The delay in procuring new cycles could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Indian riders as their coaches feel training on old cycles has worked to their advantage ahead of next month’s Commonwealth Games here.
The team has been funding its own cycles and awaiting for new equipment for the past three years, which is to be delivered by September 20.
Cycling Federation of India officials say the team's performance in the Games would be adversely affected if there is any more delay in getting the equipment.
"Even though our preparation is going well, our chances, frankly speaking, are not very bright. The cyclists have been practising on their own for the last three years. They have been using their own cycles. And we are not going to get the new cycles before September 20, so our practise is always hindered," said CFI's Sports manager Dipender Singh Rathore.
On the other hand, terming the delay as a boon, Australian coach of the team Graham Seers said, "The delay is not a hindrance. Instead, it will help us."
"Practising on older bikes will help us train better and harder and when the new bikes are here, we will be ready to face any situation."
Agreeing with Seers, the head coach of the team, Chayan Chowdhury said, "The delay is not a problem for the team. We have been practising well here in Patiala and we are hopeful."
"It is not as though the team is practising on bad cycles. Only thing different is that the new cycles will be better ones," added the woman coach of the team, Ruma Chattopadhyay.
She also said the team does not require more than seven days to get used to the new cycles.
Seers has been coaching the Indian team for the past 14 months and he believes the players are improving.
"The cyclists have been training very hard for the past 14 months and things have improved quite a bit. We have good cyclists such as Sombir, Vinod (Malik), Mahita and Rameshwari with us," Seers said, adding that the timings of the players have improved.
Tainted athletes to face anti-doing panel
Tainted athletes, who tested positive for using banned substances during various sporting events last month, will now face the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel. Netball player Megha Choudhury, who tested positive for nandrolone, a steroid, will be the first one to appear before the panel on September 20.
The other athletes, six wrestlers, three swimmers, two athletes and one weightlifter, who tested positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine, will appear before the panel on September 22, after which final decisions will be made.