After four medals in the track events, Indian riders will be looking to grab attention in the road races when action in the Hero Asian Cycling Championships shifts to the Buddh International Circuit (BIS) from Wednesday.
Despite limited equipment, the country's top women riders surprised all with their performance in the track races. If the team is able to deliver the goods in the tough road races, the results will give a boost to competitive cycling in the country.
The Indian contingent, comprising Suresh Bishnoi, Gurmeet, Sombir Singh, Dilawar, Sunita Devi and Geeturaj, is likely to draw inspiration from Deborah and Manorama, who had excelled on the track to help India finish ninth in the medals tally.
Like the track events, fitness and modern equipment played a vital role in Korea topping the medals tally. Equipment, according to an Indian team official, holds the key in endurance too. “Almost all the riders in the team are using cycling equipment imported for the 2010 Commonwealth Games,” he said.
Medals apart, the riders will also be aiming to collect vital points, which will help them achieve the qualification mark for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
Meanwhile, the six-member Pakistan contingent, which missed the track events due to visa issues, will compete in the road races. The Iranian team is expected to arrive in batches.
At the Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) congress held on Tuesday, the Cycling Federation of India president, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, was nominated to the executive board of the ACC. This is the first time that an Indian has been nominated to the decision-making body, which consists of 13 members.