Cycling: Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard to race in Singapore criterium

Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard won the Tour de France on his second attempt last month. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard will become the first Tour de France winner to compete in the Republic after the reigning champion's entry for the inaugural TDF Prudential Singapore Criterium was announced on Wednesday (Aug 24).

The Dane, racing for Jumbo-Visma, won the Tour de France, widely regarded as cycling's toughest test and most prestigious event, on his second attempt last month.

He is the latest pro to confirm his attendance after Olympic silver medallist Mark Cavendish.

Local cyclists have not been left out either, with the organisers announcing that Team Singapore Cycling Federation will compete in the pro race while amateur races will also be conducted during the Oct 29-30 event.

National cyclist Yeo Boon Kiak, who recently won a men's criterium bronze at the Hanoi SEA Games, will be part of the SCF team and is relishing the opportunity to compete against the world's best.

He said: "The Tour de France is the pinnacle of our sport and being part of this incredible event promises to be an amazing experience which I will never forget.

"We've cycled through the city countless times, but this will probably be our most challenging and exciting ride yet.

"We're looking forward to seeing how our race strategy and familiarity with the street circuit measures up against the skills of the best cyclists in the world - we're sure it will be an amazing experience."

At the launch of the event at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Yeo added that the presence of world-class cyclists will also inspire kids who will be watching their heroes race in their backyard.

The amateur races are the men's open, men's masters criterium as well as the Brompton World Championships (men, women, veteran).

BWC will also hold a community ride for 400 cyclists. All races will take place on a specially-designed street circuit in the city.

To help the cyclists prepare for the criterium races and help the community become better cyclists, a series of complimentary cycling clinics conducted by SCF athletes and coaches will be held for Prudential Seeker's Society members.

SCF president Hing Siong Chen said: "An event like this not only gives those in Singapore the chance to watch a thrilling professional criterium race up close, but also presents many opportunities for greater engagement and awareness."

Prudential Singapore’s chief customer officer Goh Theng Kiat, said: “We are elated to be the title sponsor of Tour de France’s very first criterium event in South-east Asia.

"Both Tour de France and Prudential are well-known brands with over a hundred years of history, and we wanted to partner Tour de France to encourage Singaporeans to lead active lifestyles.

"We look forward to welcoming families and friends at the inaugural Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium, where they can come together to stay active, have fun and bond with one another.

"Prudential Seeker’s Society’s cycling clinics and Challenge Your Pulse are great examples of how Prudential is helping Singaporeans lead healthier lifestyles and get the most out of life through sports and wellness.”

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