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Cycling for the first time

Cycling events will be held for the first time in South Asian Games. With the decision to hold cycling events, Sri Lanka Cycling Federation is working with a well organised plan. Since the season for cycling started in April-May, the riders will be in peak form in this month. The cycling events will be held on August 21, 23 and 26.

S. I. Jafferjee, Secretary, Cycling Federation of Sri Lanka said that there are 16 in the cycling 'pool' and President of the federation DIG K. P. P. Pathirana is working round the clock to help the cyclists in preparation for the Games.

There will be three races for men and women, Individual time trial, Team time trial and Road Race.

Individual time-trial will be on August 21 for men 30 Km and women 20 Km lap distance will be 10 Km. Start of the lap venue opposite Enex Building, Moratuwa-Panadura, Marine Highway and finish will be at the same point.

Men's and women's team time-trial will be held on August 23. The mens race will be 49 Kms starting at 9.45 a.m. from Gale Face Green and the riders will go through Colpetty, Bambalapitiya, Wellawatte, Dehiwala, Mt. Lavinia, Ratmalana, Katubedde, Rawatawatte, Moratuwa, Modara round about, Walana roundabout (turn right) Panadura, Wadduwa, Waskaduwa, Kalutara, Paiyagala and finish opposite Palm Woods Hotel, Paiyagala.

Women's race will be at 9 a.m. 30 kms start will be the same as men's and finish at Pinwatte (Thalpitiya Bridge) opposite River View Hotel.

Men's Road Race will be on August 26 - a distance of 168.7 Km start at 7.30 a.m. from Galle Face Green, the riders will proceed through Negombo Road and ride along Dankotuwa and turn right to pass Yakkala, Kadawatha Town, Kiribathgoda, Peliyagoda, Armour Street, Maradana, Gamini Hall roundabout, Lake House roundabout turn left to Lotus Road, Presidential Secretariat roundabout and finish at Gale Face Green.

The women's Road Race will commence at 3.30 p.m. starting opposite Avissawella Police Station turn left to Colombo Road and ride through Kiriwaddala Railway crossing, Miriswatta, Kosgama, Hanwella, Meegoda, Kottawa, Maharagama, Kirulapona, Thunmulla (turn right to new Bullers Road), Bambalapitiya get on to Galle Road Colpetty and finish near Taj Samudra Hotel, Gale Face. The women riders will cover a distance of 61.5 Km.

Jafferjee added that 8 men and 8 women cyclists will ride for Sri Lanka and they are presently training at Embilipitiya.

The cycling Federation requests finances to enable the cyclists to compete and train in Thailand but the Sports Ministry did not provide the necessary funds and as a result there's no foreign exposure to our riders, said Jafferjee. However Secretary Sports Ministry, S. Wirittamulla assisted the locals by providing cycles to the women riders.

Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh riders will compete in the men's events but Bangladesh will not have women riders. Lankan riders chances of winning medals are bright as they have been training with systematic timetable.

The cyclists to represent Sri Lanka (Men): C. P. Meemanage (Army), U. Lokuge (Paragon), Sudeera Nilanga (Moratuwa Sama SC), Thusitha Dinesh (Winged Wheel), Janaka H. Kumara (Navy), Sujith Silva (Air Force), Samantha Lakmal (Air Force), W. P. J. Saman Kumara (Army).

Women: U. D. Siriyalatha (Paragon), Neelukee Shyama (Moratuwa Sama SC), Ayesha Sumanaweera (Winged Wheel), Wasanthi Gunatileka (Moratuwa Sama SC), Niroshani Perera ( Friendship CC), W. K. Pushparani (Army), Asoka Rupasinghe (Moratuwa Sama SC), Dilukshi Sumanaweera (Winged Wheel).

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