Dark Knights will rise at night-time race
The Red Bull Dark Knights night-time race will be held in an urban setting for the first time
Top mountain bike racers from the world over are congregating at the Singapore Sports Hub today.
They are here to hurtle down a man-made course, which starts from a height of six storeys, before winding through stairwells inside the National Stadium.
The course ends at the Waterfront Promenade, on the banks of the Kallang Basin.
The fastest riders are expected to complete the 400m course, which is littered with chicanes, tight technical turns and a 2m-wide jump, in less than a minute.
Called the Red Bull Dark Knights, the night-time downhill race happens only in Singapore.
This is the third iteration of the race. The first Red Bull Dark Knights was in 2011 and a ramp was built in Kent Ridge Park.
In 2013, the event was held at Pearl's Hill City Park.
This is the first time the race is moving into "an urban setting", said a Red Bull spokesman.
Mr Ben Moore, a 26-year-old professional mountain bike racer from the UK and one of the top in his field, said he was coming specifically to challenge himself on the unusual course.
"I've never raced in Singapore nor in a course that takes place after dusk, which makes this an event that's not to be missed," he said.
Mr Moore, who recently won the UK Urban Downhill in Falmouth, England, is famous for completing the Taxco Urban course in Mexico last year with a broken leg and foot (injuries he sustained just before the competition).
He still placed within the top 25.
He joins 248 riders from Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines, who will try to conquer the ramp at the Sports Hub tonight.
Top Singapore rider Ian Krempl, 28, who represented Singapore in the SEA Games for downhill biking in 2007 and 2011, said that the course this year is challenging.
"This course seems to be more of a technical run than one that's won solely by speed.
"Besides squeezing down between two storeys of narrow stairs, there is a 2m jump that I would never think of attempting on foot," he said.
Mr Krempl is not the only one who was intrigued by the 2m jump.
Local female mountain bike rider Sylvia Tan is also looking forward to tackling the jump.
She said: "I've only seen the track layout, but I think that the most thrilling part would be the 2m jump."
She added: "I've taken part in races with similar components, but each race is different and I'm excited to see what the event brings."