Speedway concept set to heat up OCBC Cycle 2015
Alan Grant | 11th Mar 2015 | NEWS

The end of the partnership between OCBC Bank and Spectrum Worldwide that brought the highly successful OCBC Cycle Singapore cycling festivals from 2009 to 2014 could have meant bad news for Singapore’s cyclists, but instead of losing their marquee event, the community is getting double the fun with both companies staging separate cycling festivals this year.

First up is Spectrum’s CycleAsia Singapore 2015, which takes place from April 10-12 at the F1 Pit Building and is basically an extension of the previous Cycle Singapore events. The second event is the OCBC Cycle 2015, which is set for August 29-30 at the Stadium Hub. Registration for the general public was launched yesterday at a ceremony at the OCBC Bank headquarters in the CBD.

The main focus for both festivals are their mass participation events which are held on fully closed roads; for CycleAsia Singapore these are the Yakult Ace Light Super Challenge (59km) and the Boost Challenge (37km), while OCBC Cycle has its The Sportive Ride (42km) and the Straits Times Ride (23km).

But both celebrations of cycling also feature exciting new races with unusual formats. For CycleAsia Singapore it’s The Prologue, which will see contestants ride all out in a short time trial around a 1.7km circuit at the F1 Building on April 11. The distance may be short, but the power required to go full gas for 1,700m should see all the competitors anaerobically exhausted at the end of their individual efforts. Expect some of Singapore’s best sprinters and time trialists to dominate The Prologue.

For OCBC Cycle 2015, the organisers yesterday revealed their Speedway Championship series at the big launch event. This will pit teams of four against each other in an innovative multi-lap relay format over a 1km course at the Stadium Hub.

There will actually be two competitions, one an invitational event for the best cyclists from around the region, the OCBC Cycle Speedway SEA Championship, and the other a contest featuring the best riders from Singapore’s local teams, the OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship.

For the Speedway SEA Championships invitations have been sent out to all the regional cycling federations and the plan is for 10 teams of four riders to assemble at the Stadium Hub on August 29 to do battle for a S$12,000 prize pot. 

The competition will feature two heats of five teams racing 10 laps of the 1km circuit, with the top three teams from each heat qualifying for the final. But it’s not just a case of all four riders from each team racing together, instead two riders from each team will ride five laps before handing over to their teammates for the final five laps. The placings will be determined by the first of the second batch of riders from each team to cross the line, allowing for tactics to come into play. The fact that the fourth rider won’t count towards the final outcome will probably see the teams using lead-out men/women to set up their sprinters for the glory.

The Speedway SEA Challenge, which seems like a criterium – madison hybrid, promises to be fast and furious and will provide a fantastic spectator spectacle. The winning team will take home S$6,000, the runners-up will net S$4,000, while even the third-placed team will earn a generous S$2,000 prize.

Singapore’s leading club racers are also getting in on the action with the Speedway Club Championship. The format is the same as the SEA champs except there will be 15 teams on the start line, with the top two from each of three heats qualifying for the final.

And the local roadies won’t just be battling for honour alone, with the first three teams in the final earning S$800, S$600 and S$400 respectively. In addition, the three podium placing teams will also receive Vertix Velo wireless cycling headsets, which allow cyclists hands-free access to their mobile phones.

Due to the fast nature of the Speedway Club Championship event and the high level of bike handling skills necessary to compete safely, OCBC Cycle 2015 will be conducting a strict vetting of those registering to take part in the Speedway challenge.

 

To register for any of the OCBC Cycle 2015 events or to find out more details go to www.ocbccycle.com