Singapore non-sanctioned crit organisers arrested

anyone who knows the racing scene in Asia won’t be surprised that there are so-called ‘illegal’ crits springing up here and there, most get no bother and are out of the way so as to not annoy any of our friendly car-bound fellow folks.

when there are almost no races being sanctioned by the cycling federations here, people have to do that they gotta do to get a decent ride in.

however you may be surprised to learn that organisers in Singapore of one of these unsanctioned crits have been arrested – unless you are actually from Singapore.

this is a place that every year has trouble putting on its own national road and time trial champs, and this year will have none at all as the authorities will not allow for the road closure.

it was bad enough that the nationals were set on short, straight and flat stretches of road that saw the riders doing something like 44 u-turns in the road race just about every year (really were the dullest races I’ve ever participated in, sorry Sing, but it’s true!), but that the sport was deemed not only so minor but actually troublesome (in reality as a mosquito might be troublesome to a rhino) to not even deserve a national champs?

downright disrespectful.

non-cycling Singaporeans have been known to hit the forums to celebrate when a cyclist is killed. i’ve ridden there a few times and have noticed more ‘close driving’ and honking than in other parts of Asia.

news came in today that two guys have been arrested for organising a night race, known as HolyCrit.

the Straits Times reports that the two men, “aged 28 and 39, for their suspected involvement in promoting and organising the illegal racing event under Section 116 of the Road Traffic Act, Chapter 276.

“If convicted, the two men would be liable to a mandatory jail term of up to six months and a fine of between $1,000 and $2,000. In the case of a second or subsequent conviction, they could be jailed up to 12 months and fined between $2,000 and $3,000. The vehicles used in the illegal race would also be forfeited.”

the police seem quite keen to push this through too.

The Assistant Commissioner said that “Traffic Police takes a serious view against illegal racing on public roads and will not hesitate to enforce against irresponsible racers who partake in such illegal activities and jeopardise other road users with their stunts.”

let’s hope sense prevails, as 12 months seems a heck of a punishment for putting on a crit.


Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

9 thoughts

  1. There is a race track used for motor racing 4 and 2 wheel over the water in Malaysia, but as a venue for late night crits the commute back would be a pain and i’m sure the authorities would take a dim view on locals making such a trip for this event if ever held there.

  2. For living there since 8 years and doing the odds 17000km on the road every year I reckon this is one of the most dangerous place to get your ride done. Cyclist are considered as pest (as often wrote on garbage website) and treated as such. Recently a Dr who killed a cyclist wile drunk and left the scene got a fine and (if I remember well) few months in jail. We talk drunk driving , hit and run and drunk driving while being a doc’. Yes. Organizing a race here is a pain in the ass and you can count on zero support form the authority beside helping you getting your credit card off the wallet. It has to be one of the only place in the worlds where there is no national champ’s , where you NEVER have any official at any race and where the news paper NEVER publish the results of the WE in sports. Results of all that is that we have world class facilities and not a world class athlete in one of the wealthiest place in the world. It does raise a lot of question on how sport is considered

  3. I agree with most of your points here, but have to disagree with this:

    “i’ve ridden there a few times and have noticed more ‘close driving’ and honking than in other parts of Asia.”

    I’ve ridden 10 years in Manila and 4 years in Singapore, and have to say that majority of the motorists in SG are respectful of cyclists (i.e. giving me 3m of space when passing), a far cry from Metro Manila where I would have a really close call during every ride — my middle finger was put to good use back then.

    1. Riding in traffic is a fact of life in Metro Manila, and it’s not that motorists are trying to hit cyclists its just that there’s nowhere else for them to go since the roads are often too narrow. This is part of the reason why I gained handling skills that have served me well in both racing and normal everyday riding. While it is true that there are a lot of motorists in Manila who are in dire need of discipline and a refresher course in driving, I think it would be fair to point out that it’s more of a consequence of the local sense of machismo on the road rather than a specific hatred for cyclists. People who drive badly in Manila are a danger to everyone who find themselves alongside them, not just cyclists in particular.

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