LAHORE: Seven member national cycling team left on Wednesday for United Arab Emirates to join Sharjah international cycle race scheduled to begin from Thursday.
The team comprising six riders and one reserve cyclist will be contesting with 29 other countries for the mega cycling event, said President, Pakistan Cycling Federation, Munawar Baseer prior to the departure of the team.
The team members are: Nisar Ahmad Kasi (WAPDA), Captain, Ghulam Abbas (Army), Vice Captain, Sabir (WAPDA), Zahid Gulfam (WAPDA),Naimat Ali (SSGC) and Habibullah (SSGC) whereas Mohammad Sajid (Army) reserve player. Two officials accompanying the team are–Manager/Head Coach Nusrat Khan and Assistant Coach Shafique Cheema.
The tour of Sharjah comprises four stages, three of around 140 kms each, while one stage spans 175 kms. Secretary PCF Syed Azhar Ali Shah and Nisar Ahmad, Secretary, KPK Cycling Association are the official delegates travelling with the team.
Prior to the team announcement trial was held on GT Road from Islamabad to Gujjar Khan and back. The cyclists covered a distance of 63.6 km and it was heartening to note that in spite of buzzing traffic and unfavourable road conditions this distance was covered in 80.3 minutes at an average speed of 47.52 kph, he added.
PCF’s Selection Committee evaluated the performance of cyclists who underwent rigorous training during past three weeks at National Sports Center, Islamabad.
Overall performance of the cyclists during last one year was also taken into consideration along with the results of recently held three national competitions that included races from Abbottabad to Nathiagali, Islamabad to Murree and Peshawar to Wah.
President PCF expressed hope that national team would perform well and this experience would help our cyclists in their placement at a better position while competing in Asian Cycling Championship to be held in Kazakhstan in May 2014 and later in the Asian Games.
PCF adhered to all the requirements of Pakistan Sports Board and Ministry of Foreign Affairs while obtaining NOC and other requisite permissions for participation in this event.