The president of the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) and the Chairman of the organising committee, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, expressed confidence about host India performing at its best in the Asian Cycling championship to be staged at the Velodrome of the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex from June 18 to 22.

The championship will feature about 500 cyclists, competing in sprint and endurance events, from about 20 countries. The leading cycling nations China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Iran have confirmed participation.

‘’Our young riders have a lot of potential. They will be world beaters in the near future’’, Dhindsa said. It will be the third time India would be hosting the Asian championship after 2013 and 2017.

More importantly, this will be the first Asian championship after the pandemic, as the last edition was held in Jincheon, Korea, in October 2019.

‘’This will be a class-1 event, offering ranking points, which will help cyclists qualify for the World Cup and on to the World Championships’’, said Onkar Singh, Co-Chairman of the organising committee, as he pointed at the event being the starting point in the path for Olympic qualification for Paris 2024.

While the endurance team was present in strength at the press conference on Thursday, it was announced that the sprint team was training in Slovenia, in clean environment with good equipment, and would return on June 14.

The organisers thanked the Ministry of Youth and Sports, apart from the Sports Authorityof India (SAI) for admirable support. The officials of the CFI were also proud that the sport was clean as there was no ‘’positive’’ dope case in the last five years.

‘’Our cyclists take minimum supplements, and we believe in natural diet’’, said Onkar Singh.

For the host, Esow from Andaman and Nicobar Islands is expected to be the star. The field will also feature the 35-year-old Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong, and Shanju Bao of China, the bronze and silver medalists respectively of Tokyo Olympics.

India will field 42 riders. It will also be among the four nations that will compete in the para events along with Japan, Iran and Thailand.