SINGAPORE - Over 300 road cyclists took part in the inaugural OCBC Cycle Road Race on Sunday morning, the first of a series of four events to be held this year.
The event also marks the start of a new national ranking system, where points accumulated over the series will determine the nation's No. 1 road cyclist.
Besides Sunday's opening race at Seletar, the other races under this system include the OCBC Cycle National Road Championship (criterium and individual time trial) in May and the OCBC Cycle 2016 Speedway Club Championship, a team competition that started last year.
But participants for the event were less concerned about earning points or clocking a good timing than enjoying the experience of a road race.
Said Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Lim Wei Jie, 20: "We haven't had a race like this for about two years. We're happy to see that there are more races that are organised now."
Photographer Wong Wei Yuet, 33, enjoyed the thrill of riding in the elite 42km Men's Open category, the longest of nine events.
He said: "I like to race but there are not many chances in Singapore to do so. I was trying to see today if my race craft is there and how it compares with other racers."
As the event was held at Seletar, a hotspot for local cyclists, it caught the attention of cyclists who did were not participants of the race.
Said ITE College Central student Haziq Rahmat Ali, 18: "I always see professional teams on TV, but when I'm here, I could observe with my eyes and learn from them on how they race."
In the Men's Open category, Briton William Kingsley won the race in 57min 6.213sec, ahead of compatriot Craig Cameron (57:06.368) and Malaysian Razif Salleh (57:07.363).
In the 36km Women's Open, Singaporean rider Wendy Yap came in first in 1hr 1min 50.317sec, edging out Australian Christina Liew (1:01:50.722) and British cyclist Elizabeth May Hodges (1:01:50.952).