HolyCrit to hold bike races at Sports Hub

The event is being organised by Mr Eric Khoo (far left) and Mr Zulkifli Awab
The event is being organised by Mr Eric Khoo (far left) and Mr Zulkifli Awab. PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

HolyCrit organisers will be taking their night cycling event up a notch, with races at the Singapore Sports Hub on Saturday.

It will be the first time anywhere in the world that bike races are held at a stadium not purpose-built for cycling, co-organiser Zulkifli Awab, 40, told The Straits Times yesterday.

"Being the first in the world to do something like this is very exciting for us and for the cycling scene in Singapore," he said. "It shows that more people and venues are opening up to the idea of hosting cycling races."

Cyclists will get to compete in two categories - fixed-gear and road bike - on the Hub's 400m running track. It will be laid over with a rubber surface for cycling, said the Singapore Sports Hub in a statement yesterday.

The races will start at about 7pm, with free entry for spectators. About 150 male cyclists will take part in the qualifying rounds for the two categories. Five participants in each round will move on to the finals.

In another first, female road bikers will also get to fight it out for 20 spots in a new category. The event had been an all-male one before.

Mr Zulkifli said about 80 per cent of the available race spots had been taken up as of yesterday.

The HolyCrit races were originally meant only for fixed-gear bicycles - those with one gear and no brakes - and were held in public areas.

However, the races were halted more than two years ago after freelance project manager Zulkifli and his co-organiser, bicycle business owner Eric Khoo Shui Yan, 30, were arrested for organising the event illegally. They were each fined $5,000 and jailed for seven days in October last year.

Last December, the duo held their comeback race - with permits - for some 90 cyclists and over 400 spectators along Jalan Benaan Kapal.

All fixed-gear participants have to pay $10 to enter Saturday's race, which has been approved by the Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF).

For the road bike race, male participants will have to pay $25, and female participants, $20. Those without existing SCF insurance have to pay an additional $15.

The races are part of a two-day multi-sport event at the Singapore Sports Hub, which will also feature trail running, zumba, as well as rugby and ultimate frisbee try-outs.

HolyCrit "has come a long way from its difficult beginnings", SCF honorary secretary Hing Siong Chen said, adding: "I am proud that our cycling community, SCF and now Singapore Sports Hub are firmly behind the event and the organisers."

Ms Ung Socheata, who started road bike cycling about three years ago, said: "It is great that the race now encourages females to join too.

"I signed up immediately as I thought: 'Why not?' I am looking forward to having a lot of fun."

Added the 32-year-old marketing executive: "In Singapore, it is hard to have the roads blocked for cycling events, so this will be a great chance for us to get together."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2017, with the headline 'HolyCrit to hold bike races at Sports Hub'. Print Edition | Subscribe