Cycling: OCBC Cycle National Team Time Trial Championships draw capacity field

Some of the nearly 400 cyclists pushing hard during yesterday's OCBC Cycle National Team Time Trial Championships.
Some of the nearly 400 cyclists pushing hard during yesterday's OCBC Cycle National Team Time Trial Championships.PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

50% jump to 399 cyclists, quartet win sport quad mixed category in first competitive try

They met through mutual friends and started cycling regularly in the mornings for fun two years ago.

Yesterday morning, the Forever 18 team of Jansen Her, Joanne Mak, Moses Shao and Sebastian Teo shifted into competitive gear to win the sport quad mixed category in 46min 22.91sec at the OCBC Cycle National Team Time Trial Championships along Tanah Merah Coast Road.

"A few of us met through mutual friends and ride regularly, so we thought to take part in this event this year," said Teo, 39, the head of talent management at a German industrial gas company.

It was the quartet's first competitive outing as a team, with just one formal training two days prior.

They are among a number of new participants in the second edition of the competition, which attracted a capacity field of 399 - close to a 50 per cent increase from last year.

The one-day event comprised 20 categories across distances of 20km or 30km, in teams of four or in pairs, and split into elite and sport categories.

The elite categories allowed cyclists to earn points towards their overall national ranking, and their bikes must conform to International Cycling Union (UCI) standards. Riders in sport categories do not earn national ranking points, and may use non-UCI compliant road or time trial bikes.

Singapore Cycling Federation president Hing Siong Chen was "very happy" with the turnout yesterday, and attributed the success to the early outreach done by the federation and event organisers.

He said: "This year, we reached out to more people via social media and triathlon groups. The sports category made up maybe 70 per cent of the overall numbers and there is a bigger number of participants who have never competed before."

Chelsie Tan, 28, is one such convert. The former triathlete switched to cycling last November and was among six national training squad riders who took part in the individual time trial ahead of the event yesterday.

Tan and Lucas Lee - who also took part in the earlier time trial - along with Brian Johnsen and Poon Chung Kiat, representing their club BikeLabz, won the elite quad mixed category in 45:12.00.

Tan said: "There were barely five minutes between our individual and team time trials, but we had two team-mates who came down just for the team event, so we had to try our best no matter what.

"This is my first cycling event after switching from triathlon and there's nothing to complain about. The course is very good and the event is well-organised."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2018, with the headline 'Event draws capacity field'. Print Edition | Subscribe