New Delhi, 26 September: Four-time Asian medallist Ronaldo Singh Laitonjam will headline the 10-member Indian cycling contingent at Hangzhou from Tuesday.
Cyclists will compete for 12 gold medals in track cycling while four gold medals will be on offer for those competing in road races from October 3 to October 5.
The 22-year-old Ronaldo clinched silver and broke the national record in the 1km individual time trial at the Asian Track Cycling Championship. Esow Alben, who is one of the four Indian cyclists set to compete in the srint, is the only Indian in the squad who will feature at the Asian Games for a second time. The other nine Indian cyclists will be making their Asian Games debut at Hangzhou.
The 22-year-old Alben pedalled in the sprint and keirin events at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Esow Alben will not be contesting in keirin events at this edition.
Meanwhile, four-member women’s sprint will start competing in the individual events from September 28. Triyasha Paul, Sushikala Agashe and Mayuri Lute were part of the Indian squad at the Commonwealth Games last year while Celestina will compete at her maiden major multi-sport event.
Harshveer Singh Sekhon and Vishavjeet Singh will represent India in the men's madison final on September 29.
In the men’s and women’s individual sprint events, Indian cyclists will kick off with the qualifying round. It will be followed, subject to qualification, by the round of 32 and so on. The madison events will be direct finals.
Cycling was introduced at the Asian Games at New Delhi 1951. It was dropped from the programme for the 1954 edition but has been a regular event at the Asian Games since 1958.
Rohinton Noble (individual sprint) and Netai Chand Bysack ( 1km time trial) won the bronze medals at New Delhi 1951. India also bagged a silver in the same edition with the men’s team finishing second in the team pursuit. However, Indian cyclists have not featured on the podium ever since.
Both track cycling and road cycling are part of the 19th edition but India’s squad, consisting of six men and four women, will only compete in track events.
The men’s and women’s team sprint events will begin on September 26. The individual sprint events start on September 27. Track cycling races will be conducted at the Chun'an Jieshou Sports Centre Velodrome from September 26 to September 29.