The 2018 OCBC Cycle Speedway Southeast Asia (SEA) Championship eyewitness plenty of drama and suspense, as the budding cyclists from Team Myanmar was crowned victorious in a talent-packed final.
Even though Team Myanmar was falling behind to the more highly-favoured teams from the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore, Myanmar’s cyclist rode an inch-perfect race and clinched the top of the final standings after the other teams got penalised for infringements at the changeover.
How Myanmar clinched the title
Two-time champions Malaysia made a shock exit in the qualifying rounds, setting the tone for the rest of the OCBC Cycle Speedway SEA Championship that was held at Singapore Sports Hub. Singapore and Thailand lived up to their tags as the early favourites, finishing ahead of Myanmar and Philippines respectively in the qualifying rounds. The best chaser team goes to Laos as they rounded off the semi-final rounds.
In the semi-finals, Singapore, buoyed by the inclusion of SEA Games medallist Calvin Sim and Mohamed Elyas, lead their competitors Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines and Laos to be the first-place qualifier for the final. During the finals, the breakaway riders from famous regional sprinters Thailand and the Philippines exchanged early attacks, with Singapore managing to stay close behind.
The brave riders from Myanmar managed to stay within sight of the chasing pack but unable to mount a serious challenge on the front three. However, the changeover saw a burst of activity and the riders from the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand were adjudged to have made infringements during their dismount and mounting of their bicycles. This resulted in a 10-second penalty for both Thailand and Philippines teams, while Singapore was given a penalty of 20-seconds for two offense.
Myanmar finished closely behind the other three teams with a time of 20:40.317, good enough to overtake Philippine’s first finisher pre-penalty finishing time of 20:39.680 to earn their first OCBC Cycle Speedway SEA Championship title.
Thoughts about OCBC Cycle Speedway race
The team manager and coach of Myanmar, Mr Aung Myo Naing, was so happy at the unexpected win. He said,
It is an amazing feeling to have won our first title. We did not expect to win today as the other teams have better sprinters than us, but thankfully we had a clean changeover in the transit area. Every year we try to get better, and we have been training for three months for this. Our previous best result was a 4th place finish in 2015. This is good preparation for us as we train for SEA Games 2019. Our whole team is currently under 23 years old, and this event is good exposure for them.
The team captain of the Philippines, Cris Largo, was disappointed with the results but at the same time, he was happy to have participated in this event.
I am disappointed as we were expecting to come in first in the race. One of our riders dismounted wrongly and we were penalised for it. However, I am very happy with this experience as this is my first time racing in Singapore and in a relay format.
Wisut Kasiyaphat, Thailand’s team manager, was satisfied with the team’s finish. He said,
My team did very well, and better than expected! It was a good race for us, despite three teams making mistakes in the final this year. One of our riders rode too fast, causing him to pass the dismount line and was unfortunately penalised, but we all tried our best.
Singapore’s anchor cyclist Calvin Sim was encouraged by Team Singapore’s performance and he feels that the team did what they can and have shown that Singapore can also be at the top with the Southeast Asian nations.
OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship
After the shocking second-place finish at the last year’s OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship, the specialized Roval Mavericks Team 1 made sure to reclaim their throne as the best cycling club in Singapore. The lead rider of the Mavericks Team 1 established an impregnable early lead after the changeover. The rider eased over the finish line without breaking his stride.
However, it was up to the anchor rider of Mavericks Team 1 to stay close to the peloton, or chasing pack, before launching into a sprint in the final laps. Riders of Allied World Kemp Technologies and MatadorRACING, prove it to be difficult as they weaved in and out on the circuit, each taking turns to take the lead.
In a result fitting of the performance, the Mavericks came in with a time of 18:12.793, narrowly edging out Allied World and Matador. In the finals, team Anza finished fourth and team Specialized Roval Mavericks Team 2 finished fifth.
Thoughts about OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship
“It feels terrific to win this year’s OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship, especially having trained intensively for the past year. We’ve been riding every two weeks leading up to today’s race and had two Mavericks teams in the finals, which put the club in a great position. Despite coming in first, we did make some mistakes in our transitions this time around, so we have more improvements to work on. We hope to finish even stronger next year! What really took us through today’s race was teamwork, not just between the four of us but the squad as a whole. We’ve already identified some areas of improvement, and the road to next year’s OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship starts tomorrow!”, said Bastiana Dohling of Specialized Mavericks Team 1.
“The OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship is one of the highlights of the racing calendar in Singapore and something we earmarked in our calendar since last year. It’s great to have such support from OCBC, the Singapore Cycling Federation and the government in promoting cycling. Over the past few years, we are seeing more events and opportunities for people to get into cycling, and that is very encouraging for us as a team,” said Adam Nelson of team Allied World.
“Our team was racing in Thailand last week, so we did not have time to look at the course until two days ago. In fact, most of us rode this course for the first time this morning. We encountered many difficulties since most of us are actually climbers instead of sprinters. It was a tough race for us, but we really enjoyed the event and had good fun participating with all the other teams. We look forward to improving in next year’s OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship and seeing more exciting cycling events in Southeast Asia in the coming year,” said Daniel Smith of MatadorRACING.
OCBC Cycle Speedway SEA Championship Results
|1||Myanmar||Aung Phyo Paing||20:40.317|
|Aung Phyo Min|
|Kyaw Htun Oo|
|Thant Thiha Dway|
|Zin Lin Ko|
|2||Philippines||Ronald Nozuelo Oranza||20:49.680|
|Jan Paul Montealegre Morales|
|George Luis Oconer|
|Cris Largo Joven|
|Norberto Aquino Oconer|
OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship Results
|1||Specialized Roval Mavericks Team 1||Rick Dumpleton||18:12.793|
|2||Allied World Kemp Technologies||Adam Nelson||18:13.210|
|3||MatadorRACING Team 1||Dave Cheam Dow Wei||18:14.553|
|Daniel James Smith|
What are your thoughts about the OCBC Cycle 2018 Speedway Championship?