Close to 12,000 cyclists took to the road in the sixth edition of the OCBC Cycle Singapore. (Photo by Sport Singapore Photographer/ Dyan Thjia)
The OCBC Cycle returned for its sixth year in Singapore and saw close to 12,000 cyclists participate in the event over the course of three days.
Roads were closed on Sunday from as early as 4 a.m. in preparation for the mass ride categories - The Super Challenge (59km), The Challenge (40km), The Business Times Charity Challenge (40km), The Foldies Community Ride (27km) and The Community Ride (27km) – as more than 10,000 cyclists turned up for last day of the event at the F1 Pit Building.
“Now in its sixth year, OCBC Cycle Singapore continues to grow from strength to strength,” said Chris Robb, Managing Director of event owner and organiser Spectrum Worldwide.
“The event once again catered to cyclists of all ages and backgrounds, from toddlers as young as 2 years old to cyclists over 80 years old,” added Robb.
Having flagged off The Super Challenge, Acting Minister of Manpower Mr. Tan Chuan-Jin went on and cycled in the category himself. He led the huge group of cyclists behind him along the 59km route through Singapore.
The event also saw participants from neighbouring countries including Malaysia.
Lawrence Suresh Grant from Kuala Lumpur said: “I feel cycling is very big here, a lot of bikes, a lot of people here [as compared to Malaysia].”
OCBC Cycle Singapore kicked off on Friday with the Men’s Open, Women’s Open and Masters’ Criterium events for amateurs, as well as the spectacular Professional Criterium featuring 56 elite riders from around the world.
Dutchman Wouter Wippert from Drapac Professional Cycling Team won the Professional Criterium, while OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s Rico Rogers finished runner-up for the team’s best result so far in the six editions of its home race.
OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s Cameron Bayly also captured the Cycle Asia King of the Sprints title, the second year in a row Singapore’s only professional cycling outfit has earned that accolade.
In addition, OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s Ho Jun Rong, the only Singaporean in the field, completed the Professional Criterium in 26th to become the first local rider since 2010 to finish the challenging race.
Spectators came equipped with cameras, hoping to capture that perfect moment as their loved ones cross the chequered flag. Cyclists on the other hand came in complete cycling gear equipped with trackers to keep in touch with their personal records.
However, not all cyclists cycled in with a competitive mindset. Markus Lim Yi Chong who participated in The Challenge felt that it was more important for him to conquer the long distance, rather than beating any records.
“I’m in this more for a joy ride rather than a race,” said Lim.
SportCares, the philanthropic arm of Sport Singapore and one of the event’s four official charities, were also proud to have some of their students (below) to participate in this landmark event on Sunday.
(Photo by VoxSports)
Laura Reid, Assistant Director of SportCares, said: “Taking part in an event such as OCBC Cycle Singapore is a huge privilege for our kids.
“Most of them come from backgrounds that lack resources to take part in the event, so being given this opportunity by OCBC Cycle to ride, we are hugely grateful.”
Reid added that, “We [SportCares] use sport as a form of social good. We try to develop the kids in their capabilities, social inclusion, so with every programme that we do, we teach our kids about discipline, respect, teamwork, respect for leadership, learning to do by the rules.”
The other official charities for OCBC Cycle are, Dover Park Hospice, Singapore Children’s Society and SingHealth Transplant TRUEfund.
Prior to the race on Sunday, Team Singapore cyclist Travis Woodford (below, in red) conducted a cycling workshop for seven students from Springfield Secondary School on Monday at Big Splash as part of a youth outreach programme by SportCares.
(Photo by SportCares)
Prior to this event, Woodford recently gave a talk on road safety to students at Yu Neng Primary School, also in conjunction with the OCBC cycle.
Giving back to the community seemed to be second nature for this athlete, and he did not hesitate to explain why.
“I feel it’s my duty to do that. Cycling has given me a lot, and if I could give back to the sport in any way I would do it, and having these kinds of opportunities is very enriching for me for sure,” he shared.