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Diego Maradona hopes his
aura will rub off on this
Argentinian generation. B17

OCBC Cycle Singapore 2009

What: Singapore’s first mass-participation event on public Categories: Entry fees:
roads for both beginners and professionals. 쐽 Super Challenge (50km, 16 years and above, subject to Registration is now open, and discounts will be offered for
When: Feb 22 qualification) participants who sign up before Dec 18, as well as OCBC
Total prize money (Open and elite categories): $100,000 쐽 Challenge (40km, 16 and above) credit card members. Fees range from $26 to $400.
Start and end point: Formula One pit building 쐽 Community Challenge (20km, 13 and above)
쐽 Kid’s Ride (5km, six to 12 years)

BY TERRENCE VOON event some time ago. It’s been quiet for a
while, but this event will be a catalyst for
SINGAPORE’S long wait for another pro- high participation.”
fessional cycling event is over. Organisers are hoping to draw about
Some of the world’s top road cyclists 5,000 recreational cyclists.
will be in town on Feb 22 for the inaugu- As for the pros taking part, organisers
HERO TO RETURN? ral OCBC Cycle Singapore, which will are keeping mum on their names for now.

boast a total prize purse of $100,000. Said Chris Robb, managing director of
Alan Shearer is The amount is believed to be the largest Spectrum Worldwide, the sports and
reportedly ready to take for a cycling event here. events management firm that is helping
Former Olympic medallists, stage win- to put the race together: “We are looking
on the Newcastle job. ners of tours and national champions are at the calibre of potential and past Olym-
B17 all expected to take part in the event,
which is the first major cycling competi-
pic champions, national champions and
stage winners of the various tours.”
tion here since the now-defunct Pesta Su-
kan Tour of Singapore in the 1990s.
Former Olympic medallists and stage Malaysia’s popular Tour de Langkawi
will be held the week before Cycle Singa-
But it is not just professional cyclists
who will zip past iconic landmarks like
the Singapore Flyer and the National Sta-
winners of tours on invitation list pore, and some cyclists from that race
will also be invited to come, Robb added.
Meanwhile, title sponsor OCBC Bank
dium. is committing $1 million to sponsor the
Kids and amateurs will also get a taste event despite the current global economic
of the action, with routes ranging from slump.
5km to 40km for cyclists of all levels. The deal was actually inked before the
As a treat for all participants, the start financial crisis hit in September.
and finish points will be at the Formula Said OCBC Bank’s chief executive of-
One pit building at Marina Bay, which ficer David Conner: “We’re part of the
hosted the world’s first F1 night race in community, and we don’t pull out when
September. times are tough.”
The 50km route, which will take about All this spells good news for the coun-
an hour for the top cyclists to complete, try’s long-suffering road cyclists.
will also be a scenic one. The estimated
Said national rider Low Ji Wen: “This
150-strong professional field will wind
is big for us. Unlike triathlon, cycling
their way along Republic Avenue, Nicoll
does not get many corporate sponsors.
Highway, East Coast Park and Changi
Coast Road, before doubling back to Mari- From left: Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Community Development, Youth and Sports) Teo Ser “We will also learn a lot racing along-
Luck, OCBC Bank CEO David Conner, Singapore Sports Council chairman Alex Chan and Spectrum side professional cyclists.”
Between 50 and 80 cyclists in the elite
Worldwide managing director Chris Robb at the launch of Cycle Singapore yesterday. The event Victor Yew, the newly-elected presi-
will boast a total prize purse of $100,000. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Natalie Gulbis is on race will be top pros, while the rest are ex- dent of the Singapore Amateur Cycling
Association (Saca), is also thrilled.
Team International for pected to be local and regional riders,
who may have to qualify via a time trial. This will guarantee plenty of ped- mentary Secretary (Community Develop- He said: “This will be the biggest cy-
next week’s Lexus Cup. The cyclists will then compete in a cri- al-powered thrills and spills, as the riders ment, Youth and Sports) Teo Ser Luck. cling event for next year’s calendar, the
biggest in a long time. We’re really look-
B18 terium format, which is a massed start,
high-speed bicycle race along closed pub-
jostle for position right from the start.
Among the first to sign up for the race
“To me, it’s long overdue,” said
Mr Teo, an avid triathlete and cyclist. ing forward to it.”
lic roads. at yesterday’s launch was Senior Parlia- “We should have had a mass cycling

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