The good times are back for ANZA Cycling! We’ve welcomed new and prospective members, completed day trips and long distance ‘Audax’ (200 and 300km) rides, reintroduced social events such as en-masse Club Brekky and Club Drinks, cycled over to Malaysia, and planned club trips to KL and L’Etape Malaysia in Desaru. Oh, and we also squeezed in Metasprint Triathlon and the OCBC TT as well.
The long weekend in May was a particular highlight for our members, both socially and competitively. Over three days, around 120 members came together for our newly minted Club Breakfast at Terra Madre, Loewen. This feast went a long way to fuelling up those who were then set to compete in the OCBC Speedway (road) and the Arena Games (triathlon). It’s been a blast!
A new way to Tri
Triathlon Director Melanie Speet reports on the recent Super League Arena Games event.
Back in May, twenty top professional triathletes descended on Singapore for the Super League Arena Games finale, an event that saw them swim in Marina Bay for the first time, and ride and run in the Zwift virtual world for the title of Super League Arena Games World Champion. As part of the event, ANZA Cycling competed in the club challenge which involved five runners on treadmills and five cyclists on wattbikes racing in a virtual Zwift relay format for 48 minutes. Our runners set a blistering pace, and our cyclists powered through a tough virtual course. ANZA came 4th, less than 200 metres behind 3rd place. Coming together as a team to compete on the same stage as world-leading athletes was an epic experience – we hope more opportunities like this open up soon!
Hotdogs & hairpins
Road Director Jock Hughson and Women’s Team Manager Stephanie Lim tell us about the OCBC Speedway Club Championship.
Run on the Sports Hub hotdog circuit, The OCBC Speedway Club Championships saw Singapore’s top club’s field teams of four riders split into two pairs. Pair 1 raced five laps against three other clubs before handing the baton to Pair 2, who completed a final five laps (do keep up!). With a hairpin corner at one end and a roundabout at the other, the circuit tested our riders’ anaerobic abilities and high-speed cornering skills, with tactics playing a key role in the results. The winning team was determined by the Team Mean Time, calculated by the average finish time between gun time and finish time of the third and fourth riders. ANZA fielded teams in the men’s and women’s categories.
LOWDOWN ON: The Men’s race
The men’s competition consisted of three rounds, an initial qualification round, a semi-final and a final. Representing ANZA were Janus Kaas Dalsgaard, Russell Vanderwater, Matt Bedard, Jock Hughson and Sanil Khatri as reserve. Janus and Russell were the first pair in all the races.
Race One was an easy win for ANZA. Janus established a good lead with a break in the first half which Matt Bedard turned into a dominating lead, putting us into the semi-final.
A tougher semi-final draw saw us facing both Matador Racing and Integrated Racing. Matadors sat in during the first half before attacking and establishing a short break which they carried into the second half. Two laps in, the Matadors were up the road with Matt and Jock in group two. Realising the first two teams would make the final, we kept our powder dry and booked ourselves a place in the final.
The final saw us pitted against Allied World, Matadors and CycleTraining.cc. Russell and Janus did a great job in the first half with the teams all coming in together. When one of the Matadors fell in the hairpin corner, it allowed Reuben Bakker from Allied World to establish a break that proved decisive and left a battle for second. Matt Bedard controlled the pace of the group at the front and Jock attacked establishing a small break. This was sufficient to gap CycleTraining.cc. and with Matadors one rider down, ANZA secured second place.
LOWDOWN ON: The Women’s race
Representing ANZA in the Women’s race were (L-R) Lily Low, Vivian Lim, Sonya Thompson, Jing Huang, with Nicolette Tan in reserve. The ladies were up against three other teams in the qualifier, the National Development Squad (NDS), and two teams from Pedal Bellas. With only the top three teams progressing to the finals, Team Manager Steph shared some insightful riding strategies to increase the team’s chance of making it through. This included a line-out of Jing and Vivian to go out first, followed by Sonya and Lily second.
The race started off steady, with all riders moving as a group for the first three laps, before Jing was distanced from the group. Vivian came in with the rest of the pack to change out Sonya. While Jing was the last rider into the changeover, her grit and determination kept the gap small for Lily to chase.
NDS led the race, followed by the Pedal Bellas Team 1 and Sonya who was able to pass the pair of riders from Pedal Bellas Team 2. Lily managed to catch the Pedal Bellas Team 2 riders in the second lap, only to break away and maintain her lead to the finish, guaranteeing ANZA a spot in the finals.
The line-out for the finals saw Nicolette stepping in for Jing who was injured. The first pair of riders completed their laps, leaving the second pairs to fight it out. The first two laps were largely uneventful. In the last three laps, NDS, the clear frontrunners, made multiple attempts for a breakaway, which was quickly shut down by ANZA. In the final lap, NDS broke away from the group with Sonya and Lily hot on their heels and leaving the Pedal Bellas behind. We finished just three seconds behind NDS, which made for an amazing race and result from the ANZA ladies team.