UPDATES: OCBC PRO CYCLING TOUR DE KUMANO

UPDATES: OCBC PRO CYCLING TOUR DE KUMANO

 

(OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Cameron Bayly (extreme right) poses for a picture after securing 3rd placing in the General Classification Standings in Stage 3 of the Tour de Kumano in Japan)

 

PROLOGUE to Tour de Kumano

A three-day break after last week's Tour of Japan had refreshed the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team, and the riders were raring to go at the Tour de Kumano on Thursday in the Land of the Rising Sun.

The team made its debut at the Tour de Kumano last year and is one of just five foreign teams to receive an invitation to the Union Cycliste International (UCI) Asia Tour 2.2 race – which also see Japanese domestic teams and top international teams lined up to compete.

Representing the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team are the five riders who took part in the Tour of Japan last week: Singaporean Low Ji Wen, Dutchman Thomas Rabou, Australians Eric Sheppard and Cameron Bayly, and Hong Kong National Ronald Yeung.

The Prologue Stage of the Tour de Kumano took place in Shingu City consists of a 700-metre individual time trial. The short stage took the riders down one bank of the Ichidagawa River, across the Akebono Bridge and back up along the river’s opposite bank.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Low Ji Wen led the team in the individual prologue and crossed the finishing line in 54:39, 3:34 seconds behind stage winner William Clark from the Drapac Professional Cycling Team. The only Singaporean in the race finished in 22nd place.

The 700-metre individual time trial saw the cyclists racing down one bank of the Ichidagawa River, across the Akebono Bridge and back down the river’s other bank.

The remaining OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team Riders Thomas Rabou (54:81), Cameron Bayly (55:92), Ronald Yeung (56:38) and Eric Sheppard (57:19) completed the race coming in 33rd, 66th, 76th and 94th, respectively.

 

(OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team Low Ji Wen)

 

STAGE 1

The  OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team dominated the field at Stage 1 of the Tour de Kumano with a strong performance, with four of its five riders finishing among the lead peloton, and Eric Sheppard capturing third placing for the King-of-Mountain (KOM) Category.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team riders Low Ji Wen (14th), Eric Sheppard (25th), Thomas Rabou (30th) and Cameron Bayly (34th) finished among the leading pack and were all credited with a timing of 2:33:21 along with stage winner Wouter Wippert from the Drapac Professional Cycling Team from Australia.

22-year-old Eric Sheppard put on a great show by capturing third placing in the KOM Category. Francisco Mancebo from the Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team and Kazuo Inoue from the Utsunomiya Blitzen Team currently hold first and second placing in the KOM Category respectively.

It will not get any easier for the team in the next stage, as the riders will take on the Kumano Sangaku Circuit, which measures a total distance of 109.3-kilometres. The convoluted circuit will prove to be a challenge even for the toughest riders in the field.

 

(OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team Low Ji Wen)

 

STAGE 2

THE OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team put on a spectacular show in Japan today as Cameron Bayly captured third place in Stage 2 of the Tour de Kumano, propelling the team to first place in the Team General Classification (GC).

23-year-old Bayly crossed the finishing line in third place, but with the lead peloton, and was credited with a timing of 3:03:07, along with Francisco Mancebo of the Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team who won the stage.

OCBC's Eric Sheppard also finished within the lead peloton in fourth place, one position behind his teammate Bayly and was credited with the same timing as Bayly and Mancebo.

Since the single-stage Melaka Chief Minister’s Cup in Malacca, Malaysia in April, the team has chalked up 13 podium placings this year. Bayly’s podium spot win adds to the tally, making it an impressive 14 podiums to date.

(OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Eric Sheppard)

 

FINAL STAGE

THE OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team wrapped up the final stage of the Tour de Kumano by clinching first place in the General Classification (GC) Standings after holding that position for the second consecutive day.

OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team riders Eric Sheppard (7th), Cameron Bayly (12th) and Thomas Rabou (22nd) finished within the leading pack and were all credited with a timing of 2:27:48, the same as stage winner Wouter Wippert from the Drapac Pofessional Cycling Team.

The final stage of the tour at Taiji Cove saw the riders covering 10 laps of a 10-kilometre circuit. It was a super hard course which forced the riders to ride at an unrelenting pace.

The remaining OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Thomas Low Ji Wen finished with a timing of 2:35:28, coming in 57th place.

The riders will return for a double programme next month as they send two teams to the Tour of Korea and the Tour of Singkarak, which will start on the 7th and 8th June respectively, and end on 15th June.

(OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team rider Cameron Bayly)

 

All photos by OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team

 

 

 

 

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