By Susil Premalal
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has granted approval to conduct the third LSR Sri Lanka T-Cup International Cycling Tour 2021, from June 4 to 6.
There are 35 cycling tours held annually around the world but the UCI has decided to hold only 16 next year out of which seven will be in the Asian region. The LSR Sri Lanka T-Cup is among the seven cycling tours in the Asian region.
The Sri Lanka T-Cup is the only cycling tour in the calendar of UCI from the South Asian region. It has been organised by Sri Lanka’s leading leisure and tourism agency Lanka Sportreizen (LSR) since 2017.
The tour was not held in 2019 following the Easter Sunday terror attacks while it was a non-event this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic. It has been held under the patronage of the Sports Ministry, Cycling Federation of Sri Lank (CFSL), Tourism Board and SriLankan airlines.
The three-day T-Cup will be held with the participation of 15 foreign teams (five in a team) this time as well, the organisers said. Teams from Australia (2), Japan (2), Malaysia (2), France, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Laos, Philippines, Singapore and hosts Sri Lanka (2) took part in the previous edition of the Sri Lanka T-Cup in 2018. The team from the Philippines won the overall championship.
The Sri Lanka T-Cup will be held over a distance of 350 kilometres. The first stage of the Sri Lanka T-Cup will be on June 4 from Pasikudah to Mahiyangana (133km), second stage on June 5 from Mahiyangana to Kandy (92km) and final stage on June 6 from Kundasale in Kandy to finish in Negombo (125km).
The total prize money for the Sri Lanka T-Cup will be US$ 25,000 while the cost of organising the event is estimated at Rs. 5 Million. International Cycling Referee, N. Karunaratne, who is also the President of the CFSL, will once again function as the Technical Consultant for the LSR Sri Lanka T-Cup.