Cycling legend Armstrong`s team for Mumbai, Nashik races

Updated: Jan 06, 2011, 21:01 PM IST

Mumbai: Two of the top professional cycling teams, Radioshack of the USA that has cycling legend Lance Armstrong on its roster and Italy`s top team Liquigas, are all set to take part in a two-stage international Class I cycling race to be held in Nashik and Mumbai in February.

It is not clear though, whether seven-time Tour de France champion -- Armstrong -- will be part of the Radioshack outfit, which won last year`s team championship in pro-cycling`s most prestigious race.

The two legs of the international race, offering USD 50,000 to the winner, will be held in Nashik on February 11 and in Mumbai on February 13.

The first leg will cover 158 kms, while the second leg will cover 117 kms.

The Mumbai Cyclothon would start and end at MET, Bandra with participants pedalling along the scenic Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link en route.

In Nashik, it will begin and end at Nashik Gate and move along to the Bhosale College Circle. For the professional riders the race will also go on to the picturesque and challenging Kasara Ghat.

The two cyclothons are to be held jointly by Swiss-based world cycling body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) in partnership with ID Sports -- a sports management firm, a media release said today.

UCI`s Director Philippe Chevallier is keen to see how these two races develop as part of the calendar of the world body. "We are looking forward to see how these races develop as international events on UCI calendar. We believe India has a huge potential for a representation of professional cycling on a global level with initiatives like Tour de Mumbai I and II," Chevallier said.

There is also a 60km national elite race, offering prize money of Rs 5 lakh, with CFI-approved riders from 21 states taking part in it at Nashik to help the local riders practice on the international track, the release said.

The mass participation rides under both Mumbai and Nashik Cyclothon is to include four categories -- Amateur Ride, Green Ride, Corporate Challenge Ride and Kids Ride.

For the second edition of the Mumbai Cyclothon, the organisers are expecting more than 10,000 pedallists to take part, much higher than the 7,000 who participated in 2010.

Leading sport channel ESPN is the media partner for global live broadcast of the event, the release added.