Cycling: Thumbs up for OCBC cycling road race series

Cycling federation head Jeffrey Goh (right) and honorary general secretary Hing Siong Chen (left) with the winners of the OCBC Cycle Road Series yesterday. They are (second from left onwards): Moh Jie Yu (Junior B), Firoz Loh (Junior A), Lance Tan (m
Cycling federation head Jeffrey Goh (right) and honorary general secretary Hing Siong Chen (left) with the winners of the OCBC Cycle Road Series yesterday. They are (second from left onwards): Moh Jie Yu (Junior B), Firoz Loh (Junior A), Lance Tan (men's sports), Michael Koreneff (men's open), Ho Jun Rong (top Singaporean for men's open), Luo Yiwei (top Singaporean for women's open), Elizabeth May Hodges (women's open) and Ashley Jenna Lui (women's sports).ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Singapore's cyclists got to enjoy a formal road cycling season this year - and that has left them hankering for more action and more variety.

A structured ranking and points system was implemented at the OCBC Cycle Road Race in March, which was the first of four road events held this year as part of the OCBC Cycle Road Series.

The other three were the criterium and individual time trial races of the OCBC Cycle National Road Championship in May and the OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship last month.

Speaking to The Straits Times on the sidelines of the awards ceremony for the OCBC Cycle Road Series at Sport Singapore, men's sports category winner Lance Tan said: "I think (the points and ranking system) is a very good initiative by the Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF), but I think we need more races and different locations.

"Three out of the four races were held in the Seletar area, which is fine because there's minimal disruption to traffic, but at the end of the day, people still need a bit of variety."

The 29-year-old former national sprinter made his foray into competitive cycling only this year.

  • OCBC CYCLE ROAD SERIES 2016 WINNERS

    YELLOW JERSEY

    MEN'S OPEN: Michael Koreneff (Swift Carbon Virgin Active)

    WOMEN'S OPEN: Elizabeth May Hodges (Specialized Mavericks)

    MEN'S SPORTS: Lance Tan

    WOMEN'S SPORTS: Ashley Jenna Lui (Singapore Chinese Girls' School)

    MEN'S MASTERS: Andreas Fasting Oestern (Specialized Mavericks)

    MEN'S SUPER-MASTERS: Paul Cummings and Timothy Clarsen (Specialized Mavericks)

    JUNIOR A: Firoz Loh (Pro Development Project)

    JUNIOR B: Moh Jie Yu (Mandai Hyenas)


    TOP S'POREAN - PINK JERSEY AND $1,000 CASH

    MEN'S OPEN: Ho Jun Rong (JR Cycle Racing)

    WOMEN'S OPEN: Luo Yiwei


    TOP CLUBS

    OPEN: Specialized Mavericks

    SINGAPOREAN: Mandai Hyenas and Cycleworx

"With more races, cyclists will have more motivation to perform and train harder," added Tan, a research engineer. "That's how we can get the sport moving."

Fellow winner Luo Yiwei, the top Singaporean in the women's open category, agreed, saying her experience was a "rewarding" one.

The 26-year-old credit analyst, who joined the national training squad in September, said: "It's very important for cyclists to gain race experience, and that's what I got out of it.

"I was trying to get into the national training squad, so this got me some exposure to cycling races."

SCF president Jeffrey Goh welcomed the feedback, but admitted that more sponsors and funding would be needed to cover the costs of organising more races, including having security and medical officers on standby.

"Running a road race is expensive - holding one at Seletar can easily cost $30,000 to $40,000," said Goh, 49. " So far OCBC has been behind us, and we want to reach out to more corporate sponsors for funding."

Over 700 participants signed up for the four events this year.

Appealing for more participation, SCF honorary general secretary Hing Siong Chen said: "We have more than 700 members this year compared to about 50 last year, and our target for next year is to aim for 1,000 members.

"So it's very important that everyone sign up and show support because (increased) membership means there's something we can show Sport Singapore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2016, with the headline 'Thumbs up for cycling road race series'. Print Edition | Subscribe