The Tour de India 2013, the world's biggest cycling event, has been listed in the international race calendar of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) and the second edition of the multi-city event will witness the participation of more than 150 foreign and national cyclists.
The races are scheduled to take place on December 15th, 17th and 22nd in Mumbai, Jaipur and Delhi, respectively.
The Delhi chapter of the largest international cycling event will take at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) track in Greater Noida.
The event will have six Indian teams - India 'A', 'B', Railways, Services and two cycling clubs.
The Cycling Federation of India (CFI) will select the six teams for Tour de India after the conclusion of their national camp here in the Capital.
"Tour de India is a 1.2 level event of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport's world governing body, which has listed the event for the first time in their international calendar. The total prize money for the second edition is euro 19,000 and India will be represented by six teams in the prestigious event," CFI secretary general Onkar Singh told PTI.
"This edition will also have participation from 10 foreign teams and the points earned from this event will be added to Tour rankings. The earlier UCI recognised event held in India was the Tour de Delhi - Cyclothon 2010 (1.1 level)," added Singh.
The upcoming event is the largest international cycling event that has ever been held in India. The organisers of Tour de India have roped in Bollywood actor, John Abraham as the brand ambassador for the next three years in order to popularise the event.
"With over 20,000 plus entries this year just by kids, Tour de India has been added in the international race calendar of UCI. We will have a minimum of 150 plus runners from overseas also joining us this year to add to the green contribution towards India," said Akil Khan, chairman and managing director, ID Sports (promoters of Tour De India).
"Tour de India plans to match up to the largeness of Tour de France in the coming years, a cycling event that runs through 21 cities. The next year will witness seriousness towards cycling by showcasing evolution of cycling from being a poor man's transport to a green sport," added Khan.
To promote the cycling culture among Delhi-ites and a way to stay fit, kids' channel POGO organised a 'Go Green' weekend in association with Tour de India at a city mall here.
Around 3000 kids along with their parents were seen getting involved in learning various ways to help protect the environment, starting with cycling that keeps one fit and adds to the green donation.
CFI officials, Bollywood actress Mughda Godse, Femina Miss India International 2012 Rochelle Maria Rao and Pantaloons Femina Miss India Earth 2011 Hasleen Kaur with POGO's Bheem's Green Team were seen interacting with kids and their parents, encouraging them to participate in the multi-city races in three cities to make their green contribution.