S'pore Cycling Federation targets Tour de France spot, Asian Games gold by 2030
A Singaporean cyclist at Tour de France and an Asian Games gold medal by 2030. Those are the ambitious targets of the Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF), which launched the ProCyclingSG initiative on Friday (March 16) to help realise its vision.
Under this professional cycling initiative, a group of committed cyclists will be picked from the national team and put through a training programme with guidance from GreenEdge Cycling, an Australian professional road-racing outfit that has been competing at the international level.
The SCF has signed a five-year deal with GreenEdge Cycling to provide Singapore's cyclists, coaches, clubs and communities with engagement opportunities, which include the sharing of best practices from Tour de France riders and coaches.
A Singaporean cyclist will potentially be shortlisted to join GreenEdge's Mitchelton-Scott team as a stagiaire, an amateur attached to a professional team, to train and race in Europe next year – a position that is open to only three cyclists in the world.
ProCyclingSG general manager Adrian Ng, who was SCF's national head coach from 2014 to 2018, said: “Following Singapore’s first medal in men’s road race at the 2019 SEA Games (a bronze by Goh Choon Huat), we believe that introducing a high-performance professional programme is the leap we need to take in our pursuit of a gold medal at the Asian Games.
"We will gain insights from Mitchelton-Scott men’s and women’s teams of GreenEdge Cycling to raise our standards on various levels, from coaching, to racing strategies and technical
The partnership with GreenEdge Cycling will enable ProCyclingSG to strengthen athletes’ daily training environment, expose them to overseas racing and training opportunities and gain their commitment to train in consistency, a key factor that has been missing in Singapore cycling.
GreenEdge Cycling's general manager Shayne Bannan said: “We are proud to be part of such a
programme and to complement Singapore Cycling Federation on its vision. We will work closely with ProCyclingSG in providing professional development and high performance opportunities for riders and staff as we embark on this exciting journey.”
By 2023, ProCyclingSG aims to retain a core group of 11 riders consisting of two full-time
professionals, two professional guest riders, four semi-professionals and three development
riders. The professional riders will train at an intensity of 25 to 30 hours a week and be engaged in at least 12 races and four training camps per year.
Full-time cyclists will receive a monthly allowance and expenses incurred on overseas training camps and competitions will be borne by ProCyclingSG.
By 2023, ProCyclingSG also hopes to be able to register a men’s continental team at the International Cycling Union (UCI) level.
By 2026, the SCF hopes to secure an Asian Games podium spot in road racing, as well as sustained success leading up to an Asiad gold in 2030 and a Tour de France spot by then.
SCF president Dr Hing Siong Chen said: “We want to nurture an eco-system where full-time riders are fully supported in the community and young riders see prospects in pursuing cycling as a career.
"This is our game plan to embark on an endeavour to consistently secure podium finishes at major games and be competitive with those in the region, and even internationally.”