Archive | News RSS feed for this section

Loh Sea Keong wins yellow jersey at Jelajah Malaysia, notches OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s first UCI Tour win

Loh Sea Keong wins yellow jersey at Jelajah Malaysia, notches OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s first UCI Tour win

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (in yellow) competes in Stage 4 of Jelajah Malaysia on Saturday in Malacca, Malaysia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (in yellow) competes in Stage 4 of Jelajah Malaysia on Saturday in Malacca, Malaysia.

30 June 2013 – IN a season full of firsts for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team, Loh Sea Keong has delivered the most special one yet.

The 26-year-old Malaysian clinched the yellow jersey at Jelajah Malaysia on Sunday, delivering the first overall win on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Asia Tour for both the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team and for himself.

To top things off, Loh also clinched the blue and white jerseys awarded to the Best Asian Rider and Best Malaysian Rider, respectively.

“I still can’t quite believe it,” Loh said. “It has been like a dream training with this team the past two years. I really couldn’t have done this without my teammates.”

Entering Sunday’s 169.8-kilometre Stage 5 from Malacca to Putrajaya, Loh held a slender 14-second lead over Sergey Kuzmin of Polygon Sweet Nice Team in the General Classification. As they did in Saturday’s Stage 4, Loh’s OCBC teammates reeled in every breakaway attempt by a GC contender and kept the peloton intact of much of Stage 5.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong celebrates wearing the yellow jersey after Stage 4 of Jelajah Malaysia on Saturday in Malacca, Malaysia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong celebrates wearing the yellow jersey after Stage 4 of Jelajah Malaysia on Saturday in Malacca, Malaysia.

However, a trio of riders, two of whom were within 2 minutes of Loh in the GC, eventually managed to separate themselves from the pack. About 20 kilometres from the finish, they extended their lead to 2:12 over the peloton, meaning the two GC contenders – Galedo Mark Lexer from Team 7 Eleven presented by Roadbike Philippines and Ronald Oranza from LBC-MVPSF Cycling Pilipinas – were technically ahead of Loh in the chase for the yellow jersey at this point.

However, the peloton began to close in on the breakaway, and with 10 kilometres to go, Loh had regained the virtual lead from Lexer and Oranza. With about 3 kilometres left, the pack was within 200 metres of the trio and it finished 11 seconds behind stage winner Samir Jabra Yilov of Baku Synergy Cycling Project, who clocked 4:01:23. Loh clinched the yellow jersey with perhaps the most satisfying 32nd-place finish of his career.

For their tremendous teamwork in defending Loh’s victory, the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was also rewarded with second place in the Team General Classification, finishing just 3 seconds behind Baku Synergy Cycling Project.

“The team rode an amazing race this entire week,” said Justin Cheong, team manager of the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team. “We were under threat the whole time, and many teams tried to crack us every single day, but they didn’t. We’re so proud of this accomplishment. This proves that a Singaporean team can do big things on the Asian cycling circuit.”

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong celebrates winning the yellow jersey at Jelajah Malaysia after Stage 5 of the race on Sunday in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong celebrates winning the yellow jersey at Jelajah Malaysia after Stage 5 of the race on Sunday in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Loh’s yellow jersey is just the latest on a long list of highlights for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team this year. He scored the first of the team’s eight podium finishes so far this year by winning Stage 2 of The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup Tour of Thailand in April. The latest podium result came in Stage 2 of Jelajah Malaysia on Thursday, when Loh finished third and seized a lead in the GC that he never relinquished.

Loh’s three-jersey haul also adds to the King of the Mountains (KOM) jersey OCBC teammate Thomas Rabou captured at Le Tour de Filipinas in April and the white jersey Eric Sheppard picked up at the Tour de Kumano last month for being crowned the Best Young Rider.

Before this season started, the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team did not even have a stage podium finish on its resume, let alone the two stage wins and yellow jersey it can now boast of.

Loh wasn’t the only OCBC cyclist who excelled at Jelajah Malaysia. New Zealander Jason Christie finished 11th in the GC, while Low Ji Wen delivered the highest Singaporean finish at 21st. Following them were Goh Choon Huat at 58th, Ahmad Haidar bin Anuawar in 60th and Ho Jun Rong in 91st.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team now receives a well-deserved break of almost two months from racing before resuming action on the UCI Asia Tour in August.

About OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was first founded in 2009 as an amateur club team with the mission to develop and promote Singapore cycling. The team has today turned into a full-fledged professional cycling team and established itself as the premier road developmental team for cycling talent in Singapore. Being the first and only professional cycling outfit out of Singapore, the team has been licensed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) as a UCI Continental Cycling Team since 2012. Riders from the team have been crowned champions or stage winners in races such as the Tour of California KOM, Tour of Siam, Tour de Kumamo, Tour of Filipinas and Tour of Thailand.

Comments { 0 }

Loh Sea Keong defends yellow jersey once more, now one stage away from winning overall title at Jelajah Malaysia

Loh Sea Keong defends yellow jersey once more, now one stage away from winning overall title at Jelajah Malaysia

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong celebrates wearing the yellow jersey awarded to the overall General Classification leader after Stage 3 of Jelajah Malaysia on Friday in Pontian, Malaysia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong celebrates wearing the yellow jersey awarded to the overall General Classification leader after Stage 3 of Jelajah Malaysia on Friday in Pontian, Malaysia.

29 June 2013 – LOH Sea Keong is 170 kilometres away from taking home an historic yellow jersey.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s 26-year-old Malaysian rider defended the yellow jersey at Jelajah Malaysia for the second straight day by finishing safely within the pack in 47th place in Saturday’s Stage 4. Neither Loh nor the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team has ever won the yellow jersey, awarded to the winner of the overall General Classification (GC) of a race, on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Asia Tour.

All that stands between Loh and the historic feat is Sunday’s 169.8-kilometre Stage 5, which takes the field from Malacca to Putrajaya. The stage features mostly flat terrain, although it does include the steepest climb of the race, a 212-metre ascent up Bukit Mantin. Neither will intimidate a well-balanced rider like Loh.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team is determined to do whatever it takes to help Loh stay atop the leaderboard, just as it did in Stage 4. With help from his teammates, Loh clocked a time of 5:02:23 – the same time as stage winner Anthony Giacoppo of Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers and the rest of the contenders. This allowed Loh to maintain his 14-second lead over Sergey Kuzmin of Polygon Sweet Nice Team in the GC standings.

Loh also retained the blue and white jerseys, awarded to the leader of the Best Asian Rider and Best Malaysian Rider classifications, respectively. The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team remained perched at the top of the Team General Classification standings as well, 8 seconds ahead of Synergy Baku Cycling Project.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (in yellow) cycles behind OCBC teammate Low Ji Wen (in black) during Stage 3 of Jelajah Malaysia on Friday in Pontian, Malaysia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (in yellow) cycles behind OCBC teammate Low Ji Wen (in black) during Stage 3 of Jelajah Malaysia on Friday in Pontian, Malaysia.

Justin Cheong, team manager of the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team, lauded the performance of Loh’s teammates just as much as Loh’s. Stage 4, the longest stage of the race, stretched 206.3 kilometres from Johor Bahru to Malacca. Throughout the stage, every time one of the GC contenders attempted a breakaway, an OCBC rider chased him down and kept the peloton intact. This eventually led to the bunch sprint at the end and ensured the majority of the riders were credited with the same time.

“The boys gave everything they had to keep Sea Keong in the GC lead,” Cheong said. “They all want Sea Keong to win the yellow jersey as badly as he does. This would be a massive step forward for the team and for Sea Keong himself. The boys will burn every ounce of energy they have to try to make it happen in the last stage of the race.”

Leading the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team in Stage 4 was New Zealander Jason Christie in 13th place, followed by Malaysian Ahmad Haidar bin Anuwar in 19th and Singaporeans Low Ji Wen in 32nd, Goh Choon Huat in 49th and Ho Jun Rong in 106th. All except Ho were credited with the time of 5:02:23, while Ho finished in 5:08:02. Christie remains in 10th place in the GC, while Low is the highest-ranked Singaporean in 21st place.

About OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was first founded in 2009 as an amateur club team with the mission to develop and promote Singapore cycling. The team has today turned into a full-fledged professional cycling team and established itself as the premier road developmental team for cycling talent in Singapore. Being the first and only professional cycling outfit out of Singapore, the team has been licensed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) as a UCI Continental Cycling Team since 2012. Riders from the team have been crowned champions or stage winners in races such as the Tour of California KOM, Tour of Siam, Tour de Kumamo, Tour of Filipinas and Tour of Thailand.

 

Comments { 0 }

Loh Sea Keong retains yellow jersey, continues to lead General Classification at Jelajah Malaysia

Loh Sea Keong retains yellow jersey, continues to lead General Classification at Jelajah Malaysia

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong celebrates wearing the yellow jersey awarded to the overall General Classification leader after Stage 2 of Jelajah Malaysia on Thursday in Batu Pahat, Malaysia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong celebrates wearing the yellow jersey awarded to the overall General Classification leader after Stage 2 of Jelajah Malaysia on Thursday in Batu Pahat, Malaysia.

28 June 2013 – LOH Sea Keong ended Friday’s Stage 3 of Jelajah Malaysia the same way he started it: Wearing the prestigious yellow jersey.

For the first time in its young history, the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team faced the task of defending the overall General Classification (GC) leader’s yellow jersey, and it rose to the challenge. Loh finished safely within the peloton in 97th place and was credited with the same time of 2:08:11 as stage winner Mohd Harrif Saleh of Terengganu Cycling Team in the 94.7-kilometre Stage 3.

The result enabled Loh, a 26-year-old Malaysian, to maintain his 14-second lead over Polygon Sweet Nice Team’s Sergey Kuzmin in the GC standings.

Keep this up for two more stages, and Loh can help the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team win its first-ever yellow jersey on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Asia Tour. Its previous best finish in the GC was Loh’s second place at Le Tour de Filipinas last year. Jelajah Malaysia’s final two stages are relatively long, flat and hot, which tends to result in bunch sprints at the end of each stage. This would favour Loh as it would make it harder for contenders to pull away from the bunch and slice into Loh’s lead in the GC.

“Sea Keong did what he needed to do today,” said Justin Cheong, team manager of the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team. “This is new for us. We have not held the yellow jersey before. But Sea Keong has been in tremendous form and is riding with great determination. We are hopeful we can pull it off.”

To make things even sweeter for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team, Malaysian Ahmad Haidar bin Anuawar and Singaporean Low Ji Wen recorded top-10 finishes in Stage 3, coming in sixth and ninth, respectively. Both were credited with the same time of 2:08:11 as the rest of the field. Rounding up the OCBC lineup were Jason Christie in 35th, Goh Choon Huat in 64th and Ho Jun Rong in 81st.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) crosses the finish line in third place in Stage 2 of Jelajah Malaysia on Thursday in Batu Pahat, Malaysia. Following closely behind Loh is fellow OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Jason Christie (back).

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) crosses the finish line in third place in Stage 2 of Jelajah Malaysia on Thursday in Batu Pahat, Malaysia. Following closely behind Loh is fellow OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Jason Christie (back).

Low’s ninth-place finish is the best stage result and the first top-10 finish by a Singaporean this season on the UCI Asia Tour. Haidar’s sixth-place finish is also his season best.

“Ji Wen and Haidar are very strong sprinters,” Cheong said, “and the short and flat stage was right up their alley.”

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team remains first in the Team General Classification standings on the strength of three top-20 riders. Behind Loh are Christie in 10th place and Low in 20th.

Loh finished his banner day on Thursday holding four jerseys: yellow, green, blue and white, for leading the GC, Sprints Competition, Best Asian Rider Competition and Best Malaysian Rider Competition, respectively. Loh fell out of the lead in the Sprints Competition after Stage 3 but managed to defend the blue and white jerseys, along with the yellow.

After a relatively easy Stage 3, Jelajah Malaysia resumes on Saturday with its longest stage. The 206.3-kilometre Stage 4 begins at Angsana JB Mall in Johor Bahru and travels north to Malacca.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (right) competes in Stage 3 of Jelajah Malaysia on Friday in Pontian, Malaysia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (right) competes in Stage 3 of Jelajah Malaysia on Friday in Pontian, Malaysia.

About OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was first founded in 2009 as an amateur club team with the mission to develop and promote Singapore cycling. The team has today turned into a full-fledged professional cycling team and established itself as the premier road developmental team for cycling talent in Singapore. Being the first and only professional cycling outfit out of Singapore, the team has been licensed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) as a UCI Continental Cycling Team since 2012. Riders from the team have been crowned champions or stage winners in races such as the Tour of California KOM, Tour of Siam, Tour de Kumamo, Tour of Filipinas and Tour of Thailand.

 

Comments { 0 }

Loh Sea Keong’s brilliant showing at Jelajah Malaysia helps OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team hold first-ever yellow jersey

Loh Sea Keong’s brilliant showing at Jelajah Malaysia helps OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team hold first-ever yellow jersey

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong celebrates wearing the overall General Classification leader’s yellow jersey, while also  holding the green, blue and white jerseys after Stage 2 of Jelajah Malaysia on Thursday in Batu Pahat, Malaysia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong celebrates wearing the overall General Classification leader’s yellow jersey, while also holding the green, blue and white jerseys after Stage 2 of Jelajah Malaysia on Thursday in Batu Pahat, Malaysia.

27 June 2013 – FOR the first time in its young history, the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team holds the prestigious yellow jersey in a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) race.

Loh Sea Kong captured third place in Stage 2 of Jelajah Malaysia to virtually monopolise the overall leaderboard, holding four different jerseys at the end of Thursday’s 197.6-kilometre stage. The 26-year-old Malaysian finished the day holding the yellow, green, blue and white jerseys, meaning he leads the standings in the General Classification (GC), Sprints Competition, Best Asian Rider Competition and Best Malaysian Rider Competition, respectively. Loh holds a 14-second lead over Sergey Kuzmin of Polygon Sweet Nice Team in the GC standings.

This also marks the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s eighth podium finish and Loh’s fouth this season on the UCI Asia Tour.

Loh, who finished seventh in Wednesday’s Stage 1, was in a breakaway alongside OCBC teammate Jason Christie and 12 other riders with about 10 kilometres to go. Loh pulled away at the end and crossed the line in a time of 4:45:02, 9 seconds behind stage winner Aaron Donnelly of Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) celebrates winning Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak on 5 June 2013 in Pulau Punjung, Indonesia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) celebrates winning Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak on 5 June 2013 in Pulau Punjung, Indonesia.

“This is a big, big day for our team and for Sea Keong, who is racing in front of his home fans,” said Justin Cheong, team manager of the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team. “It’s obviously a huge honour to wear the yellow jersey, and we will do everything in our power to defend it.”

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team also ranks first in the team General Classification, but Loh had help making that happen. Christie, a New Zealander, finished fourth in Stage 2 in an identical time as Loh, while Malaysian Ahmad Haidar bin Anuwar finished 19th. Haidar and Singaporeans Low Ji Wen (50th), Goh Choon Huat (59th) and Ho Jun Rong (67th) all finished within the peloton and were credited with a time of 4:46:01.

Following Loh in the General Classification standings are Christie in 10th place, Low in 21st, Goh in 54th, Haidar in 55th and Ho in 88th.

The team had plenty to cheer about right from the beginning of Thursday’s stage. Goh joined an early four-man breakaway and, along the way, snatched first place in the first two intermediate sprints and second in the third and final one of the stage. He ranks ninth in the Sprints Competition, while Christie ranks fifth.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Ho Jun Rong (front) competes in Stage 1 of Jelajah Malaysia on Wednesday in Rembau, Malaysia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Ho Jun Rong (front) competes in Stage 1 of Jelajah Malaysia on Wednesday in Rembau, Malaysia.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team will attempt to help Loh retain the yellow jersey when Jelajah Malaysia resumes on Friday with the 94.7-kilometre Stage 3, which takes the riders from Batu Pahat to Pontian. The short and flat stage includes no King of the Mountains (KOM) climbs and will favour the sprint specialists in the field.

About OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was first founded in 2009 as an amateur club team with the mission to develop and promote Singapore cycling. The team has today turned into a full-fledged professional cycling team and established itself as the premier road developmental team for cycling talent in Singapore. Being the first and only professional cycling outfit out of Singapore, the team has been licensed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) as a UCI Continental Cycling Team since 2012. Riders from the team have been crowned champions or stage winners in races such as the Tour of California KOM, Tour of Siam, Tour de Kumamo, Tour of Filipinas and Tour of Thailand.

 

Comments { 0 }

Low Ji Wen records best Singaporean stage finish this season as OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team shines at Jelajah Malaysia

Low Ji Wen records best Singaporean stage finish this season as OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team shines at Jelajah Malaysia

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Low Ji Wen competes in Stage 6 of the Tour de Korea on 14 June 2013 in Yangyang, Korea.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Low Ji Wen competes in Stage 6 of the Tour de Korea on 14 June 2013 in Yangyang, Korea.

26 June 2013 – LOW Ji Wen raced to the best stage finish by a Singaporean on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Asia Tour this year, capturing one of the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s three top-12 finishes in Stage 1 of Jelajah Malaysia on Wednesday.

Low crossed the line in 12th place in a time of 4:15:30. Malaysian Loh Sea Keong led all OCBC riders with his 7th place finish in a time of 4:13:52, 12 seconds behind stage winner Kiril Pozdnyakov of Team Baku Cycling Project. New Zealander Jason Christie recorded the other top-12 result, clocking a time of 4:15:30 to secure 11th place. The trio helped the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rank second in the team General Classification (GC) after the first day of competition.

The previous best stage finish by a Singaporean this year came in Stage 6 of the Tour of Japan in May, when Low took 17th place.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) celebrates winning Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak on 5 June 2013 in Pulau Punjung, Indonesia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) celebrates winning Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak on 5 June 2013 in Pulau Punjung, Indonesia.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team adopted an aggressive strategy right from the start, despite a downpour that went from heavy to torrential as the day went on. Loh, Christie and Low joined a breakaway that opened up a gap of more than 10 minutes on the peloton midway through the race. With about 20 kilometres to go, Loh joined an attack consisting of 10 riders, including the eventual winner Pozdnyakov, but he fell short in the final kilometres.

“We rode a solid, aggressive race today,” said Justin Cheong, team manager of the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team. “Three riders in the top 12 make this a good showing for us, and we hope to build on this and get onto the podium in the next few days.”

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team is coming off a brilliant showing at the Tour de Korea, its most successful UCI Asia Tour race in team history. The team captured podium spots in Stages 7 and 8 to cap off the race, as well as a top-five finish in the General Classification (GC). Singapore’s only professional cycling team has seven podium finishes on the UCI Asia Tour so far this season.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) competes in Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak on 5 June 2013 in Pulau Punjung, Indonesia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) competes in Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak on 5 June 2013 in Pulau Punjung, Indonesia.

Low and his teammates will try to add to that tally when Jelajah Malaysia continues on Thursday with the 197.6-kilometre Stage 2, which begins in Rembau and ends in Batu Pahat.

About OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was first founded in 2009 as an amateur club team with the mission to develop and promote Singapore cycling. The team has today turned into a full-fledged professional cycling team and established itself as the premier road developmental team for cycling talent in Singapore. Being the first and only professional cycling outfit out of Singapore, the team has been licensed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) as a UCI Continental Cycling Team since 2012. Riders from the team have been crowned champions or stage winners in races such as the Tour of California KOM, Tour of Siam, Tour de Kumamo, Tour of Filipinas and Tour of Thailand.

 

Comments { 0 }

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team game for Jelajah Malaysia despite haze

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team game for Jelajah Malaysia despite haze

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) celebrates winning Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak on 5 June 2013 in Pulau Punjung, Indonesia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) celebrates winning Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak on 5 June 2013 in Pulau Punjung, Indonesia.

25 June 2013 – PROFESSIONAL cyclists are known to be a hardy bunch, so it should be no surprise that the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team is not shying away from its next race, Jelajah Malaysia, as long as the air quality is safe for racing.

Malaysia’s oldest stage race, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is a five-stage affair scheduled to run from Wednesday to Sunday. The race runs primarily along the western half of Peninsular Malaysia, beginning just outside Kuala Lumpur down to Johor Bahru before looping back up to the capital region.

The Malaysian National Cycling Federation, which is organising the race, held a press conference on Monday in Putrajaya announcing that the race will carry on even if the on-going haze problem forces organisers to change the route, as Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rules allow. In any case, the haze has recently spread to the central peninsula, while conditions have improved in the regions previously affected in the west.

“It will be a waste if we have to cancel the race because a lot of preparation on the logistics have been done,” said Jelajah Malaysia Chief Operating Officer Dato’ Naim Mohamad at Monday’s press conference.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) competes in Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak on 5 June 2013 in Pulau Punjung, Indonesia.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Loh Sea Keong (front) competes in Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak on 5 June 2013 in Pulau Punjung, Indonesia.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team is game for going ahead with the race, as long as authorities declare the air quality safe enough for riding. Representing the team at Jelajah Malaysia are Singaporeans Goh Choon Huat, Ho Jun Rong and Low Ji Wen, Malaysians Loh Sea Keong and Ahmad Haidar bin Anuawar and new signing Jason Christie from New Zealand.

Over the weekend, Goh and Ho traveled to Perlis, in the northwestern tip of Malaysia, to escape the haze and continue their training. Even there, they had to limit their outdoor training to low-intensity rides, while making up for it with high-intensity sessions indoors on stationary trainers.

“It’s not good, but when you have to get something done, you just have to do it,” Goh said.

“It’s important to take care of our health,” Ho said. “No point training so hard and falling sick as a result. I just took it easy and did specific work on the indoor trainer to compensate for the lack of hours on the roads. We can still train hard and smart using scientific methods.”

Low, who stayed in Singapore, had to shut down his outdoor rides completely. The OCBC riders typically spend three to four hours on the roads every day, but Low had to substitute that with work on his stationary trainer, complemented with training videos from team sponsor The Sufferfest.com. The Sufferfest offers downloadable videos that use footage from professional races, team manager instructions and music to spice up riding on a stationary trainer. Low’s personal favourite is Hell Hath No Fury, a 75-minute video featuring footage from a UCI World Cup event.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Low Ji Wen competes in Stage 6 of the Tour de Korea on 14 June 2013 in Yangyang, Korea.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Low Ji Wen competes in Stage 6 of the Tour de Korea on 14 June 2013 in Yangyang, Korea.

“Everybody is facing the same situation right now,” Low said. “But we are lucky in that we are able to utilise videos from The Sufferfest, which have been very helpful. Videos like Hell Hath No Fury make it easier to train indoors, for sure.”

The OCBC cyclists will have to be prepared to suffer this week, as three of Jelajah Malaysia’s five stages either come close to or exceed 200 kilometres, beginning with Wednesday’s 187.7-kilometre Stage 1 from Kompleks Sukan Negara Bukit Jalil to Rembau.

No Malaysian cyclist has won the yellow jersey since Suhardi Hassan was crowned the overall champion in 2004. The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s Malaysian riders could very well change that, especially considering Loh’s recent sizzling form. The 26-year-old emerged victorious in Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak earlier this month for his second stage win of the year.

In fact, the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team as a whole is riding a hot streak. Sandwiching its triumphant showing at the Tour de Singkarak were outstanding performances at the Tour de Kumano, where Eric Sheppard won the white jersey awarded to the Best Young Rider, and at the Tour de Korea, where Sheppard captured podium finishes in Stages 7 and 8.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team now has seven podium finishes this season.

About OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was first founded in 2009 as an amateur club team with the mission to develop and promote Singapore cycling. The team has today turned into a full-fledged professional cycling team and established itself as the premier road developmental team for cycling talent in Singapore. Being the first and only professional cycling outfit out of Singapore, the team has been licensed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) as a UCI Continental Cycling Team since 2012. Riders from the team have been crowned champions or stage winners in races such as the Tour of California KOM, Tour of Siam, Tour de Kumamo, Tour of Filipinas and Tour of Thailand.

Comments { 0 }

Eric Sheppard finishes on podium for second straight day, caps off superb Tour de Korea for OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team

Eric Sheppard finishes on podium for second straight day, caps off superb Tour de Korea for OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team riders (from left) Thomas Rabou, Jason Christie and Luke Parker compete in Stage 8 of the Tour de Korea on Sunday in Hanam.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team riders (from left) Thomas Rabou, Jason Christie and Luke Parker compete in Stage 8 of the Tour de Korea on Sunday in Hanam.

16 June 2013 – ERIC Sheppard helped the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team cap off a superb maiden appearance at the Tour de Korea with his second podium finish in as many days, this time capturing third place in Sunday’s Stage 8.

This marked the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s seventh podium finish on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Asia Tour this season and the first time an OCBC rider has earned two podium spots in the same Tour.

Less than 24 hours after coming in second in Stage 7, Sheppard made a late break on Sunday to cross the line just after stage winner Seo Joonyong from the KSPO team. The final stage of the Tour was also its shortest, at just 90.8 kilometres from Hongcheon to Hanam. That, combined with the relatively flat terrain, resulted in the formation of a 46-strong lead pack at the end of the race. Among them were the other four OCBC riders, who were all credited with the same time of 2:03:51 as Seo and finished in the following order: Low Ji Wen (19th), Luke Parker (33rd), Jason Christie (36th) and Thomas Rabou (41st).

The result left the General Classification (GC) standings mostly intact, which meant Rabou held on to his fifth-place finish, 1:28 behind yellow jersey winner Michael Cuming from top Continental Team Rapha Condor JLT. It was the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s best finish in the GC of any race this season, the previous best coming when Rabou earned ninth place in the GC of Le Tour de Filipinas in April.

Sheppard ended up 11th in the GC standings and third in the Best Young Rider competition, 2:56 behind white jersey winner Cheung Kinglok of Team Hong Kong China. Sheppard also finished in sixth place in the Sprints competition. The 22-year-old Aussie was a serious contender for his second straight white jersey, having captured the honour at the Tour de Kumano in Japan at the beginning of the month.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Thomas Rabou (in yellow helmet) competes in Stage 7 of the Tour de Korea on Sunday in Hongcheon.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Thomas Rabou (in yellow helmet) competes in Stage 7 of the Tour de Korea on Sunday in Hongcheon.

New signing Christie completed his debut race for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team in 48th place, while Parker finished 69th and Low 76th in the GC standings. Low’s 19th-place result on Sunday marked the third time a Singaporean has earned a top-20 stage finish on the UCI Asia Tour this season. Low, a former national road race champion, crossed the line in 17th place in Stage 6 of the Tour of Japan last month, while Goh Choon Huat took 19th place in Stage 6 of The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup Tour of Thailand in April.

The long list of accolades makes the Tour de Korea arguably the brightest highlight in a season full of highlights for Singapore’s only professional cycling team.

“This is one of our most successful races to date,” said Justin Cheong, team manager of the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team. “Two podium finishes, two riders in the top 11 of the General Classification, third place in the Best Young Rider competition and eighth overall among all the top-notch teams present – these accomplishments are nothing to sneeze at. This validates all the hard work we’ve put in, and we’re thrilled.”

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team concluded the Tour de Korea as the eighth-best squad in the Team General Classification, above the likes of the Australia, Kazakhstan, Korea and Malaysia national teams and Team Hong Kong China.

Along the way, the OCBC riders logged four top-10 stage finishes:

– Stage 2: Eric Sheppard, ninth

– Stage 6: Thomas Rabou, fifth

– Stage 7: Eric Sheppard, second

– Stage 8: Eric Sheppard, third

Sheppard’s latest display of brilliance adds to the growing list of stellar results the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team has produced this year. The following are the team’s seven podium finishes this year:

– The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup Tour of Thailand: Loh Sea Keong, winner of Stage 2

– Le Tour de Filipinas: Thomas Rabou, third in Stage 4

– Melaka Governor’s Cup: Loh Sea Keong, second, and Thomas Rabou, third

– Tour de Singkarak: Loh Sea Keong, winner of Stage 4

– Tour de Korea: Eric Sheppard, second in Stage 7

– Tour de Korea: Eric Sheppard, third in Stage 8

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Eric Sheppard (right) poses with Team Hong Kong China’s Cheung Kinglok (middle) and MTN-Qhubeka’s Louis Meintjes on the podium after Stage 8 of the Tour de Korea on Sunday in Hanam, Korea. Cheung won the white jersey awarded to the Tour de Korea’s Best Young Rider, while Meintjes came in second and Sheppard third in the Best Young Rider competition.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Eric Sheppard (right) poses with Team Hong Kong China’s Cheung Kinglok (middle) and MTN-Qhubeka’s Louis Meintjes on the podium after Stage 8 of the Tour de Korea on Sunday in Hanam, Korea. Cheung won the white jersey awarded to the Tour de Korea’s Best Young Rider, while Meintjes came in second and Sheppard third in the Best Young Rider competition.

Sheppard and Parker are stagiaires, that is, amatuers riding temporarily for a professional team as a tryout. They are riding in the OCBC jersey under an exchange programme with the search2retain powered by health.com.au team from Australia.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team next competes in the UCI Asia Tour at Jelejah Malaysia, a five-stage race that runs from 26-30 June. It is Malaysia’s oldest cycling race.

About OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was first founded in 2009 as an amateur club team with the mission to develop and promote Singapore cycling. The team has today turned into a full-fledged professional cycling team and established itself as the premier road developmental team for cycling talent in Singapore. Being the first and only professional cycling outfit out of Singapore, the team has been licensed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) as a UCI Continental Cycling Team since 2012. Riders from the team have been crowned champions or stage winners in races such as the Tour of California KOM, Tour of Siam, Tour de Kumamo, Tour of Filipinas and Tour of Thailand.

Comments { 0 }

Eric Sheppard captures second place at Tour de Korea for OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s sixth podium finish this season

Eric Sheppard captures second place at Tour de Korea for OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s sixth podium finish this season

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Eric Sheppard (back) crosses the finish line in second place in Stage 7 of the Tour de Korea on Saturday in Hongcheon, Korea.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Eric Sheppard (back) crosses the finish line in second place in Stage 7 of the Tour de Korea on Saturday in Hongcheon, Korea.

15 June 2013 – FOR a week, the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team flirted with a podium spot at the Tour de Korea.

On the Tour’s next-to-last day, Eric Sheppard finally delivered that prestigious and coveted honour, capturing second place in Saturday’s Stage 7 for the team’s sixth podium finish this year on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Asia Tour.

Excruciatingly, the 22-year-old Australian ended up less than a bicycle length short of being able to raise his arms in triumph as he crossed the finish line. Sheppard and one other rider, Seoul Cycling Team’s Cho Ho Sung, powered away from the lead pack about 3 kilometres from the finish, and Cho narrowly pipped Sheppard on the final stretch to earn the stage win. The two riders were credited with the same time of 3:32:43 in the 145.1-kilometre stage from Yangyang to Hongcheon.

“We are ecstatic at Eric’s tremendous performance,” said Justin Cheong, team manager of the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team. “It’s a pity we didn’t win the stage because we did everything right today and came so close.”

Sheppard’s OCBC teammate Thomas Rabou also turned in a solid performance in Stage 7, rolling in with the 41-strong lead pack in a time of 3:32:57, 14 seconds behind Sheppard. Rabou, who finished 33rd, joined an early breakaway, which resulted in him capturing second place in the day’s only intermediate sprint and sixth place in the first King of the Mountains (KOM) climb of Stage 7.

Rabou remained in fifth place in the General Classification (GC) standings, 1:28 behind yellow jersey leader Michael Cuming of Rapha Condor JLT. Sheppard remained in 11th in the GC and third in the Best Young Rider competition, 2:57 behind white jersey leader Cheung Kinglok of Team Hong Kong China.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Eric Sheppard crosses the finish line in Stage 3 of the Tour de Korea on Tuesday in Yeongju, Korea.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Eric Sheppard crosses the finish line in Stage 3 of the Tour de Korea on Tuesday in Yeongju, Korea.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team jumped up one spot to eighth place out of the 20 squads in the Team General Classification standings.

The duo will get one last opportunity to improve on their GC rankings when they take to the roads on Sunday for the unusually short 90.8-kilometre Stage 8 from Hongcheon to Hanam.

“We have been in good position throughout this Tour with both Thomas and Eric high up in the General Classification standings,” Cheong said. “But we are never satisfied. We want to be on the top spot of the podium and take home the yellow jersey every race we go to.”

Sheppard’s latest display of brilliance came 10 days after OCBC teammate Loh Sea Keong emerged victorious in Stage 4 of the Tour de Singkarak in West Sumatra, Indonesia.

The following are the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s other podium finishes this year:

– The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup Tour of Thailand: Loh Sea Keong, winner of Stage 2

– Le Tour de Filipinas: Thomas Rabou, third in Stage 4

– Melaka Governor’s Cup: Loh Sea Keong, 2nd, and Thomas Rabou, 3rd

The Tour de Korea has become yet another highlight in a season full of highlights for Singapore’s only professional cycling team. Including Sheppard’s second-place result on Saturday, the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team has logged three top-10 finishes in its maiden appearance at the Tour de Korea. Rabou narrowly missed out on a podium spot when he took fifth place in Stage 6 on Friday, while Sheppard crossed the line in ninth in Stage 2. Rabou also almost cracked the top 10 when he finished 11th in Stage 1.

The other OCBC riders competing in the Tour de Korea are Jason Christie, Luke Parker and Low Ji Wen, who rank 51st, 72nd and 81st, respectively, in the GC. All three rolled in with the peloton in Stage 7 and were credited with the time of 3:52:22. Parker took 45th, Christie 57th and Low 71st in the stage.

Sheppard and Parker are stagiaires, that is, amateurs riding temporarily for a professional team as a tryout. They are riding in the OCBC jersey under an exchange programme with the search2retain powered by health.com.au team from Australia.

About OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was first founded in 2009 as an amateur club team with the mission to develop and promote Singapore cycling. The team has today turned into a full-fledged professional cycling team and established itself as the premier road developmental team for cycling talent in Singapore. Being the first and only professional cycling outfit out of Singapore, the team has been licensed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) as a UCI Continental Cycling Team since 2012. Riders from the team have been crowned champions or stage winners in races such as the Tour of California KOM, Tour of Siam, Tour de Kumamo, Tour of Filipinas and Tour of Thailand.

Comments { 0 }

Thomas Rabou narrowly misses out on podium finish, soars up General Classification at Tour de Korea

Thomas Rabou narrowly misses out on podium finish, soars up General Classification at Tour de Korea

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Thomas Rabou competes in Stage 6 of the Tour de Korea on Friday in Yangyang, Korea.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Thomas Rabou competes in Stage 6 of the Tour de Korea on Friday in Yangyang, Korea.

14 June 2013 – THE OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s ace climber Thomas Rabou proved once again that he has the burst in his legs to be a sprinter as well, as he narrowly missed out on a podium finish after a bunch sprint to end Friday’s Stage 6 of the Tour de Korea.

Rabou was part of a 10-man breakaway at the end of the 184.7-kilometre stage from Pyeongchang to Yangyang. The 29-year-old Dutchman crossed the line in sixth place and was credited with the same time of 4:12:07 as stage winner Zachary Bell of Champion System Pro Cycling Team.

Rabou’s brilliant showing sent him soaring up the General Classification (GC) standings from 11th to fifth. He lurks just 1:30 behind new GC leader Michael Cuming from Rapha Condor JLT, who finished 10th in Stage 6 to overtake Team Hong Kong China’s Cheung Kinglok for the yellow jersey lead.

Stage 6 featured two early King of the Mountains (KOM) climbs. Rabou, who won the KOM crown at Le Tour de Filipinas in April, demonstrated his pedigree once again by taking third place in the second climb. However, the final 60-plus kilometres of the stage featured largely downhill terrain, which gave sprint specialists a distinct advantage over climbers like Rabou.

But Rabou demonstrated his versatility by staying with the lead pack, which eventually opened a 3:22 gap over the peloton. Rabou was pipped on the final stretch to miss out on what would have been his third podium finish this year. He captured third place in Stage 4 of Le Tour de Filipinas and in the Melaka Governor’s Cup in the span of five days in April.

“We’ve always believed in Thomas, and days like today are a good reason why,” said Justin Cheong, team manager of the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team. “He is still very much in the hunt for the yellow jersey, and we look forward to two more days of ferocious racing from him to try to make up ground in the General Classification standings.”

Rabou’s OCBC teammate Eric Sheppard turned in a solid performance as well, crossing the line with the peloton in 20th place. Luke Parker ended up in 39th, Low Ji Wen in 74th and Jason Christie in 75th.

Rabou now takes over from Sheppard as the highest-ranked OCBC rider in the GC standings. Sheppard slipped to 12th and third in the Best Young Rider rankings, while Christie is in 53rd, Parker in 76th and Low in 86th. The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team ranks ninth out of the 20 squads in the Team General Classification.

Saturday’s Stage 7, the penultimate stage of the race, takes the field 145.1 kilometres from Yangyang to Hongcheon. The stage features an early Category 1 climb and a Category 2 climb midway through that might allow Rabou to slice a chunk out of Cuming’s GC lead.

The Tour de Korea ends on Sunday with the 90.8-kilometre Stage 8 from Hongcheon to Hanam.

About OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was first founded in 2009 as an amateur club team with the mission to develop and promote Singapore cycling. The team has today turned into a full-fledged professional cycling team and established itself as the premier road developmental team for cycling talent in Singapore. Being the first and only professional cycling outfit out of Singapore, the team has been licensed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) as a UCI Continental Cycling Team since 2012. Riders from the team have been crowned champions or stage winners in races such as the Tour of California KOM, Tour of Siam, Tour de Kumamo, Tour of Filipinas and Tour of Thailand.

Comments { 0 }

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s strong performance in team time trial launches Sheppard up Best Young Rider standings

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s strong performance in team time trial launches Sheppard up Best Young Rider standings

Eric Sheppard serves as the lead rider for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team during the team time trial event in Stage 5 of the Tour de Korea on Thursday in Chungju, Korea.

Eric Sheppard serves as the lead rider for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team during the team time trial event in Stage 5 of the Tour de Korea on Thursday in Chungju, Korea.

13 June 2013 – THE OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s Eric Sheppard jumped up a spot into second place in the Best Young Rider competition at the Tour de Korea after the team’s solid showing in Thursday’s Stage 5, which consisted of a 25.5-kilometre team time trial.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team finished 11th in a time of 36:20, successfully making up ground in the latter part of the stage after recording a first time split that ranked 13th. The OCBC riders, who averaged 42.11 km/h on the day, finished 1:01 behind stage winner MTN-Qhubeka from South Africa.

The team time trial format tests the teamwork and balance of a team’s cyclists, who take turns serving as the lead rider and allowing teammates to draft behind them.

Team Hong Kong China placed eighth in a time of 36:14 to allow Cheung Kinglok to maintain his perch atop the General Classification and Best Young Rider standings. However, the team’s Chan Yatwai, who began the day second in the Best Young Rider classification, finished past the cut-off time and is not eligible to continue racing. This allowed Sheppard, a 22-year-old Australian, to leapfrog into second place in the chase for the white jersey, 3:17 behind Cheung.

Sheppard is bidding for his second straight white jersey, after claiming the award at the Tour de Kumano last month.

Eric Sheppard serves as the lead rider for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team during the team time trial event in Stage 5 of the Tour de Korea on Thursday in Chungju, Korea.

Eric Sheppard serves as the lead rider for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team during the team time trial event in Stage 5 of the Tour de Korea on Thursday in Chungju, Korea.

“It was a tough circuit with two challenging climbs early on,” said Justin Cheong, team manager of the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team. “The plan was to ride steadily up the two climbs so as not to lose anybody before the end of the second climb.

After that, the boys put in a tremendous effort all the way to the end, and I was happy overall with the time we clocked.”

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team remained eighth out of the 20 squads in the Team General Classification rankings. Sheppard currently ranks sixth in the GC standings, followed by Thomas Rabou in 11th, new signing Jason Christie in 43rd, Luke Parker in 88th and Low Ji Wen in 89th. Sheppard and Parker are stagiaires, that is, amatuers riding temporarily for a professional team as a tryout. They are competing in the OCBC colours as part of an exchange programme with the search2retain powered by health.com.au team from Australia.

The Tour de Korea continues on Friday with the 184.7-kilometre Stage 6, also the longest stage of the race. The stage, which takes the field from Pyeongchang to Yangyang on Korea’s northeastern coast, begins with a unique 700-metre descent, followed immediately by a Category 1 climb. The race ends with a long, largely downhill descent that provides the peloton with an opportunity to reel in the breakaway before the finish line.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Jason Christie prepares to compete in Stage 5 of the Tour de Korea on Thursday in Chungju, Korea.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Jason Christie prepares to compete in Stage 5 of the Tour de Korea on Thursday in Chungju, Korea.

About OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team was first founded in 2009 as an amateur club team with the mission to develop and promote Singapore cycling. The team has today turned into a full-fledged professional cycling team and established itself as the premier road developmental team for cycling talent in Singapore. Being the first and only professional cycling outfit out of Singapore, the team has been licensed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) as a UCI Continental Cycling Team since 2012. Riders from the team have been crowned champions or stage winners in races such as the Tour of California KOM, Tour of Siam, Tour de Kumamo, Tour of Filipinas and Tour of Thailand.

 

 

Comments { 0 }