SINGAPORE - Americans Kevin and Conor Mullervy will be the first twins to compete in the OCBC Cycle Singapore pro criterium on Friday.
While they had a good time feeding the white rhinos at the Singapore Zoo with veteran cycling commentator and rhino enthusiast Phil Liggett yesterday, things didn't look so rosy for the Ginger Twins last year.
After two years with professional outfit Team Exergy, the Mullervys were abruptly rendered jobless in December 2012, learning from the media that the team had disbanded.
To make matters worse, the late announcement meant finding a new team for last season was impossible for the 25-year-old duo.
The Mullervys took to the Internet to get back on their feet.
"We did an outreach on Twitter and Facebook as well as on a webpage called RallyMe," said Conor, who can be distinguished from Kevin by his moustache.
"We posted our story there and it went out on the cycling media, while people could help by donating money to us.
"This money helped us to get to races and pay entry fees because we weren't on a team.
"Once we did that, Champion System, an amateur team, stepped in. We joined them and they supported us with bikes, equipment, clothing and travel to races."
Despite competing at a lower level for a year without salaries, the brothers were not discouraged.
"It was actually more of a motivation to get try and get back on the pro races," said Kevin, who is older by a minute and known as Ginger 1.
"We knew we had what it takes. It was about getting more results for the team, so that they could get more sponsorship to put more money into the team."
Good results, including a win for Kevin at last year's Annual Terrapin Twilight Criterium in Athens, Georgia, saw Champion System become a Union Cycliste Internationale professional team this year.
The team come to Singapore in good form, after Conor claimed the 2014 Old Pueblo Grand Prix men's pro criterium title in Arizona two weeks ago and are eyeing a podium finish at the OCBC Cycle Singapore.
When asked what they would say to anyone with the same problems they had, the Mullervys said in unison: "You've just got to keep at it."
Kevin continued: "Sports is not very forgiving, but if you just keep at it, the results will come."
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