Indian Amateur Cycle Racing Season – 2014

Racing Season In Bangalore and More!
So, a new year has started. You and I are older by another year. More guys have joined the masters ranks. More youngsters are going to be kicking each others behinds along with ours. More competition and less chances of us earning bragging rights and podium places. So what else does this year bring?
For the starters, for the first time we are seeing a full racing calendar with lots of exciting races through out the year competing for weekend slots. Not too long ago we were cribbing of having to wait too long for a race and losing momentum and motivation to train. The great thing about this season is, there are a ton of races to be participated in for riders of all abilities and with age categories too. Special, right!?
In the past, I’ve searched here and there for information on the available races. So, here I’m attempting to keep the information of all the available races in major cities in one place. I will keep updating this post as I get more information so that this stays relevant through the season.
Bangalore Amateur Racing:
The new season for 2014 is about to kick off with Bangalore Amateur Racing Individual time trial on 26th Jan. The first series of BAR races this year have four individual time trials of 33km each on the same course. The idea of conducting the races on the same course with each race being roughly 2 weeks apart is to enable riders gauge their improvement over time with training and adaptation during the period. Below is the schedule of the first series.
Schedule of 2014 – First BAR series of ITTs
Start point: Emerald Isle Resort, Hoskote
Registration Start : 6:30 am
Race Start: 7:00 am
Registration Fee: INR 20/-
BAR makes a big fuss about being on time. So don’t plan to be late!
We’ll have more races in between and the later half of the year as well but the schedule will be updated as we go along.
A Bit of BAR Hi’story’..
Bangalore Amateur Racing was started in the later part of 2013 with the intent to bring races that cater for these amateur riders. BAR has introduced different age categories to let the riders see how they fare among their age group rather than against a bunch of teenagers. We have put any riders from the top teams who wanted to come and race for fun, in a category of their own and called it elite category. The response was shown with consistent and enthusiastic participation for all the events. 
A total of 8 BAR events were conducted in 4 months with: 
4 Individual Time Trials
1 Climbing Time Trial (Nandi)
1 Team Time Trial
1 flat course Duathlon
1 Climbing Duathlon (Nandi)
BAR intends to maintain the same spirit and cater to all with a variety of fun competitive and challenging events. 
Although the races were kept ‘free’ for the first season and BAR accepted donations to cover the costs, it was unfair to those few who invariably contribute every time. So, this season BAR has started with a registration fee of twenty rupees for all the participants so that whatever small running costs these simple races have an be covered.  
Bangalore Bicycling Championships:
Over the last five years, BBCh has consistently set the standards by conducting great races in Bangalore. Along with the quality of the racing, the competition and the participation kept growing. But, with BBCh growing in popularity and more teams with state and national level riders coming up, the weekend warrior ended up having to race with them at BBCh. But the great thing about BBCh is, it keeps learning and changing. 
Quickly after age categories were introduced at BAR, BBCh has introduced a Master’s category to address our constant cribbing that older weekend warriors are being pitted against ‘pros’. Now, to address the ‘too few races’ in the calender year crib, they have increased the race count and ensured that there is a race every month for roadies till August. There are 7 tarmac and 7 dirt races this year. Here is the race schedule BBCh has published early this month.
If you see the first race on the fourth Sunday of Feb instead of the usual third Sunday of the month, it is because for the first time BBCh has adjusted its schedule for another race, a crit in Chennai. More on it below.
Previously the MTB races(Dirt) and road races(Tarmac) used to happen on alternate months on every 3rd Sunday. The big change this year is that the MTB races don’t start until June and the road races end by August. So, no more Nandi race in October. During the last two years the Nandi race clashed with the Nationals resulting in most of the top riders having to miss the biggest race of the BBCh calendar. 
Now, with a race every month, roadies can pick their races and train for them consistently. There are a couple of 100km races one of which is Nandi that look very interesting. Another Nandi circuit race might do a few rounds around Nandi before climbing Nandi. A night Crit is a novel addition too. Good variety to look forward to. 
MTB Races start in June and it means we’ll have 2 BBCh races per month for 3 months this year. So, the MTB races take the slot at second Sunday to avoid clashing with the road races and continues the trend through the year. The MTB schedule too looks filled with variety starting with an ITT and DH followed by CX, XC, Endurance and an Epic 100km MTB race. Short Track race seems to be a new addition this year along with a trail ITT. Should be a fun filled year for the fat tire boys too.
The registration fee: 300/-
Keep an eye on the BBCh page for updates on venues and timings for various races.
Other Bangalore Races:
Last year Student Foundation for Sports(SFS)  has conducted a road race in conjunction with the Bangalore district cycling association on closed roads. It was a fantastic race with great organizing from team SFS. This year they are talking of a similar or better race sometime in July. Will update when more information is made available to me.
Of course, there is the Tour of Nilgiris from 16th-23rd December every year starting from Bangalore.
Tamilnadu Cycling Club Races:
Tamilnadu Cycling Club is great in organizing events with minimum fuss and maximum results. Their event calendar below is a good example of clear and concise you can be with information.  
Their races are conducted every 2nd Sunday of the month. They have team time trials in April, June, October and December. Individual time trials are conducted in March, May, July, September and November. February and August see road races. Although they usually conduct the races on 2nd Sunday of the month, their first road race this year is going to be on 3rd Sunday. This is what necessitated BBCh to move theirs to 4th Sunday.
Does the prospect of racing on closed roads excite you to no end! How about racing on a closed race track? Fantastic! Right? That is what you can do if you can take yourself to the TCC-MMSC Crit Race on 16th February at the MMSC race track, Irungattukottai, Sriperumbudhur. It will be a one hour Criterium.
The verbatim from their event page says, “TCC-MMSC Criterium cycle race will be held for 4 different categories viz. Boys, Women, Men’s open & Men’s elite (by invitation only). Top cyclists from across the country are expected to participate in the Men’s elite category. Technically demanding 3.7km track is 11 meters wide and has 10 major curves apart and 3 straights with the longest one being 250 meters. This gives ample opportunity for riders to demonstrate their riding skills (cornering ability) as well sprinting ability.
In a first of its kind for a cycle race, all bikes will be fitted with high precision transponders and timings will be calculated up to the third decimal and streamed live through internet!!”
Great to see such events. TCC was also the first in conducting road races on closed roads last year. More details of this race will be made available on the event page.
Registration fee: 150/- (Usually inclusive an awesome breakfast)
Keep an eye on TCC events page is here and here.
Pune Races:
Every year in October Pune Bicycling Championships race happens on the famed Lavasa climb. Watch the page for the dates and details this year. 
There is a talk of a 5 stage race in March organized in Pune starting with a ~20km ITT and 60-70km daily races over 5 days. Since we ran out of ‘Tour de this’ and ‘Tour de that’, we have taken up Giro De Italia and the event is named ‘Giro De Pune’. It is apparently going to be for elite and amateur categories. The dates are set as 19th-23rd March. I’ll update the post as and when I get more details.
Apart from this, there are races(usually ITTs) happening in Delhi from time to time. I will update the post as I gather more details on any available schedule.
HBC/HCC used to conduct some excellent races. Of late, racing in Hyderabad seems to have died down while brevets are flying high. Will update if I receive any news on the racing season there.

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