New Delhi, Feb 20: A record 765 cyclists from over 30 countries, including London Olympics multiple medal winner Guo Shuang, will be in action at the Hero Cycles 33rd Senior and 20th Junior Asian Cycling Championship (ACC) to be held in the national capital region from March 7 to 17.
Besides Shuang of China, 2010 World Championship silver medallist Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia and twice Asia Tour leader Mehdi Sohrabi of Iran will also participate in the track and road race of the high-profile event, which was hosted twice before, in 1989 (New Delhi) and 2005 (Ludhiana), by the Cycling Federation of India (CFI).
The track events will be held at the IG Stadium Cycling Velodrome from March 7th to 11th, while the road races will be conducted at the Buddh International F1 Racing Circuit from March 13-17th, a first in cycling history.
The continental championship is also important because it will kick start the qualification process for the 2016 Rio Olympics and the cyclists would look to amass vital points over the 10-day event.
“The event is important for Indian cyclists who can use this as a platform to perform well at the international level.
It is a huge opportunity for India as we can use this event to bid for the biggest tournaments in Cycling like the World Championships,” said CFI President Parminder Singh Dhindsa.
“The team has qualified for the World championship, currently being held at Minsk (Belarus), for only the second time and I have no doubt that Indians would perform well in the continental meet,” added Dhindsa, who is also the chairman of organising committee of Asian Championship 2013.
One of India's bright prospect in the ACC, Sombir Singh, who will be participating in two categories, said, “I have practised at the F1 circuit and am confident of winning medals in the Championships for India”.