Woodford eyes podium

Woodford eyes podium

SINGAPORE - National cyclist Travis Woodford has set his sights on a podium finish in the men's open criterium at OCBC Cycle Singapore, starting at the F1 Pit Building, on Friday.

The 21-year-old, who is in his rookie season with the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team, is eyeing a marked improvement on his 2012 individual performance of a ninth placing, the best by a Singaporean.

While it will not be as high a level of competition as the professional criterium, Woodford (above, in red) is hoping to lay down a marker for himself in his first year with Team OCBC.

"It's a different level from the professional criterium... but it's going to be very fast and very aggressive and I'm hoping to do well there," said the 2010 Youth Olympic Games time trial and road race participant, who is currently serving full-time national service with the Singapore Police Force.

"First of all, I want to animate the race and hopefully I will be on the podium, which is something I want to do.

"I've been very happy to be given a shot with the OCBC Cycling Team. This year is a preparatory one for me so I can prepare to go full-time next year."

Woodford was speaking on the sidelines of a cycling clinic he conducted at East Coast Park on Monday for seven students from Springfield Secondary School.

The students will also be taking part in the OCBC Cycle Singapore's Community Ride on Sunday as beneficiaries of the Singapore Sport Council's SportsCares programme.

After sharing his cycling story with the teens and giving them some tips for their 27km-long ride, Woodford led the group on a 12km-long warm-up ride along East Coast.

Secondary 3 student Nur Irfan Sazali, 15, said: "I was very interested to meet Travis because this was the only time we could see a national cyclist.

"He also taught us how to do hand signals. I'll definitely follow his instructions and the tips he gave us."

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