AVID cyclists can look forward to an exciting experience in January when OCBC Cycle Malaysia makes its spectacular return.
KUALA LUMPUR: Mayor Ahmad Phesal Talib recently unveiled the new route for OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2013, which takes riders through 12.1km of some of the capital's most iconic landmarks.
The event from Jan 11 to 13 is organised by Spectrum Worldwide Events (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and is sponsored by OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd.
It will converge in the heart of Kuala Lumpur with starting points fixed at Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC).
Phesal said the one-of-a-kind cycling extravaganza would showcase the city's cultural heritage and highlight the eco-friendly sporting events in the heart of the city.
"The event is targeting 5,000 cyclists, which I believe is achievable as more than 3,000 participants have already signed up. The organiser is expecting at least 2,000 riders and supporters from Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand to join this event."
There will be six categories ranging from 100m to 48km.
The categories are The Tricycle Ride -- 2 to 5 years (100m), The Kids' Ride -- 5 to 9 years (5.5km), The Junior Challenge -- 10 to 12 years (30-minute ride), The Community Ride -- for beginners, families and intermediate cyclists (24km), The Foldies Community Ride -- avid cyclists of the popular folding bicycle (24km) and The Challenge -- open to more experienced riders aged 14 years and above (48km).
The Foldies Community Ride, The Community Ride and The Challenge will begin at KLCC across Jalan Pinang and Jalan Raja Chulan, giving riders a view of KL Tower and Telekom Museum. It then cuts across Masjid Jamek and Menara OCBC, making a loop at Jalan Parlimen and after Dataran Merdeka onto Jalan Sultan Salahuddin.
The second leg of the route gives riders some greenery as they cycle through Jalan Tun Ismail before looping around Jalan Kuching to a view of the Putra World Trade Centre. Riders will then take the home stretch along Jalan Dang Wangi to the lap point at Jalan Ampang.
Longer routes would then require cyclists to take the lap point back to KLCC where they would repeat the route according to the respective distance for each category.
Participants of The Challenge, for example, will need to complete four laps of the route.
The Kids' Rides, The Junior Challenge and The Tricycle Ride will ply within the KLCC vicinity, looping around Persiaran Petronas.
"Sports tourism is the fastest growing segment in the sector and apart from the national events such as Sepang F1 Grand Prix, Moto GP, Le Tour de Langkawi and Monsoon Cup, there is also a growing prominence for eco-friendly sporting events within urban vicinities," he said.
OCBC Al-Amin Bank Bhd director and chief executive officer Syed Abdull Aziz Syed Kechik said the event was aimed at instilling the spirit of sportsmanship among the community and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
"Following the success of the inaugural OCBC Cycle Malaysia with more than 3,500 participants last year, we want to provide an exciting cycling event on a larger scale," said Syed Abdull Aziz.
The Challenge, he said, is a new category that allows corporate teams of four to raise funds for the three official charity organisations -- The National Autism Society of Malaysia, The Budimas Charitable Foundation and National Cancer Society Malaysia.
Teams of four can register for the Corporate Charity Challenge at RM5,000 per team, of which RM4,500 is donated back to the organisations. OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2013 is targetting to raise funds of up to RM100,000.
Registration fees start from RM22. For details, visit www.ocbc.cyclemalaysia.com.my.
Meanwhile, Phesal said the evacuation response teams (ERTs) and evacuation centres are on standby to deal with any contingency due to the current inclement weather.