April 19, 2017
The latest edition of Club Focus delves into the local multisport community for its subject – Team New Moon Khcycle. Team manager Sean Tan is the New Moon Khcycle point man for Club Focus and as he proudly points out, the group has within its ranks some of the leading triathletes in Singapore. New Moon Khcycle sometimes forgets about the swim and has been known to shine in cycling and running races too.
When and how was the team established?
The team was established in 2010 between cycling enthusiasts Edmund, David Tay, Ken Khua and myself, and business owners Wayne (from New Moon) and Smiek (from Kian Hong Cycle). Coincidentally we were all looking to form a tri-sport team at the same time. The founding members approached some of our old cycling kakis and friends and asked if they would be interested to join and this formed our initial core group.
At the same time, I also happened to know some promising young athletes starting out in triathlon. We started training and racing together and one of our first races together was the old Cyclone Race Series back in 2010. Since then, we have grown and we even had our own race series, the New Moon KHcycle Metasprint series.
How many members does New Moon Khcycle have?
Currently, we have 15 competitive athletes and over 80 club members.
Are there any girls on the team?
Yes we have four girls on the team that compete actively. Louisa and Emma Middleditch are very promising young runners and triathletes who can certainly compete with the boys! Lim Baoying is our amazing sports doctor who performs at a high level despite her demanding career, and Sarah Tan is a member of the National Training Squad for cycling and who also occasionally does triathlons. We are a very welcoming squad for female athletes and hope to encourage and inspire more women to take up triathlon and cycling.
Team New Moon Khcycle is best known for success in triathlon, but your riders are often seen doing well in cycling and running races too …
The team is focused on both cycling and triathlon. However, given the abundance of multisport and running races in Singapore, most of our success comes from these races.
Our triathlon team is certainly very strong, and that comes from our roots as we have traditionally recruited among multisport athletes. We have some of the best Ironman and long-course athletes in Singapore in our team such as Ewin Teo, James Middleditch and Lim Baoying; they have been performing very consistently in the region. We also have another group of athletes who focus on the shorter ITU-style races and who also perform well there. Some of our multisport athletes are also strong runners and will regularly compete with the best at running races locally and regionally.
Our cycling team is admittedly smaller but we are always trying to grow it and on the lookout for talented and motivated athletes. Sometimes members of the triathlete squad will join the cyclists for their races, especially in time trials.
Of course, just because we are serious athletes doesn’t mean we don’t have fun; our club members also regularly meet for social rides and overseas trips. In fact, one group just came back from Vietnam recently.
How often do team members train together? Do you have any signature training rides?
A notable element of Team NMKHC is that we have both competitive and non-competitive club members. The team focuses a lot on sustainability and we do not obligate athletes to a training schedule or that they must train together. Everyone is free to train on their own or in their own sub-groups. This provides flexibility for everyone and is a win-win situation for all. However, we do have several groups that train together regularly. Our Ironman training group will usually do their long rides and base training together, while we have another group that focuses more on short course. We usually meet at 6:30am at the old Longhouse site on weekends.
Are you currently recruiting members? How would one go about joining your team?
We are constantly on the look out for promising athletes who would like to represent the team. If there’s anyone who’s interested, they can contact the team via its Facebook page or through common friends/athletes. We are always welcome to find more riding kakis!
What are your team goals for 2017?
While race victories and podiums are always nice, we would primarily like to continue to be a team where young athletes can continue their sporting passion even as they enter the working world. Their passion is what fuels the team and the team will continue to support them as long as they continue to train and race hard. We believe that athletes can have successful careers and still perform at a high level in competition while living a healthy lifestyle, and we hope to continue to embody this message.
Who designed your kit?
The brand of the kit is Castelli from Italy and the design is done in-house by designers of New Moon. The distinctive yellow colour represents both of our main sponsors. We have gone through three iterations of the kit but our distinctive yellow colour has been retained across all three designs and instantly makes us recognisable as a club.
What bikes are most popular within Team New Moon Khcycle?
Most of the team members are on Bianchi, Look or Scott bikes, although not exclusively. We are also fortunate to have access to other equipment by Sidi, Mavic, and Continental. These are brands distributed by KhCycle which is of course one of the main sponsors of the team and provides us with excellent support.
Shaved legs or not? Socks or no socks?
Opinion is divided on this topic, and since our team has both cyclists and triathletes, it’s split quite evenly!
Care to share any funny or memorable moments?
I think the funniest moment was when one of our teammates received a bottle from another teammate during a race. After taking a drink, instead of returning the bottle (which was still filled with water), he threw it away!
We have had many enjoyable moments together as a team. One of the more recent ones was last year at the OCBC Cycle 24 Hour Challenge, where they whole team came together to take turns in cycling for 24 hours straight. We clocked a total of 858km and it was great to see everyone contributing. Even in the wee hours of the morning, everyone banded together to motivate each other and that team spirit made it very enjoyable.
Another enjoyable moment was at the 2012 OCBC Cycle race where we had a very strong team racing in the 40km Challenge. We didn’t win but we were constantly on the attack and it was very enjoyable to be racing as a team together.
We have many such memorable moments but I guess the most memorable win for our team was when one of our athletes Evan Quek won the elite title at the 2013 Batam 6 Bridges race (a.k.a. the Tour de Barelang). Evan had fought back from a broken leg when he was hit by a bus the year before but he came back with a bang.
Photos by Rhys Cheng.