HK riders no pushovers

Wan Sing Laam is seen here competing in an international race. Wan is among the young Hong Kong riders that will see action in the Hell of the Marianas this Saturday. (Contributed Photo)

Hong Kong is fielding a formidable team in the 11th Hell of the Marianas Century Cycling Race with its national riders competing in this Saturday’s event.

Chiu Tsun Hin, Wan Sing Laam, Wong Kai Chun, and Yuen Chi Ho are all entered in the pro/elite category and they hope to dethrone defending champion Jan Paul Morales of the Philippines. The four Hong Kong national riders will be joined by Italian pro Paolo Caputo, who now races under the flag of the former British colony. All four are under 30 years old, with Yuen the oldest at 27, while Chiu and Wan are both 23.

Yuen is the most celebrated biker among the four, as he is a six-time Hong Kong national rider and back-to-back champion in the China Cup Road Race (2010 and 2011). He also had consecutive podium finishes in the Asia Cup Team Pursuit race (2008 and 2009). Yuen finished at No. 45 in the World Championship U23 road race in 2011 and won the bronze medal in the 2008 Asian Junior Championships. He was also a consistent Top 5 finisher in various races in Milwaukee, Thailand, China, Indonesia, and Taiwan from 2008 to 2011.

Wong, meanwhile, had a number of wins in several Hong Kong races since 2014. His most recent victory was the 2017 HK Vita Green TTT and he also ruled the Stage 3 of the Hong Kong Cycling Association HK Cup open division. Wong placed second overall in the HKCA Cup open category and claimed runner-up honors in the second stage of the same race both held this year. He is a Team Success member along with Wan and Chiu, while Yuen is racing under the EVO Sports banner with Caputo.

Wong, who is also known by his English name Bryan, had similar second place finishes in the 2016 HKCA HK Cup open division and in Stage 4 of the Tour of Egat Kanchanaburi or Tour of Friendship in Thailand.

He came in at fifth in the 2016 men’s Individual Time Trial in the HK National Championship, surpassing his sixth place finish the previous year. He was the 2015 Elite B category champion of the HKCA ITT after placing third in 2014.

Chiu, whose Union Cycliste International (International Cycling Union) world ranking is 1,891, is fresh from an fifth place finish (overall) in this year’s Hong Kong National Championships road race won by Chun Wing Leung. He also finished eighth overall in the men’s ITT, a huge improvement from his No. 18 ranking last year. He placed 20th in the 2015 road race and did not finish the same event in 2014.

Wan, was 20th overall in the HK national road race championships and also had impressive finishes in the HKCA Road Race in 2016 and 2015. He was 55th overall in the Taiwan King of the Mountain Challenge held last month in Hualien.

In the women’s division, Hong Kong will have two bikers in Chao Yu Ng and two-time Olympian Jamie Wong. Both are representing Team Success with Wong favored to win the women’s crown.

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Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez has been covering local and international sports events for more than 15 years. His sports writing career started when he joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, when he was in college.

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