Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Organisers of fixed-gear criteriums jailed in Singapore (+ video)

Men who organised Red Hook Crit-style races hadn't secured police permission, judge finds...

Two men who organised fixed gear criterium races in Singapore have been jailed and fined for promoting and staging the events without seeking official permission.

According to Today Online, Eric Khoo Shui Jan, aged 30, and Zulkifli Awab, 40 years of age, were each jailed for seven days and fined S$5,000 (£2,862) after pleading guilty to charges of promoting a cycling competition without written consent from the police, and for holding an event without a permit.

The charges, brought under the south-east Asian country’s Road Traffic Act, related two events out of a series of eight events held between September 2013 and November 2014 under the HolyCrit name.

Similar to the Red Hook Criterium that originated in Brooklyn, New York and which now has rounds in Barcelona, London and Milan, racers participated on fixed-gear bikes around a circuit.

The Red Hook events, however – which typically feature spectacular crashes – take place on closed road circuits with necessary permissions secured.

> Video: Cyclist smashes bike borrowed from 'homie' in two in Red Hook Milan crash

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yvonne Poon acknowledged that while there had been “no overt malicious intent in holding the HolyCrit races”, the pair had shown“blatant disregard for public safety and the law.”

She said: “Illegal racing invariably involves contests of speed and sometimes dangerous manoeuvres, posing potential dangers to normal road users who may unwittingly travel into the routes of such illegal races.”

However, lawyers for the defendants insisted that the races were “always conducted in a manner which was reasonably safe,” for example through traffic cones being put in place on the route, while still allowing access to other road users.

Sentencing them, Judge Carol Ling emphasised that the verdict was not based on any anti-cycling sentiment, but rather the fact that by failing to secure authorisation, the pair had broken the law.

She said: “No matter how noble the intentions may have been in organising these races, I find that the accused persons, in choosing to promote and conduct these races without obtaining the requisite permits, had displayed a lack of consideration for other legitimate road users and placed the safety of participants, spectators and other road users at risk.”

The prison term handed down to each was much lower than the maximum term the judge could have imposed.

Today Online says that as promoters, they could have been jailed for up to six months each and for holding the event itself, also faced a maximum term of three months, doubled for a repeat offence.


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Latest Comments