Riders from ProTeam ORICA-GreenEDGE are set to feature amongst a peloton of select ProContinental and Continental teams in Friday night’s 2013 OCBC Cycle Singapore Professional Criterium which, in its fifth year, will feature a start-list that many races on the AsiaTour would be proud to have, but few could afford.
The 90 minute criterium, which takes place on a compact and technical 1.6km circuit starting outside the imposing F1 Pit Building in Marina Bay, gets underway at 8:30pm on Friday 26 April. A large crowd is expected to watch 62 pro riders sweat it out, quite literally, thanks to the admixture of countless lumens of night-lighting and the fragrant humidity of a 30°C Singapore evening.
“The team is thrilled to have arrived in Singapore and we’re rearing to go”, enthused London 2012 Olympic Games Gold-medalist Ed Clancy, riding for UK-based Continental team Rapha Condor JLT. “The quality of the field looks to be outstanding so we know we’ll have to race extremely well to deliver a result but we come in confident. The route at the F1 Pit Building should provide a brilliant live race and we can’t wait to put on a big performance for the spectators.”
2013 Omnium World Champion Aaron Gate (New Zealand) has also bought into the crowd-friendly and unique format of the OCBC Pro Criterium. I can’t wait to get out onto the F1 Track and race under lights. There are some brilliant Criterium cyclists here in Singapore so we’re expecting a really tough race. We’ve brought a great team across and we’re excited about showcasing what we’re capable of.”
2012 champion, Robbie McEwen – who has since retired, but retains close connections to race organizer Spectrum Worldwide – is this year responsible for his ORICA-GreenEDGE charges. After offering “some tips on the race and Singapore conditions”, McEwen will no doubt be able to put his feet up and watch the highly-experienced duo of Stuart O’Grady and Simon Clarke hopefully make their mark on the race which, in the true egalitarian spirit of cycling, is free to spectators.
Amongst the team s from the wider Asia region, local squad OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team will also start, with Thomas Rabou designated team captain. “Our recent races in Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia have definitely given us good mileage and conditioning. A 90-minute criterium on smooth roads and a world-class field make for a little bit of a different race for us, though, so we have been doing short, intense motor-pacing training to prepare for this criterium.”