Chandigarh Cyclothon flagged off, around 5,000 participate
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Around 5000 cyclists participated in the Chandigarh Cyclothon organised by the Chandigarh Administration. From children to adults, people of all age groups participated in various cycling rides, including the Elite National Race. More than 100 elite professional cyclists showed their skills.
Punjab Finance Minister and President of Cycling Federation of India Parminder S Dhindsa along with UT Finance-cum-Sports Secretary V K Singh flagged off the 61 kms Elite National Race. The race had professional cyclists looping around the Jan Marg. The event had prize money worth Rs 3 lakh which was shared by the top cyclists of the country. The winner was C Rajesh of Railways who won Rs 1 lakh, the first runner up was Pankaj Kumar from Haryana who got Rs 70,000 and the second runner up was Dilawar Singh from Haryana who took home Rs 50,000. The prize winning race was organised under the aegis of the Cycling Federation of India.
V K Singh emphasised that the Chandigarh Administration will focus on developing cycling infrastructure further. Also in the future, more such sports events will be organised by the tourism and sports departments jointly. He further stated that a plan will be made to preserve ecology and promote eco tourism with the use of bicycles as a form of transport.
The starting point of the non-competitive cycling events was Uttar Marg near the Sukhna Lake. These included the 5 kilometres Junior/ Fun Ride, the 10 kms amateur race and the 10 kms corporate race. Pankaj Munjal, Co-Chairman, Hero Cycles said, "The event showed the enthusiasm amongst participants who wanted to not just compete but spread a message of maintaining health and safeguarding the fragile environment by cycling and not using fossil-fuel based transport."
Students of colleges and schools joined in the various cycling events. Schools like St Johns, DPS, Vivek High among others and many government schools participated. The event also saw live band performance and the participation of the star cast of forthcoming Punjabi film 'Sajjan'. Punjabi singer cum actor K S Makhan entertained the crowd.