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Bhor ghat climb was gruelling with constant pain and a shaky handle, says Dilwar Singh

Mumbai-Pune cycle race winner has been training for 45 days and had a strategy chalked out before taking part in the event.

pune Updated: Mar 26, 2018 18:29 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
Dilwar Singh,Mumbai-Pune cycle race,Mumbai
Dilawar Singh of Haryana was ranked first in the Mumbai-Pune cycle race organised on March 25.(RAVINDRA JOSHI/HT PHOTO)

Dilawar Singh justified his reputation by claiming the title in the Mumbai-Pune cycle race for the second successive year, but it was far from a walk in the park for the defending champion. The Haryana rider suffered a nasty fall near Panvel, but he persevered and completed the race with an injured right leg and a damaged cycle.

“Near Panvel I crashed into an official vehicle. The fall was bad and it injured my right leg and damaged my cycle. I immediately changed the wheels but the handlebar was not adjusted properly. The Bhor ghat climb was gruelling with the constant pain and a shaky handle,” said Dilawar.

“The climate was also quite hot, sometimes the temperature was about 41 degrees Celsius and it was tough to maintain pace. This time there were also more participants and most of them were professionals, so the competition was tough and being the defending champion, I was under immense pressure to perform,” he said.

In the second segment after Khopoli, four cyclists broke away from the group and gained a lead. Dilawar soon joined them and it was a fierce battle on flat section of the race to gain an upper hand and cross the finish line.

“I had been training for 45 days and had a strategy chalked out. I attacked during the climb of Kamshet and gained a good lead in that section, but the other riders gave me very little relief and were right on my tail till the end,” he said.

The tremendous heat was also wearing us down,” he added.

Dilawar is regular at the international level and has participated in several tournaments. His best performance is a silver medal in the track event in Junior Asia cup, held in Thailand in 2013. He was among the top ten cyclists in the world junior category in 2013-14. He now aims to bring home gold at the upcoming Asian Games.

First Published: Mar 26, 2018 18:27 IST