Track Asia Cup cycling from September 21

Track Asia Cup cycling, a qualifying tournament for the World Cup, World Championship and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is a UCI (International Cycle Union) Class I accredited event.

Besides India and Australia, the competition would see participation from 150 cyclists representing 10 other countries including Malaysia, Thailand Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangladesh. (Representational Image)   -  Getty Images

Australia would be the runaway favourite when the three-day fifth Track Asia Cup kicks off at the Indira Gandhi Velodrome, here, on Friday, even as Indian cyclists hope to put behind a disappointing outing at the Asian Games.

The event, a qualifying tournament for the World Cup, World Championship and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is a UCI (International Cycle Union) Class I accredited event. The host would be fielding a 17-member team including both seniors and juniors, besides a separate team from SAINCA, the joint Sports Authority of India-CFI Academy to groom talented youngsters.

READ: Indian track cyclists crash out in qualification round of Asiad

While the likes of Deborah Harold and Sonali Chanu — currently ninth in the world in Team Sprint — would helm the senior category, the juniors would be led by Esow Alben, the reigning Junior World No. 1 in Keirin and No. 2 in Sprint. Alben had won three gold at the Asian track championships, earlie,r this year, and Keirin silver at the World Junior Championships. The Indians, however, had failed to make any impression at Jakarta.

Besides India and Australia, the competition would see participation from 150 cyclists representing 10 other countries including Malaysia, Thailand Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangladesh. The powerhouses China and South Korea, however, would be missing in action. “This is a build-up event for Indian cyclists to ensure they can compete with Asia’s best and get enough exposure for future events,” Cycling Federation of India secretary general Onkar Singh said.