The Hero Cycles 33rd senior and the 20th junior Asian cycling championship will be held here from March 7 to 17. The event will feature the biggest ever field in its history with 28 countries being represented by 567 cyclists in track and road racing.

The Hero Cycles 33rd senior and the 20th junior Asian cycling championship will be held here from March 7 to 17. The event will feature the biggest ever field in its history with 28 countries being represented by 567 cyclists in track and road racing.

The Indira Gandhi Cycling Velodrome will host the track competitions from March 7 to 11 while the road racing events will be conducted at the Buddh International F1 Racing Circuit on the remaining days.

London Olympics double silver medallist in track cycling, Guo Shuang of China, is expected to be the biggest draw at the championship, which will also mark the beginning of the qualification process for the Rio Games in 2016.

After 1989 (New Delhi) and 2005 (Ludhiana), the event returns to India for the third time. A para-cycling competition at the periphery of the Nehru Stadium on March 5 will see the participation of four countries, including India, and serve as a prelude to the championship.

In the senior category, Japan will bring the largest contingent with 55 cyclists while India is a close second with 54 competitors, up from seven last year in Kuala Lumpur.

Speaking at the tournament launch, President of the Cycling Federation and Organising Committee Chairman Parminder Singh Dhindsa said, “The championship is the premier event on the Asian cycling tour.

“With the Indian team qualifying for the second time for the World Cycling Championship, in Minsk this year, we need to create awareness about the sport. Even though the equipment is expensive, we plan to increase our investment in it for Indian cyclists.”

The venues will offer free entries for the spectators. The Organising Committee secretary Onkar Singh claimed that the CFI also intends to use the championship as a platform to bid for either the 2015 or 2016 World Cycling Championship.

UCI President Pat McQuaid is expected to visit New Delhi during the competition. Dhindsa confirmed that CFI is in talks with cycling’s world governing body for opening an academy in the city.

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