PESHAWAR: The 7th edition of the National Road Cycling Championship Men/Women, Elite/Junior competitions are going to start from February 17 under the aegis of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cycling Association and with the collaboration Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) on Northern Bypass here.
This was stated by President Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) and South Asian Federation Syed Azhar Ali Shah here at the Conference Room of the Directorate General Sports Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. President KP Cycling Association Nisar Ahmad, international technical official Sarmad Khan were also present.
The championship will continue up till February 20 in which more than 110 national and international cyclists from all 12 unites including Pakistan Army, Wapda, Pakistan Railways, Crank Addicts, SSGC, PCF Technical Official team, POF Wah, Bikestan Cycling Academy, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Syed Azhar Ali Shah said that these races in different categories including Road Time Trials Individual and Team events of both Women and Men would start on the Northern Bypass Road (Motorway) Peshawar for which all preparations and arrangements have been completed.
The arrival of the teams will be completed by Wednesday and on February 16 a practice round would be held before the opening of the races in the morning at 8 a.m. This is a circuit race which is being played under Asian and UCI rules, Azhar Ali Shah said.
There will be a loop of 13.5 km, PCF President Syed Azhar Ali Shah said. Cycle races were organized in which DUCI changed the rules and separated the road and track races. Now it is our 7th year that we are organizing a separate national road race, he said. “We have not got any special sponsors from other organizations and only Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has extended a support to the federation.”
He said that races are being organized under different categories. He said that this race is also very important for the International Road Cycle Race to be held in Thailand in June because out of the race, a team of Pakistan would be short-listed purely looking after the performance of the cyclists.
Athletes from all over the country will be judged and a team will be prepared consisting of athletes who give the best performance in this competition, Shah said.
PCF President said that no progress has been made yet regarding the velodrome to be built in Peshawar. The velodrome should be prepared with the help and consultation of the international technical officials of the world body. Shah said that there are thirty-five velodromes in India and unfortunately, we have only velodrome in Lahore.
He said that due to lack of funds and politics, the construction of the velodrome could not be started yet, which is very regrettable. In the sports in which we are ahead, the infrastructure should be all over the country. He said that some people are still a hindrance in the development of cycling.
Shah said that even before the international cycle race in Pakistan, tourism had been greatly promoted and now the proposals for the international cycle race have been sent to the government.
He said that there are more problems in the current economic crisis. Provincial Cycling Association President Nisar Ahmad said that this time the winners of each event have been kept separate in the national competitions and the winners of all the events will be declared champions in their respective category.
He said that regular cycling events are organized throughout the year, which has greatly promoted cycling and our technical officials have also received training from different countries and awarded them with certificates at the international level.