Cycling Association of Maharashtra secretary on why state cyclists will dominate international tournaments soon

Pratap Jadhav, the secretary of the Cycling Association of Maharashtra says that Maharashtra has immense talent and if provided with the proper support, infrastructure and exposure, the state cyclists will surely dominate international tournaments. Excerpts from his interview with Ashish Phadnis.

pune Updated: Jan 15, 2018 14:54 IST
Pratap Jadhav, the secretary of the Cycling Association of Maharashtra.(HT PHOTO)
Why do you think the state cyclists dominated all three major events in the past year?

I feel that the exposure and facilities that our cyclists got at the Indian camp scripted the success. And importantly, we got also a huge support from Giant Starkenn Sports Pvt. Ahead of National MTB, they provided us with 34 premium bicycles while for the road and track championships, they sponsored six bicycles and spare parts of worth ₹35 lakh. They also helped us in conducting workshops and camps to improve the fitness level and training of cyclists.

How are you planning to maintain the growth this year?

Our cyclists are getting top-notch training in Europe. Shashikla Agashe and Mayuri Lute had a
four-month training at the World Cycling Centre in Germany while Rutuja trained in Belgium. The juniors like Pranita Soman and Priyanka Jadhav are also impressive and are expected to keep the graph on an upward trend. We had also conducted a talent search in the rural parts of Maharashtra and have found some good cyclists in districts like Bhandara. The state association has brought them to Pune and they are currently undergoing training. Secondly, this year, track cycling has been included in the School National Circuit. This will help the cyclists between the age group of 14-16 years. The early exposure will benefit them at a later stage.

What is your opinion about the infrastructure and facilities available for cyclists in the state?

Unfortunately, we are lacking in that segment. We are following up on a renovation proposal for a proper track in Balewadi. But apart from that, we are planning to construct small tracks, which will cost around ₹50-60 thousand each, and trying to find sponsors. If we can get that done, the rural cyclists don’t have to come all the way to Pune to train. It will also be a big boost for state cyclists.

First Published: Jan 14, 2018 22:26 IST