Four avid cyclists from Bengaluru are gearing up for the biggest cycling challenge of their life. The quartet of Yuvaraj P, Silvester Rajpaul, Ruishit Davada and Ashok Thiruvengadam will be among a bunch of Indian cyclists who will participate in the Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) Randonneur, the oldest endurance race, later this month.
“We are really excited about the race,” said Yuvaraj speaking to Deccan Herald.
“It will be a new experience for us. Though we have been cycling through the hilly terrains in India, we expect the route there to be more challenging.”
Cycling since 2011, exploring new destinations and traversing through the hilly terrain in the South of India has been their idea of an ideal get away from hectic city life for a long time.
And one won’t be surprised if representing the country in an international event was never on their cards until recent time. “We came across this race only recently. We have been participating in many cycling events that happen throughout the year. And in one such event, we heard about this race and decided to give it a try,” he explained.
The PBP is a long-distance cycling event held once in four years. It covers close to 1200kms over four days and runs from Paris to Brest, a province in the North-west of France, and back to Paris. Going through the mountainous terrains in France, the race is expected to be a test of the riders’ stemina and endurance.
“This is not like any other cycling race that we have participated in till date. This will be a total test of our abilities and mental preparedness.
“Completing over 1000 kms in 90 hours is not an easy job. But we are determined to give our best to complete the race,” said Silvester who is looking forward to becoming only the third Indian to complete the gruelling race. In 2011, Kailas Patil and Shreyas Kumar completed the PBP.
If competing and completing the four-day race sounds tough, the road to the French capital is not an easy one either. Each rider has to achieve the ‘Super Randonneur’ status — completing four endurance runs of distance varying from 200 kms to 1000 kms known as brevets — within the same calendar year as PBP to be eligible for the French race.
Yuvaraj attained his target with successful completion of the brevets in Ooty, Gujarat and Bengaluru, Silvester qualified for the PBP by achieving his timings in Mysuru, Coimbatore, Cochin and Bengaluru.
Though their determination has driven them thus far, finding sponsors for the same has been a difficult task. While Yuvaraj has been lucky enough to find Herbal Life and Trail Blazers, a running group, to back him, Silvester is yet to find some backing.
“Yuvaraj has been lucky on this (sponsors) front. But for me, I am forced to go for a personal loan, which I will have to repay once I am back,” said the 26-year-old cyclist.