Cycling: OCBC Pro Cycling Team to take a local rider onto the UCI Asia Tour podium

Now into their third season as a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)-certified Continental Team, the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team aim to put a local rider on the podium for the first time.

Last year, the team achieved nine podium finishes through their foreign riders - Loh Sea Keong of Malaysia, Dutchman Thomas Rabou, Australian Eric Sheppard and Jason Christie of New Zealand.

Loh was the toast of the team as he won the five-stage Jelajah Malaysia in June. It is the team's highest achievement to date.

Said team principal Daniel Loy: "We burst on the scene at the UCI Asia Tour last year and enjoyed some terrific results, but we are far from satisfied.

"I believe our riders are capable of a lot more. Our Singaporean cyclists are not far from delivering a UCI Tour podium finish."

Loh, however, will not be a part of the team's ambitions this year as he has signed for UCI ProTeam Giant-Shimano of the Netherlands.

In his place, four new foreign riders have arrived in an enlarged roster this year.

They are South Korean Jang Chan Jae, Australian Mitchell Mulhern, Kiwi Rico Rogers and Hong Kong's Ronald Yeung. Last year's guest riders Sheppard and Cameron Bayly of Australia have also been added as permanent riders.

The squad have increased from 11 riders last year to 18 this year - including nine Singaporeans. The local newcomers include Youth Olympic Games participant Travis Woodford and 2012 national Junior Individual Time Trial champion Benedict Lee.

The team also announced that two new major sponsors have come on board. Local insurance giant Great Eastern will be the official insurer and luxury watch brand deLaCour the official timepiece.

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