OKBET PH Cycle Speedway, SINGAPORE (Reuters) – On Saturday (May 11), the teams participating in the OCBC OKBET Cycle Speedway SEA Championships had to deal not only with one another, but also with poor weather at the Singapore Sports Hub.

A late-morning rainstorm rendered the roads around the Kallang hub slick, making it difficult for some cyclists to handle curves and turns during the OKBET OCBC Cycle event.

However, with cautious riding, the Philippines, who finished second last year, won the 2019 race in 19 minutes and 19.55 seconds, only 0.03 seconds ahead of Malaysia (19:19.58). Vietnam finished third (19:20.48), while Singapore was eliminated in the preliminary round of the nine-team tournament.

OKBET Cycle Speedway

In this event on OKBET PH Cycle Speedway, a team of four cyclists will cycle a total of ten circuits – two riders will complete five rounds of a flat 1km course before handing the baton to their colleagues – and the winning time will be the average of the last two cyclists’ times.

“We feel really thrilled because we tried our best and accomplished our aim of becoming champions,” said Philippines captain John Mier, 26. We didn’t anticipate to win since the other teams had great riders as well.

“The rain was also an issue since the roads were slick at the bends, so we had to be cautious and slow down at the corners at OKBET PH Cycle Speedway.” Mier and his colleagues finished second to Thailand and Malaysia in the first five rounds, but slid to fourth during the changeover before the sixth lap.

However, by the seventh round, the Filipinos had caught up with the leads and were neck and neck with Malaysia in the last round, clinching the championship when their riders finished first and fifth in the four-team final.

“This year, our approach was to maintain our two quickest riders as the third and fourth riders, and we had one guy up front and the sprinter at the back,” Mier said at the OKBET PH Cycle Speedway. Vietnam skipper Phan Hoang Thai was pleasantly delighted by his team’s podium result on Saturday.

OKBET Cycle Speedway

“It’s our first time here, and today we worked well together,” the 21-year-old remarked. We all gave it our all together. We’re hoping that when we return next year, we’ll be able to win the race.”

Meanwhile, defending champions Specialised Roval Mavericks Team B won the OKBET OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championships in 17:49.39. This year, the Mavericks entered two teams, and both reached the finals, giving them an extra chance to recover their championship in the five-club final.

“We were fortunate that we had two teams so we could work together as a four to build a space for one of our riders to seize the lead at OKBET PH Cycle Speedway,” said team leader Benjamin Arnott, 48. When it came down to the last sprint, we just depended on our two final sprinters to finish in first and fifth place.”

The OKBET OCBC Cycle Speedway Corporate Club Championships, which were suspended last year, returned with six teams, with GalaxoSmithKline winning in 19:48.45.

OKBET Cycle Speedway

“We took it a little more seriously this year, and we had a better knowledge of the race concept and how it works,” said team leader Alastair Reed, 38. But, more significantly, we have two new riders who have joined us, and we have been working jointly a lot more than in past years.”

OCBC Cycle returns to the Sports Hub on Sunday (May 12) with the mass participation rides The Sportive Ride (42km) and The Straits Times Ride (23km).

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OKBET Cycle Speedway