Appreciating the efforts of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for promoting cycling, the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) is all set to organise a 60-kilometre mega cycling event for the first time in Lucknow. Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department is sponsoring the event.
Cycle is also the poll symbol of Samajwadi Party.
CFI — the apex body of cycling sports in India — is recognised by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and is also affiliated to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) and Union Cycliste International (UCI).
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The proposed cycle race will be flagged off by Akhilesh on April 5 from K D Singh Babu Stadium and cyclists will take 12 laps till Scientific Convention Centre in old city to complete the 60-kilometre race. The prize money is Rs 3 lakh and nearly 135 national level cyclists have confirmed their participation.
“One of the reasons for organising the event in Lucknow is CM ‘s love for cycle. His efforts like construction of cycle tracks and proposed velodrome in Lucknow is commendable,” V N Singh, Assistant Secretary, CFI, told The Indian Express.
He denied any knowledge about SP leader Kali Shanker Yadav managing the event. “Kali himself volunteered for the event. We are aware that he is associated with SP. We are providing only technical inputs for the event,” Singh said. He also admitted that recently officials from CFI had met Akhilesh to discuss things.
Kali Shanker Yadav, who is district spokesperson for SP in Gorakhpur, runs National Cycling Club. He said another five-kilometre green run will be organised on the same day where participants will get certificates. “It will be for general people to promote cycling.
Professional cycling race will be separate event. Nearly 5,000 participants are expected,” he said.
State tourism department has chipped in for sponsoring the event. “We expect large number of footfall so we are cosponsors of the event.Our aim is to promote ‘Lucknow By Cycle’ trend on lines of Delhi By Cycle. We have even hired Dutch consultant Jack Leenaars who started the Delhi by Cycle event,” Amrit Abhijat, Principal Secretary, Tourism said.