SINGAPORE - The registration fees for the amateur races in the inaugural Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium on Oct 29-30 drew mixed reactions from the local cycling community after they were announced on Thursday.
Some thought the $220 price tag for the men's seniors and masters categories in the Amateur Criterium on Oct 30 was too steep while others felt the price, which includes a two-day event pass worth $118 and an event jersey valued at $180, was reasonable.
Registration for both categories and other community rides is open.
Riders in the seniors category (aged 19 to 34) take part in a 24.8km race, while those in the masters category (aged 35 and above) will participate in an 18.6km race.
A local cycling enthusiast, who did not wish to be named, was initially thrilled about the event but is now turned off by the price and will not be attending.
The 43-year-old, who has been cycling for 30 years, called the price absurd, noting that local races typically cost between $60 and $100.
His last race was the SportsHub Sports Series: Cycle For Hope 2022 in August that cost $80.
He said: "To pay $220 for this event, and at a time when the whole world is going through inflation and financial uncertainties, is a little hard for me to digest. It's too high for a one-day race which is less than 50km.
"I was very excited when I heard the race was coming to Singapore with the Tour de France riders. But when I heard of the entry fee, I'm no longer excited but disappointed."
In contrast, avid cyclist Lukman Nurhakim Noordin has already signed up for the masters race and is eager to try the route for the first time.
While he thinks the price is reasonable after taking into account the two-day pass, he understands that others, especially younger cyclists who are not financially independent, might be unable to afford it.
The 42-year-old teacher said: "There might be racers who are only interested in racing and not watching the event, who will feel that it's still on the steep side.
"For passionate racers like me, this opportunity to race is hard to pass up and we are willing to pay the premium for it.
"Racing opportunities in Singapore are hard to come by. When there is a race, riders will sign up for it just because of their passion for road racing. The fact that it will be held in the city centre is a chance not to be missed."
He is also looking forward to using his pass to catch world-class cyclists, like 2022 Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard, up close.
He added: "We watch them on TV, but being able to see them zoom past you at high speed is another kind of thrill."
The races, along with other community rides, will take place along a 3.1km route in the city that passes landmarks like the Merlion and Esplanade before ending at The Float @ Marina Bay.
This is the first Tour de France criterium to be held in South-east Asia after similar events in China and Japan.
The Singapore edition will feature 32 riders from eight professional cycling teams, including British Olympic silver medallist Mark Cavendish, who holds the joint record of 34 for most Tour de France stage wins.
Avid cyclists can also be part of the event by joining other community rides such as the Pruride Seeker's Society which includes a cycling clinic and the Absolute Cycle Race, where participants will attempt to clock the furthest distance in 10 minutes on a stationary bike.
For more information, visit this website.