New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Seven Pakistani cyclists will debut in the third edition of the Track Asia Cup which will be held from September 14 to 16 at the Indoor Cycling Velodrome of the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here, organisers Cycling Federation of India (CFI) announced on Monday.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) class 1-graded event is part of the World Championship qualifier whereby points attained by the cyclists will add to the ranking of the individuals, making it more competitive and interesting.

The third edition will not only witness the increase in participants to 12 countries but also the inclusion of one additional team SAINCA, the cycling academy jointly managed by Sports Authority of India (SAI) and CFI.

Besides SAINCA and hosts India, the event will see the participation of Pakistan, Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Macau China and Malaysia. More than 150 cyclists from different countries will compete for the top honours.

Commenting on the tournament, CFI Secretary General, Onkar Singh said: “We have already successfully conducted first and second edition of the event and this time most of the Indian junior cyclists are under top 10 in UCI world ranking. This time junior men’s team is also ranked No.1 in world ranking.”

“This shows the improvement of Indian cyclists and it happened due to the maximum exposure after opening of SAINCA and world cycling satellite centre in New Delhi. Our star performer Deborah Herold is ranked 6th and Anu is ranked 8th in UCI world ranking and we are expecting a good show from them.”

“I would like to wish good luck to all the participants in this event. Our Indian cyclists have worked hard in preparing for this event and I am confident that they will perform well in front of the home crowd.”

“CFI is fully committed to the development and promotion of the sport in India and that is the reason we have decided to field our one additional academy team in this event, so that our cyclists can get more exposure while competing against top Asian cyclists,” Singh added.

Australia’s Karen O’Callaghan has been appointed the chief commissiare of the event by the UCI while 30 Indian commissaries and technical officials will be officiating in this Asian cycling extravaganza.

The organisers have also announced free entry for the tournament.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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