If everything goes as per plans, India will be the first Asian country to have a professional cycling academy by 2013 end. The proposal to set up an academy will come up for discussion when Pat McQuaid, president of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body for the sport, visits India during the 33rd Asian Cycling Championships here next month.
“We’ve been having talks about an academy in India for sometime now. Things are progressing well and I’m sure that a professional cycling academy will soon come up in Delhi this year end,” Cycling Federation of India (CFI) president Parminder Singh Dhindsa said on Wednesday.
Dhindsa added that by hosting the Asian Cycling Championships from March 7-17, the sport will get a boost in India. CFI is looking at a public-private partnership for the proposed academy.
"The UCI president will be in India from March 11 to 13 and the proposal to have an academy in India will come up for discussion,” said CFI secretary general Onkar Singh, adding: “It will be tough to do it ourselves and we would need corporate support. The velodrome is in a dilapidated condition and we need funds to maintain an infrastructure like that.”
Some of the events in the championship will be held at the Buddha International Formula One circuit. Approximately 700 cyclists from 40 Asian countries are expected to participate.