In the presence of several World and Olympic medallists, Indian riders' chances of finishing on the podium look feeble in the cycling track and road events in the Commonwealth Games. Indian cyclists last participated in the Games in 1978. The track events start at the cycling velodrome of the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex here on Tuesday.

The Indian cyclists, who got their new bikes only recently, will be led by Asia Cup bronze medal winner O. Bikram Singh. Other than him, Sombir and Rajender Bishnoi are some leading riders among men.

Rameshwori Devi, Mahitha Mohan and V. Rejani Kumari will aim to improve amidst the stiff competition.

Rock solid

Over the years, Australia's supremacy has been rock solid. There has been a yawning gap between the Aussies and its challengers like England, New Zealand and Canada.

In the Melbourne Games, the host had bagged 24 medals (15 in track and nine in road events) in comparison to England's nine, New Zealand's three and Canada's two.

However, this time the Australians may have to toil harder to retain their stronghold as other teams have fielded riders with proven track records. For the Aussies, team pursuit World championship gold medallist Ashlee Ankudinoff, World Cup gold winner Belinda Goss, World and Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares, World record holder Kaarle McCulloch and World Cup medal winner Emily Rosemond form an awesome combination in the women's track events.

World team pursuit gold winners Jack Bobridge, Cameron Meyer and Michael Hepburn, last year's silver medallist Rohan Dennis and World Cup podium finisher Daniel Ellis will be leading the Aussies in the men's track competitions.

England boasts of World championship team pursuit gold medallist Lizzie Armitstead, last year's World Cup winner Katie Colclough, Olympic silver medallist Emma Pooley among women and track World Cup winner David Daniel among men to spice up the competition.

With the presence of Olympic track silver winner Hayden Roulston, bronze medallists Jesse Sergent, Samuel Bewley, Westley Gough and Marc Ryan and Commonwealth Games medal winners Ethan Mitchell and (road specialist) Gordon Macauley, New Zealand has a strong representation in the Games.

Altogether 416 cyclists from 33 countries are taking part.


Bindra and Narang assert their classOctober 5, 2010

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