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Jonas Vingegaard Wins Thrilling Inaugural Tour de France Singapore Criterium

World-class professional cyclists show their might in front of Singapore’s passionate cycling fans

Jonas Vingegaard in jubilation after crossing the finish line first to become the first ever winner of the Tour De France Prudential Singapore Criterium. PHOTO: TOUR DE FRANCE PRUDENTIAL SINGAPORE CRITERIUM


Singapore, 31 October 2022 – Though the Singapore circuit is one that is relatively flat, the atmosphere around the Marina Bay area was anything but in the inaugural Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium. While Team Singapore’s Yeo Boon Kiak mounted an early challenge, it was yellow jersey holder Jonas Vingegaard who took top spot.


The 20-lap race under the scorching sun saw many ebbs and flows. Yeo was the first to attack off the line in an attempt to pressure the other teams, and won the first of four Intermediate Sprints.

The Tour De France Prudential Singapore Criterium starts off with a bang at the Float @ Marina Bay. PHOTO: AMAURY SPORT ORGANISATION


“It was great fun out there. I treated it like any other race, and just gave it my best. I knew the Europeans were gonna suffer with the weather so I obviously went early and tried to hit them where it hurts and it added to the thrill of the race,” said Yeo.


On lap eight however, sprint specialist Mark Cavendish put his head down to challenge for the second Intermediate Sprint, though Simon Geschke beat him to it. Frustrated that he lost out, the Manx Missile launched himself across the line for the final two Intermediate Sprints, and took home the win for both which bagged him the highest number of points—14.

Cyclists speeding across the Esplanade Bridge against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline. PHOTO: AMAURY SPORT ORGANISATION


Cavendish continued to entertain the crowd as he turned to the camera with six laps to go and dramatically released a huff while he wiped away his sweat, which earned him a hearty laugh from the few thousand spectators in the grandstand.


In the closing stages of the race, five riders—Vingegaard, Geschke, Christopher Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and Enric Masi—broke away from the Peloton to gun for the win. Eventually, it was a crucial move by Vingegaard as they exited the Esplanade Bridge, that allowed him to break clear of the rest and clinch the victory.

Podium finishers Chris Froome (left), Jona Vingegaard (centre), and Vincenzo Nibali. PHOTO: TOUR DE FRANCE PRUDENTIAL SINGAPORE CRITERIUM


Though Yeo joined a few more breakaways after his initial attack, he ultimately finished as the highest-placed Singaporean rider in 32nd place.


Impressed with the Singaporean’s performance, Vingegaard said, “he started out strong and was very strong during the day. I think it was impressive what he did today.”

Singapore witnesses an elite field of world class cyclists competing in the city for the very first time. PHOTO: AMAURY SPORT ORGANISATION


On his own race, the Dane said, “in the end it was a very hard race. Actually, I thought it’d be a sprint at the end, but luckily I got away and I was able to win.”

“Every time it’s special to win in the yellow jersey,” he added.


Across the 64km race distance, the riders averaged a speed of 45.7km/h.

Singapore cyclist Yeo Boon Kiak with the Combativity Award. PHOTO: TOUR DE FRANCE PRUDENTIAL SINGAPORE CRITERIUM


“On a technical circuit like this, it is a very high speed,” said Froome, who also added that the humidity was his biggest challenge.


“You feel almost the same as if you’re riding on a turbo trainer. That made the race a lot harder.”


Reflecting on his experience, Team Singapore’s Calvin Sim, said, “this is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

The 20-lap race saw a number of attacks and chases, creating an entertaining race for those who watched. PHOTO: AMAURY SPORT ORGANISATION


For Sim, it was an opportunity to learn from the best. “We got to talk to them and ask questions about training, about how they do certain things. It's not about doing different things but doing things differently. I think that was a really good experience.”


Apart from the riders, the event also drew people from all over the world, and even a family of otters.


For avid Danish cycling fan Dorte Smith, 55, it was a privilege to witness the world-class athletes in person.

Team Thailand with the Best Asian Team Award. PHOTO: TOUR DE FRANCE PRUDENTIAL SINGAPORE CRITERIUM


“It’s been wonderful and very exciting to have the riders here in Singapore,” she said, “and of course I’m supporting Vingegaard for the win.”


Darine Choo, 24, the girlfriend of Team Singapore’s Darren Lim said, “I think this event has really helped to raise awareness for competitive cycling in Singapore and it’s nice to see that it is quite crowded around the circuit with people cheering the riders on.”

PHOTO: AMAURY SPORT ORGANISATION


Yeo was also very pleased and hopes it will become a marquee event for the cycling committee for years to come.


“It’s got the crowd going so hopefully the excitement it generates can give cycling as a sport enough momentum and we can build on this so the sport can build on all levels,” said Yeo.



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