04 October 17 The Business Times by LEE U-WEN
THE opening round of the inaugural OCBC Cycle Speedway Corporate Championship took place last Saturday at the Singapore Sports Hub in Kallang, with four of the 11 participating teams advancing to the grand final on Nov 18.
Coming in first was the cycling team from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). They were joined by the teams from GlaxoSmithKline, Advanced Micro Devices Singapore, and OCBC Bank.
Each team of four riders had to complete 20 laps on the National Stadium's 400 metre track.
Eight of the 11 teams made it to the second stage of the elimination process. The field was then whittled down to five, and they squared off to claim one of the final four spots.
The quartet will compete again on Nov 18 for the right to be crowned champions.
The OCBC Cycle Speedway Corporate Championship is a new racing competition for companies.
This race is one of the highlights of this year's OCBC Cycle 2017, the country's largest mass cycling event, of which OCBC Bank has been the sponsor annually since 2009.
"The spirit of camaraderie and bonding brought about by (last Saturday's) race is truly uplifting, and is the reason we introduced the Speedway race format for companies," said OCBC Bank's head of group corporate communications Koh Ching Ching.
"The OCBC Cycle Speedway is a tried and tested race format that has been well-received by elite cyclists from South-east Asia and the local cycling clubs."
Ahmad Ridhwan, one of the riders from the SCDF team, said: "As a team, we are familiar with each other's style of riding and this helped us in the qualifying stages.
"I believe the other teams that have qualified will develop new strategies for the final, so we will be training very hard for the next two months and we will devise a new game plan to win."