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    Burn rubber the eco-friendly way in an initiative by the Tamil Nadu Cycling Club at the Irungattukottai track

    If you think you can complete an approximately four km lap in under four minutes and 58 seconds, feel free to sign up for the TCC-MMSC Criterium cycle race this weekend. Too strenuous for you? Call them anyway and get complimentary passes to watch the races set to take place this Sunday. The Tamil Nadu Cycling Club (TCC) has been conducting several events since their inception in 2010, their most popular being the annual TOT (Tour Of Tamil Nadu) that takes place every December. “People take up cycling primarily for fitness. Then they slowly move into competitive cycling and participate in the endurance races that TCC organises,” says Krishnakumar Sridhar, an executive member of the club that also conducts time trial races, off road tours, weekend uphill rides and picnic rides for the family.

    With fully-equipped support teams and police protection, these races were held on roads (the ECR, mostly) that were open to traffic. But that changes now, thanks to a partnership with the Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC) who are opening the race track in Irungattukottai for a series that will have participants racing under four categories—Boys (under 18), Women, Men and Elite. The Elite category will have top cyclists from leading cycling teams (Team Trek Firefox from pan India, Team Madrascals from Chennai), district cyclists (Kancheepuram, Pudukottai and Trichy) and individuals who have represented the Indian Army in national races, participating by invitation.

    Considering the 10 curves and three straights of the track, spectators can be assured of some high-intensity action, as the sprinting, cornering ability of the cyclists is put to the test. We learn from Sridhar that there will be about eight to 10 marshalls stationed along the track with an ambulance on standby as participants under three categories (men’s, women’s and boy’s—100 in all) start together. And for the first time, each bike will be fitted with a high-precision transponder (the kind used in formula racing) that will automatically calculate the contestants’ timing.

    And the action does not stop there, as the MRF Challenge is scheduled to take place soon after. So if you like the sound of ‘all-day racing’, get in touch with TCC for complimentary passes. Details: 9840126666

    - Ryan Peppin

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