OCBC Cycle has a new all-women’s category
It will be in relay format among teams of 4
Singapore's largest mass cycling event, the OCBC Cycle, will feature a new all-women's race category for this year's edition.
Called the OCBC Cycle Speedway Women's Championship, it will involve up to five amateur female teams during the May 9-10 event at the Singapore Sports Hub.
The new category, which was unveiled at the event's launch at the Sports Hub's OCBC Square yesterday, was music to the ears of Elizabeth Hodges, who raced in the OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship last year as part of the all-women's Fahrenheit Performance Development Team club.
Hodges, who will represent local women's cycling club Not My Boyfriend's Team this year, said: "We are thoroughly excited to hear that OCBC Cycle is keen to support women, and women's racing.
"The female riding community is growing, and whilst change is slow, it cannot be doubted that there are more women riding together, more often than before."
OCBC Bank's Group CEO Samuel Tsien said the addition was made to keep up with cyclists' interests.
He said: "We had our first all-female club teams in the OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship last year.
"This has encouraged us to introduce an all-women's OCBC Cycle Speedway Championship category this year."
The new race will be contested in a relay format among teams of four, just like the three other competitive categories - the OCBC Cycle Speedway Southeast Asia, Club and Corporate Championships.
About 130 cyclists turned up to register at yesterday's launch, some of whom had queued since the previous day.
For being the first in line, Joseph Wong, 17, was rewarded with $1,498 worth of gifts, which included a Garmin Performance GPS cycling computer and an Aleoca mountain bicycle.
He and his friend Amir Syariqul Haekal, and a third registrant Benjamin Ng, had started queueing at 1pm on Monday, beating the others to the top-three sign-up gifts worth at least $1,000.
"It was definitely worth the wait as the prizes are more attractive. We chit-chatted to pass the time," said Joseph, an ITE College Central student. He will be taking part in the 42km non-competitive The Sportive Ride.
For the first time, participants of The Sportive Ride and The Straits Times Ride (23km) can opt to wear their own attire instead of event apparel provided by the organisers.
Online registration can be made at www.ocbccycle.com from 10am today.