18 members, 8 countries, 1 extraordinary pro cycling team
28 March, 2014
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team (from left) Justin Cheong (team manager), Travis Woodford, 21, Daniel Loy (team principal), Rico Rogers, 35, Ho Jun Rong, 23, Calvin Sim, 24, Cameron Bayly, 23, Low Ji Wen, 24, Lemuel Lee, 22, Goh Choon Huat, 23, Thomas Rabou, 30, Ryan Chan, 19, Ronald Yeung, 25, Benedict Lee, 19. (Photo by OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team)
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team is made up of 18 members based in 8 different countries including Singapore, Thailand, Netherlands and Australia.
As the cyclists are located in various countries, the team does not get many opportunities to meet or train together.
Despite this, the pro cycling team maintains an extraordinarily strong bond with each other.
Angelina caught up with cyclists Phuchong Saiudomsin, Benedict Lee, Travis Woodford and team manager Justin Cheong to find out how the team stays tight-knit despite their diverse origins and locations.
Singaporeans Benedict and Travis (below, in red), who joined the team for its 2014 season, agreed that team's annual training camp is key.
(Photo by SportCares)
Last year’s was an 11-day training camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand held in December. All riders were required to attend the camp.
“It’s a time where the existing and new riders would get together to bond and get to know each other more. Being able to train and mix around with my new teammates was definitely a fun and rewarding experience,” said 19-year-old Benedict who is currently serving his National Service in Singapore.
Echoing his sentiment, 21-year-old Travis said that at first, he was afraid he would not fit in.
“But the guys were all really cool and friendly (at the camp) and that made things a whole lot easier. It was definitely an awesome way to kick start the year,” said the Team Singapore athlete.
While Team Manager Justin Cheong agreed that the training camp is a shared experience to bond the riders, he said that it would be impossible to maintain it without social media.
“It brings the success and trials of the team racing that much closer to everyone, no matter where they are. It makes them feel like part of something much bigger.”
Team member Phuchong (below), 26, likened the team to a big family who looks out for one another on and off the roads.
(Photo by OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team)
Phuchong, who trains on his own in Thailand, said that he does not see training individually as a problem. He believes the team meetings, held every day during races, are good in keeping the team focused on their race goals.
Admitting that at times, the team does not always understand one another perfectly because of the language barrier, Phuchong said the team tries to learn words in the various native tongues.
The Best Asian Rider in the Professional Criterium category in OCBC Cycle 2013 added that the team also makes it a point to be honest with each other.
“So it’s easy for us to resolve any issues that come up,” said Phuchong, who is also the captain of Thailand’s national cycling team.