Dasara race stalls halfway

In a major embarrassment for the Dasara sports organisers, the bicycle race between Mysore and Madikeri was cancelled midway over concerns regarding the safety of cyclists on Saturday.

Dissapointed: Cyclists at the Dasara race in Mysore on  Saturday. dh photo

Cyclists from as far off as Bijapur, Bagalkot, Belgaum and Bangalore were left in the lurch as the two-day race was cancelled due to a lack of pilot motorbikes to safeguard the cyclists.

Srishaila Kurani, secretary of Karnataka Amateur Cycling Association (KACA), said the race was delayed since it was flagged off beyond the scheduled hour by which time traffic on the Mysore-Madikeri road had increased. “Without an adequate number of pilot bikes, it would have been difficult to monitor cyclists pedalling on the road,” he said.

Law Minister S Suresh Kumar flagged off the race symbolically at Kote Anjaneyaswamy temple. The actual race commenced from Hootagalli on the outskirts of the city.

The Association soon realised that only five pilot motorbikes had been provided against the requirement of 20. With 100 men and 50 women taking part in the event, KACA authorities decided to call off the race after a discussion with Department of Youth Services and Sports and Dasara sports sub-committee authorities, citing inadequate safety measures.

Kurani said the Association was not given the route map earlier and that the entire event was planned by organisers. “The race had to be cancelled to ensure the safety of participants,” he said. While the men cycled up to Kushalnagar, women pedalled up to Periyapatna and returned to Mysore.

Two categories

The cycle race was spread over two days in separate categories for men and women.

Men had to cycle between Mysore and Madikeri on Saturday and return on Sunday, whereas women had to traverse the distance between Mysore and Kudige on Saturday and return on Sunday.

Adding to the goof up, 15 visually-impaired children who had travelled from  Hole Alur in Gadag district to take part in Yoga Dasara spent the  night in their vehicle because of a lack of accommodation.

Nagendra, president of Yoga Dasara sub-committee said they had arranged accommodation and attributed the incident to a ‘communication gap.’

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