Cycling: Tour de Langkawi looms large

SINGAPORE - They enjoyed a successful season last year.

And after a good start to their 2014 campaign, the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team are looking to make big strides at the upcoming Tour de Langkawi, according to team member Lemuel Lee.

Speaking on the sidelines of The Berocca Challenge launch event at Amoy Street yesterday, the 2011 Singapore national road race champion (above) said: "The Tour de Langkawi is really important. It is the biggest race in the region, so it is really important for us to make our presence felt, be it through stage wins, or being at the front every day.

"It is good for the sponsors as well because it is televised more than other races in Asia, so the Tour de Langkawi is a really big one."

The 10-stage competition, which will span 1,507.9km across eight Malaysian states, is a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Asia Tour event which will be held from Feb 27 to March 8.

The OCBC outfit - Singapore's only pro cycling team - are currently doing battle in the Herald Sun Tour in Australia.

Lee, who will undergo a three-month stint in Melbourne starting in March as part of Team OCBC's exchange programme with amateur Australian club search2retain, was left out of the team for their latest tour.

He hopes the team will continue to thrive on their early season form.


Kiwi Rico Rogers placed third in the men's open criterium at the OCBC Cycle Malaysia last month and Dutchman Thomas Rabou then finished seventh at the recently-concluded New Zealand Cycle Classic, with the team claiming third spot in the general classification standings.

"It's just the start of the season and we're already earning pretty good results, so hopefully they can get more results as a sign of things to come," said Lee.

"Everyone's fit and motivated and although some of us haven't raced yet as we are scheduled to take part in future races, the early success rubs off on the rest of the team.

"It makes everyone happy and motivated to do better.