Indian cyclists get new ride

Indian cyclists get new ride

Speciazed Kynkyny Cycling team unveiled in Blore

Cycling as a sport is yet to make a mark in India but it received a shot in the arm on Saturday with the launch of the Specialized Kynkyny Cycling Team, India’s first ever professional team in this sport.

Envisioned by Vivek Radhakrishnan, the team director and Venkatesh Shivarama, the manager, Specialized Kynkyny will comprise 12 cyclists who will compete in 20-25 races in India and a couple of international races including the Tour of Friendship Race in Thailand in the last week of April.  

Vivek said the team, very active in Bangalore and Hyderabad, will also participate in national-level races organised by the Cycling Federation of India (CFI).

Vivek said four years of planning and passion went into the venture. “ fter trying to get a sense of the cycling scene in India, I wanted to put together a team that is well supported. Venkatesh has been working on this for three-and-a-half years, while we started working together a year-and-a-half back,’’ he added.  

Riders from across the country form part of the team, with five of them from Bijapur, the home of cycling in India, and a couple of them from Mysore besides riders from Bangalore, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi. Mysore’s Lokesh Narasimhachar, who has been cycling for 11 years, is the most experienced among them, with 19-year-old Bangalorean Naveen Raj bringing in the element of youth.  

The team, which has Specialized, a US-based cycling equipment company, as its title sponsor, has roped in quite a few other brands on board including Champion Systems, a Hong Kong based company, UK-based Vivobarefoot, Kynkyny, Gold Gym, PintRoom, Areev, Sonarome, Park Plaza and

Elaborating on the team’s plans, Vivek said they were looking at the project and the sponsorship as a long-term one. “This is not a typical sponsorship, we are looking to work on a long-term basis and want to foster a cycling culture in India,’’ he added.

Joseph Wheadon, Director of Business Development, Specialized, one of the top three cycling brands in the world, said it was their passion for the sport that has got them to associate with Kynkyny. “We are super passionate about cycling and we see a lot of potential in India and that is the reason we are here,’’ Wheadon said.

The team will have a celebratory ride on Sunday at 7.30 am from the Victoria Statue on MG Road to Nandi Hills.

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