As we say bye bye to 2019, take a look at the top stories in Indian cycling this year, in no particular order.
1. India Wins 8 Medals at the 13th South Asian Games
Photo credit: Cycling Federation of India
India concluded its run at the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) held in Nepal with 312 medals – the highest ever medal tally at SAG. Of these 8 were in cycling – 4 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze.
- Gold by Satbir Singh in Men’s Road Racing
- Gold by Sonali Chanu in Women’s Road Racing
- Gold by Naveen John in Men’s ITT
- Gold by Elangbam Devi in Women’s ITT
- Silver by Arvind Panwar in Men’s ITT
- Silver by Swasti Singh in Women’s Road Racing
- Bronze by Pranita Soman in Women’s cross-country
- Bronze by Yashodhara Sherkar in Women’s downhill
2. Kabir Rachure Becomes the 3rd Indian to Complete RAAM Solo
Photo Source: Facebook – Race Across America
Kabir Rachure (India), a lawyer from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, became the third solo ultra-cyclist from India to complete the prestigious Race Across America.
With 4828km to be cycled, RAAM is 30% longer than Tour De France, and with 12 days cyclists, one has half the time to complete it. Kabir completed the race in 11 days, 22 hours and 43 Minutes with an average speed of 10.71 mph.
3. Guinness World Record Broken By Hubballi Bicycle Club
Photo Credit: Hubballi Bicycle Club
In January 2019, Hubballi Bicycle Club broke the Guinness World Records for “the longest single line bicycles parade” with 1235 cyclists cycling 4km. The earlier record was held by Bangladesh with 1186 cyclists pedalling for 3.2km.
Interestingly Turkmenistan broke India’s record in 2019 itself and now HBC is going to attempt getting it back to India on 26th January 2020 at Cochin with 5000 cyclists. Go ahead, join them!
4. Blossom Fernandez Becomes India’s Fastest Female Ironwoman in 2019
Photo Credit: Facebook – Blossom Fernandez
Former cabin manager with Jet Airways, Blossom Fernandez, became the fastest Indian female Ironman in 2019, in Copenhagen in August, and the second-fastest female Indian Ironman overall. The event included 42.2km run, 180.25km cycling and 3.8km swim, and she completed it in 13 hours 22 minutes and 50 seconds.
5. Mahajan Brothers Complete The Sea To Sky Expedition at Mt. Everest
Photo Source: Facebook – Mahajan Brothers Cyclists
The Mahajan Brothers – Dr Hitendra and Mahendra Mahajan completed the Sea to Sky expedition on 22nd May 2019, cycling from Mumbai to Kathmandu and then mountaineering their way to the very top of Mt Everest!
The mission was dedicated to creating awareness about CPR with a hope to make every citizen of our country a Life Saver. It must be a proud feeling to sing the national anthem at the Everest Base camp, which is exactly what the Mahajan brothers did.
6. Bharat Pannu Breaks the Kashmir to Kanyakumari Cycling World Record
On 29th October 2019, Bharat Pannu broke the Guinness World Book Record (submitted for official approval) for cycling the fastest from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Bharat is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Army and belongs to Rohtak, Haryana. He covered 13 states of India, cycling 3600km in 8 days, 9 hours and 48 minutes.
7. Mumbai’s Aditya Choudhary Becomes the World’s Youngest to Complete Ironman 70.3
Photo Source: Aditya Choudhary
The minimum age to participate in Ironman 70.3 is 18, and on the day of the challenge, held in Bahrain, Aditya happened to bring in his 18th birthday!
His training began about 6 years ago, when he was 12 or 13 years old. He trained with his father who is a marathon runner, managed class 11 and 12 exams with his training and hopes to switch to a vegan lifestyle.
8. 300+ Indian Cyclists Participate in the Iconic Paris-Brest-Paris Expedition
Photo Source: Facebook – The Road to Paris-Brest-Paris 2019
365 Indian cyclists pedalled with all their grit and determination, among 6600 cyclists from across the world in the iconic PBP expedition organised by Audax Club Parisien.
Of this, 24 were female. And 18% managed to complete the expedition.
Arun Kumarasamy from Puducherry was the fastest to finish in 2019, with ride time of 79 hours and 17 minutes. The first to finish across all countries, Hajo Eckstein from Denmark, completed the expedition in 43 hours and 49 minutes.
9. At 25, Shaikh Becomes the Youngest Indian to Complete RAAM as Part of an 8 Member Team
Photo Source: Facebook – Arham Shaikh
Arham Shaikh, from Pune cycled with the Team SuperMarrow in Race Across America, his team cycling more than 3000 miles.
His 8-member team comprised of cyclists from 25 to 66 years of age, and completed the race in 8 days, 2 hours, and 19 minutes, raising funds for the Asian American Donor Program, a non profit organisation in California.
Arham says “I came here alone. At the start we were teammates, but eight days later at the finish we are now a family of 20!”
10. At 50+, Anjali Bhalinge Becomes the Only Female Indian RAAM Qualifier for the Year 2019
Photo Source: Facebook – Anjali Bhalinge
In October, Anjali Bhalinge became the only Indian woman to qualify for RAAM for the year 2019, at the Shivalik Signature event. That too at 52 years old! The earlier female Indian qualifier qualified in 2016, on a different route.
Anjali is now eligible for RAAM in 2020 and 2021 to be held in USA; 4800km of riding from the West Coast to the East Coast in under 12 days!
Bonus: India’s First Ever Cycle Shipping Service Shipped 100+ Cycles
With the growing number of cyclists in India, Cyclop introduced India’s first-ever Bicycle Shipping Service – reliable and affordable.
In 2019 the service saw a good response with cyclists saying
- “Superb communication and follow up”
- “Amazing work, really responsive”
- “Rates are minimal and the service is exceptional”.
And with that 2019 comes to an end. Thanks to all the Cyclop members who pitched in with the stories and highlights for this compilation!
On the whole, the P.Q (Passion Quotient) in cycling in India went really high. Do you think we’ll top it in 2020?
All information is verified on the basis of official results and credible news sources. To suggest corrections, you can contact Cyclop Admin of facebook group via direct message.