Singapore hand sling

By Steve Thomas

Just a few months back Formula 1 motor racing made its debut in the island nation of Singapore with the world's first ever nocturnal F1 event taking place, something which was a huge success for the country and the sport. Now Singapore prepares to play host to its biggest every cycling event - the OCBC Cycle Singapore.

The various events will take place on February 22, 2009 in central Singapore. There are a number of mass participation rides taking place, starting with a 5km kids event and progressing to the longest open ride, covering 50km around some of the city's main highlights. The event, sponsored by the country's oldest local bank (OCBC), is designed to promote cycling in Singapore, a state that has a thriving cycling and racing scene, but only few "quiet" roads or trails.

Following the country's first open road mass participation events will be a number of criteriums that will be held on a 2km circuit with the start/finish at the F1 pit building. The racing will start with various age groups and open categories, culminating in an elite level criterium.

The rider and team line-up has yet to be released, but organisers are promising a field that will include national champions, past and present world champions, and Olympic medallists. With the race taking place just a week after the Tour de Langkawi, it is quite possible that some teams or riders may be lured to hang around in the sunny half of the planet for one more week to compete in this pioneering event.

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