team's Thai rider Phuchong Saiudomsin came in 18th to grab the Best Asian Rider award, while Australian Neil van der Ploeg claimed the King of Sprint title.

Next year's event will not feature changes to the route, but it will be expanded to take in 12,000 cyclists - 500 more than this year - across 14 categories.

With the event gaining more recognition in international cycling circles, organiser Spectrum Worldwide is expecting a solid line-up of big names next year.

Spectrum managing director Chris Robb said: "We have a nice problem at the moment where we have many teams knocking on the door asking to participate in this event and we're going to have to turn some of them away.

"The reputation of the event has really spread globally. The riders talk about it, love coming to Singapore and love the experience.

"It's a nice challenge for us to have, but we're absolutely confident that we'll have a great field and an exciting race next year."

gregloo@sph.com.sg


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