Uzbek's Halmuratov wins 2nd gold; Indians disappoint
Greater Noida: Muradian Halmuratov completed his dominance in the road events as the Uzbek rider clinched the men`s individual title on the final day of the Hero Asian Cycling Championship.
Halmuratov finished the 156.2 km race in three hours 33 mins 59 secs to bag his second title in the road events at the Buddh International circuit (BIC).
"I knew I was not a good sprinter. I tried to attack from the beginning and stayed ahead of the main bunch. The strategy was to not allow any rider touch my back wheel. It was a tactical fight. And eventually, I crossed the line 200 metres ahead of the silver medallist," Halmuratov said.
"My dream was to finish on the podium for this race. I had participated in the London Olympics last year but could not finish the race," said Halmuratov, who had won the silver in 2011 championship.
Halmuratov clinched his first yellow metal in the road races in the 42.6 km individual time trial event on Thursday.
"This is my second medal in this championship. This track is very fast and quite difficult for specially time trial race," the 31-year-old said.
Indian riders ended the championship on a disappointing note as none of the four riders- Atul Kumar, Sombir, Amresh Singh and Arvind Panwar- could cross the finish line.
Iran`s Arvin Maozemi Goudarzi had to settle for silver after finishing just 12 seconds behind Halmuratov while Andrey Mizurov crossed the finish line with a timing of 3 hrs 34 mins and 16 secs.
Mehdi Sohrabi, who had been touted as one of the favourites to win the race, finished a disappointing 12th clocking 3 hrs 36 mins and 38 secs.
"Our strategy was to use our main rider (Mehdi Sohrab) in a supporting role. We had planned that he will stay behind in the main bunch as other riders wanted to move with him and Arvin will take the lead. Ideally, we would have liked a gold," Iran team manager Chaichi Raghemi said.
Sohrabi had won Silver in the last year`s road races in Malaysia.
A total of 71 riders started the 11-lap race of which only 34 were able to complete the challenge.
The road events of the 33rd Senior and 20th Junior Asian Cycling Championship were dominated by riders from Kazakhstan as they topped the medals tally with three gold, four silver and two bronze while Hong Kong and China finished second with two gold and one bronze, followed by Uzbekistan (two gold medals).
India had their best outing in the Asian Championship as young Deborah and Manorama Devi got two silver and two bronze medals respectively in the track events at the IG stadium`s cycling velodrome.
The next Asian Cycling Championship will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Individual Road Race- Men Elite
Muradjan Khalmuratov - Uzbekistan - 3:33.59 Arvin Goudarzi- Iran- 3:34.11
Andrey Mizurov- Kazakhstan - 3:34.16.