New race just for competitive riders in OCBC Cycle event
The OCBC Cycle Singapore 2015 from Aug 29 to 30 will feature a new event of high-octane racing.
While the 59km Super Challenge event for both competitive and non-competitive riders has been scrapped, the OCBC Cycle Speedway Championships has been introduced purely for serious racers.
The new race combines the OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship and the OCBC Cycle Speedway SEA (South-east Asia) Championship, and the format will pit four-member teams going against each other.
Each contest will see cyclists ride a total of 10 laps in pairs around a fast 1km course.
The race will be held on the first day on Aug 29 at the Sports Hub, and will feature the best riders from both regional and local cycling clubs.
Casual riders will have their fill the next day, with two mass-participation rides - The Sportive Ride (42km) and The Straits Times Ride (23km).
The route has yet to be revealed, but the finish line for both events will be at the National Stadium.
Speaking at yesterday's launch at OCBC Centre, Sport Singapore chief executive Lim Teck Yin said: "It's excellent that the races are being segregated into competitive and non-competitive rides.
"The competitive riders have their own aspirations and, as a cycling event, we are glad that OCBC Cycle is able to provide them with a chance to pursue those aspirations.
"On the other hand, for the non-competitive riders, the message is simple: Let's enjoy ourselves cycling, and let's do it safely with our friends and families."
Collisions resulting from inexperienced riders clashing with the competitive group has been a regular bugbear of previous editions of Singapore's premier cycling event.
In the event's inaugural year in 2009, 5,000 enthusiasts signed up and that figure ballooned to nearly 12,000 last year.
Organisers have capped the figure at 9,000 this year.
Said Samuel Tsien, Group CEO of OCBC Bank, said: "OCBC Cycle is very well known among Singaporeans. In fact, it's one of the premier cycling events not only here, but also in the region.
"We feel that is a number that is most manageable for us, especially with our manpower and logistics.
"That is because safety is of vital importance, as it always is. We want to make sure that we can ensure the safety and well-being of cyclists."