Hong Kong road cyclist Ronald Yeung (楊英瀚) will fly to France this month to begin his journey to the ProContinental ranks.
Images: Peloton Images Asia and Ronald Yeung
European professional cycling’s small Chinese-speaking community will expand a little more when 27-year old Ronald Yeung touches down in France later this month. Yeung will spend his first six months with UCI Continental feeder team Vélo Club La Pomme Marseille before joining Delko Marseille Provence KTM as a stagiaire in August.
A seasoned professional with nearly a decade of Asia Tour racing in his legs, Yeung had the opportunity to race in Europe two years earlier. Deciding that he wasn’t yet ready to make the leap, he instead elected to join Singapore’s OCBC Pro Cycling team. The first half of the 2014 season saw OCBC race at the Herald Sun Tour, the Tours of Japan and Kumano and Tour de Korea. TdK would be his last race in OCBC colours, as the team folded unexpectedly in mid-2014.
Undeterred, Yeung narrowly missed out on winning the 2014 National Road Cycling Championships in Hong Kong. He went on to sign with Taiwan’s Attaque Team Gusto for the following season, joining former OCBC teammates Eric Sheppard, Thomas Rabou and Chanjae Jang who were also left stranded by the Singapore team’s collapse.
A podium finish for Yeung at Le Tour de Filipinas was followed up with a stage win at Tour of Thailand in April, but the relatively new Attaque Team Gusto outfit (formed in 2014) didn’t receive nearly as many race invitations as it expected. When the offer of an opportunity in Europe arose a second time, Yeung didn’t need to think twice.
The last time a rider from Hong Kong was offered a significant role in the upper echelons of pro cycling was in December 2013, when Choi Ki Ho was offered a contract with ORICA-GreenEDGE. To the dismay of the Hong Kong Cycling Association and local media, Choi turned down the offer and abruptly retired. Today, he still runs a bicycle storage business in Hong Kong with his partner.