Home > News and Publications > Archive > AUG21 > Talent Transfer Develops New Potential

Talent Transfer Develops New Potential

OCBC Cycle National championships 2021 Individual Time Trial
 Campus Legend/SCF Esport Demo Zwift Race
Cycosport Junglecross 3 Mountain Bike Race, Under 23

When Nicholas Chong joined the Table Tennis Academy in Secondary 1, little did he thought that he would become a road cyclist after 10 years of training as a paddler. The post-secondary student-athlete incidentally found his passion for cycling in 2019 when a friend introduced and persuaded him to give a shot in the sport. The duo started riding together frequently, and through healthy competition with each other, Nicholas was motivated to train harder. Soon enough, Nicholas was having bigger aspirations to win races. He started training under the National Development Squad in December 2020 and local team “Mavericks”, aiming to promote to the National Team in the future and represent Singapore at major games.

“It was difficult to switch sport, especially after spending 10 years training in a sport. However, through the Talent Optimisation Programme, I was able to switch sport easily and smoothly,” shared Nicholas who is now in the Diploma in Business programme, a polytechnic programme offered in collaboration with Republic Polytechnic.

The Talent Optimisation Programme was launched in 2020 in collaboration with National Youth Sports Institute. The sports offered as part of the pilot programme were Weightlifting, Wrestling, Petanque, Cycling, Canoeing/Kayaking, and Water Polo. It is a boost for student-athlete like Nicholas as it is designed to strengthen talent development, and provide a strong learning and training environment where student-athletes can achieve their best potential, and pursue their sport further through talent transfer.

“When I just started training seriously, I had to build my foundation which involved riding a lot of base miles and building up my Functional Threshold Power (FTP). I trained 5 to 6 days a week, and 3 months before my individual time trial event in July this year, I had to train every day on the time trial bike to get myself fully ready for the race,” said Nicholas.

Nicholas eventually saw his fruits of labour as he achieved numerous podium finishes. At the OCBC Cycle National championships 2021 Individual Time Trial on 25 July, Nicholas came in third place. Separately, he also clinched second place in two other cycling competitions – Campus Legend/SCF Esport Demo Zwift Race and Cycosport Junglecross 3 Mountain Bike Race, Under 23 event held on 7 and 8 August respectively. At the Campus Legend/SCF Esport Demo Zwift Race, an indoor cycling event held virtually, Nicholas competed against 4 others and recorded 4.5W/KG in the 14-minute race, a measurement the game used to determine the speed of the cyclist. At the Cycosport Junglecross 3 Mountain Bike Race, Under 23 event, a mountain trail race held at Turf City, he clocked 1:10.43s, covering a distance of 3 laps – approximately 13.58km.

“All three races have provided me with wonderful experiences and learnings. I had to deal with unexpected situations, such as on the day before my individual time trial event, I had to bring my time trial bike for inspection to make sure that it met the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) regulations. I was told that I could not use the time trial bike as my frame had no UCI sticker even though it met all the requirements. I scrambled to sort out my other road climbing bike for the time trial event the very next day. Although it was not the most ideal situation to ride a climbing bike on a race course panned flat with 0 metre elevation, I told myself that there’s nothing I can do about it except to go out there and give it all I got. I was surprised that I managed to get a spot on the podium, finishing third by missing out only 1 second from the second place,” shared Nicholas.

“As for mountain bike, I was not good at it as I only ride a mountain bike once a week but I decided to sign up the race for the experience. I was hoping to achieve personal best timings inside the trail, so I trained at the race course every day one week before the race. I was surprised to see myself hitting my 1 lap personal best timing for a good 3 laps despite a nervous start that caused me to make a lot of unforced errors and mistakes, and sent me flying over the bars a couple of times,” said Nicholas who won a silver medal in the race.

On his performance, Nicholas said it was beyond his expectation, and the races have definitely boosted his confidence to achieve more.

Continue Reading →

Don't miss out on the latest Sports, Academics and other school news!
Don't miss out on the latest Sports, Academics and other school news!
Caption text