SINGAPORE – The Tour de France brand is whizzing to South-east Asia, and Singapore will be the first Asean country to host one of its post-tour criterium events.
The Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium will take place on Oct 29 and 30 on a specially-designed street circuit in the heart of the city.
Decorated British cyclist Mark Cavendish, an Olympic silver medallist and four-time world champion who holds the joint record for the most Tour de France stage wins (34), headlines 32 riders from eight of the world’s best professional cycling teams that will feature here.
It will be the first time the 37-year-old will cycle in the region, and the sprint great said: “Cycling has given me so much and is a great part of my life. It’s a privilege for me to do what I love and I’m looking forward to getting out there and to share the adrenaline, excitement and fun that comes with criterium racing.”
The Tour de France is an annual men’s race primarily held in France over 21 stages and 23 days, usually in July, and covers around 3,500km.
In comparison, its criteriums are shorter events that are also held in other countries. In these events, riders do a pre-determined number of laps or race for 30 to 90 minutes around a closed circuit. The length of each lap ranges from 800m to 10km.
Riders from each team will work together to set up their teammates for the win, and the race is won either through classification at the finish of the final lap or classification based on the number of laps covered and number of points obtained during the intermediate sprints.
The Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium race weekend will comprise races for both professionals and amateurs and is expected to reach millions of viewers through a variety of international broadcasters.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said its criterium events allow cycling to be brought to uncharted territories, and Singapore was a “natural choice” because of its location, organisational capability and enthusiastic cycling community.
He added: “The Tour de France Criterium is a cycling performance, showcasing the speed and intensity of cycling through a race on an inner-city circuit.
“The criterium format allows us to bring an adaptation of the Tour to more places, while still retaining the essence and spirit of the Tour de France with top riders in the heart of the city.”
Prudential Singapore chief executive officer Dennis Tan said it came on board as the title sponsor because cycling is an accessible and sustainable sport.
He added: “As a leading life insurer, we want to support Singaporeans in leading healthier lifestyles, so we can all live well for longer. This sponsorship is a great opportunity to encourage people and families from all walks of life to bond while staying healthy and active.”
The event is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board and promoted by TEG Sport in conjunction with Evoke EXP.
TEG group chief executive officer Geoff Jones welcomed cycling enthusiasts on board while Singapore Tourism Board chief executive officer Keith Tan felt the “premier sporting event reinforces Singapore’s position as a leading destination for sports in the region”.
He said: “Cycling is an environmentally-friendly sport that is popular with locals and visitors, and events like this strongly align with Singapore’s sustainability goals, as well as our ambition to be an urban wellness haven.”
More details of the Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium can be found on www.singaporecriterium.com and its Facebook (@tdf.singapore) and Instagram (@tdf.sg) pages.