The Hero Cycles Asian cycling championship resumes on Wednesday with the road cycling events being held at the Buddh International Circuit.
Over the next five days, the Formula One track will witness 10 various competitions in the junior and elite categories. Cyclists from Hong Kong, Iran and South Korea are expected to dominate the field in the championship’s last leg.
Host India will also aim to win its first road cycling medal in the history of the event but its chances remain low.
Speaking to The Hindu on Monday, India’s coach Amar Singh admitted it would be a tough ask for the Indian riders.
“The standards are very high in road cycling. Though our cyclists have worked hard for the championship, I don’t want to create a false impression of the difficult task that awaits them,” said Singh.
Among the Indian riders, Y. Sunita Devi and N. Geeturaj are expected to be the best performers, according to the coach. In addition to the duo, Rohit will be seen in action on Wednesday in the men’s junior individual time trial.
When asked about India’s record medal-haul in junior track cycling, Singh said, “I am reasonably satisfied with our show. The quality of the competition was high but we still managed to win four medals.”
Except the aforementioned trio and a few others, Suresh Bishnoi, Dilawar, Gurmeet and Sombir Singh will represent India in the long-distance events.
Like the track leg of the championship, the road-cycling competitions at the BIC will also form part of the qualifying process for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
After a poor spectator turnout at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex Velodrome during the first five days, the organisers will hope to attract more fans at the Formula One track.