Cyclists all set for the big ride

Cyclists all set for the big ride

For someone with a passion for cycling, there can be no better way than waking up at 6.30 am on a Sunday morning for a long ride.

That is exactly what the 5000-plus participants of the Vodafone Cycling Marathon will be looking forward to in what is touted to be one of the biggest cycling events to be held here.

The impromptu stalls setup by the organisers inside the Sree Kanteerava Stadium was a beehive of activity on Saturday as all participants were busy filling their ‘medical consent’ forms, collecting their official race bibs and eagerly exchanging tips on the sport.

While Passion, Green ride (20 km) and Fun ride (10 km) are open to amateur and recreational cyclists, the 60-km event is open only to professional cyclists. Out of the 150 professional cyclists who will be taking part in the 60 km race, many of them have represented the country at various levels.

Karnataka’s N Lokesh, who is taking part in the 60 km race, is one of the star attractions of the meet coming on the back of the silver medal he won at the 18th National championships at Rohtak.

Having started cycling 13 years ago, Lokesh, 30, is feeling confident going into the race. “I have been cycling for close to 18 years now and I’m confident of doing well tomorrow (on Sunday),” he said. Lokesh is also an active member of the Indian contingent, having first worn the national jersey in 2005. He, infact, finished third at the Asia Cup in Thailand in 2012.

Another rider who will fancy his chances of putting up a good show is Malappa Murtannavar, hailing from Bijapur.

Malappa, 18, took home the bronze in the national junior championships last year in Rohtak. He had earlier finished first in the 2011 nationals at Pune.  Malappa was fast-tracked to the national junior team for the World junior championships in Scotland in 2013 but he was unable to go as we wasn’t holding a passport at that time.

The race organisers have made helmets as mandatory for both the 60 km and the 40 km races but have urged all the participants to wear it for safety reasons.  The start line for all the four categories (10 km fun ride, 20 km green ride, 40 km passion ride and 60 km champions ride) will be from Kasturba Road outside the Stadium before taking Queens Road, Vittal Mallya Road and Rajaram Mohan Roy Road.

The cyclists then come back to the start finish straight, completing one lap (appoximately 5 kms).

Once the action on the road cools down, the popular band Indian Ocean will be playing their music inside the stadium.
DH News Service

Events and start time: Passion ride: 6.30 am; Champion ride: 8.30 am; Green ride: 10.00 am; Fun ride: 11.45 am.

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