SINGAPORE - From 7pm on Saturday (Feb 11) to the wee hours of Sunday morning, 110 avid cyclists pedalled furiously around the 400m track at the National Stadium.
They were there for the Sports Hub HolyCrit X, a night criterion cycling race organised by HolyCrit and the Singapore Sports Hub.
The race drew a crowd of nearly 2,000. It involved fixed-gear bicycles and road bikes and was held at the National Stadium for the first time.
Participants took part in the race across three categories - men's fixed gear, men's road race and for the very first time, a women's road race. The mens' events had a series of qualifying rounds before the finals. For the finals, each race took 25 minutes, followed by two concluding final laps.
Ms Serene Lee won the women's road race, overtaking the field by half a lap. The men's road race finals ended with Mr Raphael Chew of Team Turtle Racing Team emerging the champion.
The highly-awaited fixed gear finals saw defending champion Faz Adhili of Malaysia clinching the top prize. This is the ninth time he has won the HolyCrit fixed gear race.
Participants registered for each category were split into qualifying groups. The top riders to emerge from the five qualifying rounds then proceeded to the finals.
The night race, involving the use of fixed-gear bicycles with one gear and no brakes, was stopped more than two years ago, after its organisers were prosecuted by the police for organising the event illegally, but made a comeback in November 2016.
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 Awab 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.