SINGAPORE: Six more internationally renowned cyclists, including Tour de France legend Mark Cavendish and King of the Mountains Giulio Ciccone, have confirmed their participation in the 2023 Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium on Oct 28-29.
They will be joined by world number one rider and 2020 and 2021 Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar, who was the first rider to confirm his participation and is also set to debut in Singapore. This will also be a great opportunity for cycling enthusiasts to catch Cavendish in action, as the competition in Singapore could be his last, as the 38-year-old veteran has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the 2023 season.
The Tour de France legend Cavendish secured second place in Stage 7 of the 2023 Tour de France. However, the Astana Qazaqstan team member who was previously tied for the most stage wins in Tour de France history with 34 victories had his hopes of surpassing Belgian legend Eddy Merckx’s record was shattered when he suffered a dramatic crash in Stage 8, which resulted in a broken collarbone.
Cavendish’s last Tour de France stage win came in 2021 when he won in Stage 4, 6, 10 and 13. He is also widely regarded as one of the greatest road sprinters of all time by Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme in the competition’s history.
“We’re excited to announce six star names to join Tadej Pogacar as some of the leading lights of this year’s Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium. Mark Cavendish was a firm fan favourite last year and we’re grateful that he’s agreed to come back for an encore, despite his recent injury,” said Agnes Goh, Managing Director of race organisers EVOKE EXP.
“He’s the King of the Sprints and an event like the Criterium will suit him well as he hopes to end his illustrious career with a memorable Singapore win. We will be firming up even more names in the coming weeks so do look out for more star names.”
Italian Ciccone, who is cycling for team Lidl-Tre, won the Mountain Classification of the 2023 race. Last year, he also participated in the inaugural Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium.
Other names confirmed for the 2023 Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium are the duo Pello Bilbao and Yukiya Arashiro from team Bahrain Victorious. His team won three stages in this year’s Tour de France, with Bilbao winning in Stage 10. The final two confirmed participants are 2023 Tour de France Stage 2 winner Victor Lafay and teammate Axel Zingle from team Cofidis. Bilbao was sixth in the general ranking after Stage 20, while Zingle is in the 142th spot.
The Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium is one of only two such criteriums in the world, the other being the Tour de France Saitama Criterium in Japan. The 3.0km street circuit will see 32 top cyclists from eight of the world’s best professional teams set off from Temasek Boulevard for an exhilarating 90 minutes, with the fastest to cross the finish line declared the winner.
Riders will flag off outside Suntec City and sprint along Temasek Boulevard before circling the Fountain of Wealth. They will then head down Nicoll Highway and Esplanade Drive before looping at Fullerton Road. The street circuit includes some of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks, such as the War Memorial Park, the Esplanade, the Merlion and the Fountain of Wealth.