Cycling: Olympic champion Sara Carrigan to train Singapore's Dinah Chan

Singapore cyclist Dinah Chan will train under the tutelage of 2004 Olympic champion Sara Carrigan (above).
Singapore cyclist Dinah Chan will train under the tutelage of 2004 Olympic champion Sara Carrigan (above).PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

Singapore cyclist turns to Olympic champion Carrigan to train on Gold Coast's hilly terrain

Singapore's top woman cyclist Dinah Chan is enlisting a new coach of significant pedigree in Australia's Sara Carrigan.

The 34-year-old was an Olympic gold medallist in the women's road race at the 2004 Athens Games, and has logged more than 15 years of experience.

The Straits Times understands that the key reason behind the coaching change is that her current coach Daniel Loy will be moving to Britain with his wife. The latter has been posted there for work.

Said Chan, who won Singapore's first SEA Games cycling gold in 16 years at the 2013 Myanmar edition: "I was looking for a female-specific coach and Daniel helped connect me with Sara.

"Sara is really experienced as a women's triathlon and circuit coach in Australia and I hope she can help me with the knowledge she has."

The 29-year-old has been working with Carrigan since late last month at the Australian's base in the Gold Coast.

She came back to Singapore early this month but returned on Aug 20 for a second, month-long stint.

"I was cycling almost every day with her for a week but it was light training as I am still recovering from several health conditions," Chan said.

"Sara is amazing and very down to earth. I think I will work really well with her."

After retiring from professional sport in 2008, Carrigan founded Sara Carrigan Cycling to provide services such as personal coaching and cycling clinics.

She has trained the likes of four-time Olympian Cadel Evans and 2013 world Under-23 time-trial winner Damien Howson.

Carrigan has only good things to say about her new protege.

"I feel really honoured and privileged to be able to meet Dinah and help her meet her goals.

"Meeting up for the first time was a great opportunity to assess where she is at, so that we can have an efficient plan to get to where she wants to go," she told The Straits Times.

"From what I have seen so far, she is a talented young lady. Dinah is really receptive and she works hard."

The former Olympian added that Chan will be training with her only in the Gold Coast.

"Dinah told me that there are not many hills in Singapore. Here in the Gold Coast, we have more than 30km of climbs and it was great to take Dinah out and show her the terrain we have here," she said.

"At the moment, we are starting with some base work. We are still talking about racing goals and getting to know one another at this stage. But I would like to work with her on tactics, which are really important in road racing."

Asked how she could help Chan in ways that her previous coaches couldn't, she said: "It is important to use your strength to the best of your ability and I have been there and done it, so I understand (how to do it) from a female point of view and also (I've done it) at the highest level."

The pair hope that this is the start of a long-lasting partnership.

"As long as Dinah is happy and I am happy, I can see the relationship (will) continue for as long as Dinah wants to continue riding," Carrigan said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2015, with the headline 'CHAN TAKES NEW ROAD TO TRAIN'. Print Edition | Subscribe