Duo charged over illegal bicycle race

TWO men were charged in court yesterday with organising and promoting an illegal bicycle race without police approval and permits.

Bike shop owner Eric Khoo Shui Yan, 29, and project manager Zulkifli Awab, 39, allegedly organised eight editions of the night-time race at various locations across the island.

Called HolyCrit, the race was first organised in September 2013. The last edition of the race was held in November last year.

Following that, a report of the frenetic street race, in which cyclists raced at speeds exceeding 45kmh without brakes, appeared in The Sunday Times.

Khoo and Zulkifli were arrested by the police shortly after.

Court documents identified Khoo as the race's main organiser and Zulkifli as the co-organiser.

The duo, who appeared in court with their friends and family, are being represented by criminal lawyer Shashi Nathan.

No plea was taken yesterday and the duo are due back in court next month for a pre-trial conference.

They are out on bail of $5,000 each.

The men each face 16 charges - eight of promoting the competition without police approval and the remaining eight of conducting the race without a permit.

The prosecution said it would proceed with four charges. The rest will be taken into consideration.

The race made the headlines last December, after its eighth edition was held along Tanglin Halt Road.

Then, 32 cyclists raced shoulder-to-shoulder in a 35-minute multi-lap sprint around Tanglin Halt Close and a stretch of Tanglin Halt Road.

Race organisers used traffic cones to stop traffic at three entry points to the 1km race circuit.

The cyclists raced on fixed-gear bicycles without brakes and numerous crashes were witnessed.

According to court documents, other than Tanglin Halt, the race was also held at locations such as the heavy vehicle carpark at Yishun Avenue 7, Kallang Leisure Park, Changi Business Park and along Stadium Drive just outside the Sports Hub.

If found guilty of promoting the race, they could be jailed for up to six months and fined between $1,000 and $2,000.

For conducting the race, they could be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for up to three months in the case of a first offence. For subsequent offences, the fines and jail time the court can impose are doubled.


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