OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team scores first-ever UCI Tour stage win at Tour of Thailand
2 April 2013 – LOH Sea Keong delivered a breakthrough performance for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team in winning Stage 2 of The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup Tour of Thailand on Tuesday. This is the team’s first-ever UCI Tour stage win and marks a major milestone for Singapore’s first professional cycling squad.
For the second straight day, Loh joined a breakaway, this one consisting of 15 riders who pulled away from the rest of the field 60 kilometres into the 112-kilometre stage. The breakaway dangled about a minute ahead of the peloton, or the main group of cyclists, until Loh made a late dash close to the finish to take the win.
“I couldn’t believe it until I crossed the line,” said the 26-year-old Malaysian. “With just 2 kilometres to go, I saw that everyone left was playing games, so I just decided to go for it. In the final kilometre, I put my head down and gave it all I got.”
Tuesday’s stage win also represents Loh’s most significant single-day result during his stint with the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team. He has come close to victory in the General Classification at previous UCI races, finishing second overall at the Tour de Filipinas and eighth overall at the Tour of Thailand last year.
The win builds on team’s strong start to the season and cements its status as one of top Continental teams in the region. During last month’s Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia, Asia’s most prestigious cycling race, riders from the team were part of the breakaway in six of the 10 stages and attracted the attention of not just their peers but several international cycling media.
“What a great win today,” said Justin Cheong, team manager for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team. “The team is steadily building a reputation for itself as a key player in the regional cycling scene. We are hopeful and confident of even bigger things to come.”
Loh’s victory represents a dramatic turnaround for the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s fortunes in just 24 hours. Earlier, Ahmad Haidar bin Anuawar and Ryan Chan were unable to complete Monday’s Stage 1 after a big crash, leaving Loh, Goh Choon Huat and Thomas Rabou as the team’s remaining three riders in the Tour.
They will try to sustain the team’s momentum in Wednesday’s Stage 3, a 190.5km stage that begins in Prachuap Khiri Khan and concludes in Chumporn.
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.
Photo credit: OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team
Report of Stage 2 from Thai Cycling Association press release
Stage 2 Tour of Thailand – Phuchong Sai-Udomsil, the number one rider of Thailand, overcome the heat wave of the daytime Tuesday to take the BEST ASEAN RIDER AWARD of the second stage for the international cycling race “Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup Tour of Thailand 2013.
Phuchong, 25, Air Sergeant from the Royal Air Force, has finished this stage with the sixth place with The time of 2.29.26 hours with the distance of 112 kilometers from Hua Hin City to Prachuap Kirikhan province. Phuchong will wear the blue jersey.
As the winner of the stage is LOH Sea Keong of Willier Singapore Team from Singapore with 2.29.24 hours. While the leader by points and by times is the same person : Aziz Mohd Saiful Anuar from Terengganu Cycling Team of Malaysia but he will wear the yellow jersey to lead the third stage.
The stage 3 Wednesday from Prachuap KririKhan province to Chumphon with 190.5 kilometers will start at 09.00 am. In front of Prachuap Kririkhan Municipality.