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Cycle Singapore 2015 to limit participant numbers

Next year's Cycle Singapore race will be limited to about 10,000 participants to enhance safety, its organiser Spectrum Worldwide said.

SINGAPORE: Next year's Cycle Singapore race will be limited to about 10,000 participants, its organiser Spectrum Worldwide told Channel NewsAsia.

This is to enhance safety, said Spectrum, who split with sponsor OCBC following the death of a rider in this year's race.

Since the inaugural event in 2009 where some 5,000 riders took part, the OCBC Cycle Singapore race has grown in popularity, attracting nearly 12,000 riders this year.

The increased participation, however, raised safety concerns after the event suffered its first fatality in the race in March.

Regular competitor Loy Mun Ho felt such accidents could have been prevented to some extent, if fewer riders competed.

He said: "For the events like the 40km and 60km (races), there were really a lot of participants. Because there were so many people, we would not be able to foresee what the riders around you are going to do, so might be a bit dangerous because of too many people."

Spectrum acknowledged the huge numbers are a problem and said it is looking at cutting back next year.

Chris Robb, managing director at Spectrum Worldwide, said: "One of those things that we are looking to address is: Do we reduce numbers in some of the categories where appropriate? That will depend a little bit on the final course and once we announce that, we will announce the details of capacity of different rides and so on."

This year's race had 12 categories. Spectrum has yet to confirm the number of categories next year's event will have.

Meanwhile, OCBC said it is in the midst of finalising plans for a new race next year. The bank is looking to work with a new organiser.

The Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF) said it is keen to work with both OCBC and Spectrum to boost safety at the two races.

Suhaimi Said, president of SCF, said: "What I told my (Executive Committee) is we have to look at that more closely, the risk management needs to be there and how we can handle that, rather than we just sanction the event. We want to look at how well we can help them so that the sport can grow much better."

The federation's president hopes that the two races will target different segments of the cycling community.

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