More than 6,500 Participants Rode in Singapore's Largest Cycling Event
SINGAPORE, 19 November 2017 – THE OCBC Cycle 2017, Singapore’s largest cycling event, attracted over 6,500 who enjoyed a range of two-wheeled activities over two action-packed days at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Into its ninth year, the OCBC Cycle offered a mix of both competitive races and non-competitive mass rides, which proved to be a major draw for both professional riders and cycling enthusiasts from Singapore and around the region.
Super Heroes-themed ride a hit with the masses
The mass participation categories held early on Sunday morning saw over 2,600 riders suit up in the Super Hero-themed tee-shirt, designed by The Straits Times Design Team, to take part in the sold-out Super Hero-themed The Straits Times Ride. Spanning a distance of 23 kilometres, some cyclists came as their favourite superheroes such as Spiderman, Superman and Batman, as they cycled along the picturesque route that took in the sights of Singapore’s Marina Bay Area, Central Business District and East Coast Park.
Anna Cabre, a participant in The Straits Times Ride said, “I feel that the superhero theme is very creative, iconic and adds much more colour to the well-organised event.”
Earlier on Sunday morning, the longer distance The Sportive Ride took place with over 3,500 riders flagged off at 5.15am. They were joined by the team from the Philippines, who won the previous day’s OCBC Cycle Speedway Southeast Asian Championship, as well as the teams from Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, who kicked-off The Sportive Ride with the traditional OCBC Cycle Champions Wave. They were joined by some of the riders from yesterday’s 15-team OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship, as well as riders from the inaugural OCBC Cycle Speedway Corporate Championship.
The 42-kilometre long route took participants along the southeastern part of Singapore, stretching from the Central Business District to the eastern end of East Coast Parkway. Both mass participation rides finished inside the National Stadium.
Along the route, cyclists were able to stop at two designated “selfie points” where they could take a selfie with the majestic Singapore skyline as their backdrop in a safe environment.
Fong Wei Sheng was one of the first riders to cross the finish line in The Sportive Rider. He said: "This is my third time riding in OCBC Cycle. I especially like the route change and I feel that they have been getting better every year. I was also surprised to have finished as one of the first few riders as I did not get enough rest last night, but I somehow managed to find enough energy and maintained my pace with the front pack."
Mr Tan Hun Boon, a medalist at the recent ASEAN Para Games 2017, was one of the guests-of-honour to flag off the participants of The Sportive Ride. He said, "I think cycling is a very inclusive sport as we see people of various skill levels and physical abilities. I ride with a group of para-cyclists, and despite our various physical conditions, we all share a love for the sport. As an athlete flying the Singapore colours during international competitions, it is heartening to see the growing interest in cycling at the community ground level, because this builds a strong base for competitive cyclists in the future. OCBC Cycle plays an important role in this growth by catering to everyone, from the elite riders to beginners, families and kids."
Commenting on the good weather enjoyed by participants on Sunday morning, Koh Ching Ching, Head of Group Corporate Communications at OCBC Bank, said: “We were pleased with the great weather despite experiencing rain on the days leading up to this event. We were also very happy to have managed to deliver on our promise to riders by having a closed route with wider and safer roads.”
Project Training Wheels
With its aim to promote a healthy and active lifestyle among Singaporeans through cycling, OCBC Cycle also conducted its annual Project Training Wheels Programme, where its participants were coached to gain a level of cycling proficiency that enabled them to take part in one of the mass cycling categories.
Christine Lim is a proud graduate of the Project Training Wheels programme, who successfully completed The Straits Times Ride. Carrying a never-say-die attitude, Christine said: “Today’s route was challenging and exciting. Even when faced with the tough slopes, the very first thing that came to mind was to continue, because I told myself I must finish this. Today’s ride feels like a graduation ceremony in my cycling learning journey. I will learn from this experience and it does not mean I am going to stop here. This is all part and parcel of my learning and I look forward to participating in this event again next year”.
Giving back to the community
As part of the The Business Times Cycle of Hope Corporate Bike Ride, the event’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, close to 160 participants took part in either The Straits Times Ride or The Sportive Ride to raise funds for this year’s beneficiaries, with over half of their registration fees being donated. The beneficiaries for this year’s The Business Times Cycle of Hope Corporate Bike ride are The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, the TODAY Enable Fund, SportCares and the NUHS Fund Limited.
A look back at Saturday’s event categories:
Philippines shocks Malaysia in OCBC Cycle Speedway SEA Championship
In Saturday’s exciting cycling action, 170 elite riders took part in the OCBC Cycle Speedway Championships.
The Philippines pulled off the upset of the competition, as they beat two-time defending champions Malaysia in the Southeast Asian category with a powerful sprint to the finish.
Ms Koh said: “This year, we are particularly pleased to see the Speedway SEA Championship for the third year running. For the first time, we have Laos and Thailand as part of the eight Southeast Asia teams, including the win by Philippines, which makes the race more interesting. We have slight changes made to the Speedway Club Championship where we ensure that each club is only able to send one representing team. We are happy to see a good mix of our very own Singaporeans and our expatriate friends taking the podium positions.”
Young upstarts TWC Racing beat the experienced teams from Specialized Roval Mavericks and Matador Racing in the Club category, whilst SCDF outlasted the teams from OCBC Bank and GlaxoSmithKline to be crowned inaugural winners of the OCBC Cycle Speedway Corporate Championship.
Later on in the day, the OCBC Mighty Savers® Kids and Family Rides took place with close to 300 children aged 2-12 years old riding along the OCBC Cycle Speedway route with their parents in tow for a fun filled family bonding session.
More details on OCBC Cycle 2017 can be found on www.ocbccycle.com .