By Susil Premalal
The Cycling Federation of Sri Lanka (CFSL) has decided to begin national pool training this month in preparation for international competitions.
The Asian Cycling Championship (Road) will be held in March in Malaysia in 2020, while the South Asian Games will take place in 2021. Other competitions include the Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang China and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham England, both in 2022.
The federation has already selected an 18-member elite pool for these events. It comprises ten men and eight women riders.
They will be training under national coach Upali Rathnayake.
The pool will undergo residential training in camps of the tri-services since most of the top riders are from the Forces.
In addition the CFSL has also selected an Under-23 junior national pool who will be trained at regional centres and will assemble in Colombo when seminars are held because most of them are school students.
“Our target is to win an Asian medal in the next three years,” said N. Karunaratne, President of CFSL.
“This year we aim to give national and international exposure to our riders in events such as Tour de Air Force (March), T-Cup International Cycle Tour (May), SLT Speed-up Cycle Tour (August or September) and National Cycling Championships (October).
We also hope to stage the UCI Gran Fondo Championship in August which will be a first in South Asia,” he said.
“We hope to conduct coaching camps for riders, technical seminars for coaches and officials with the participation of local and foreign experts,” he added.
Sri Lanka won two silver and four bronze medals at the 13th South Asian Games held in December.