A lesser-known professional sport in India, cycling is a favorite among fitness enthusiasts. Also, for recreation, cycling is well-known. But do you know, many Indian cyclists have taken up the sport professionally. Moreover, its history in India dates back to 1938 when it was first introduced as a sport at the international level.
From then to date, some prominent names have brought laurels to the country and made us all proud. Amongst them, the top 5 successful Indian cyclists are:
This 27-year-old athlete hails from Karnataka and had a knack for the sport since he was very young. He aced the age group categories at the national level. In the U16 category, he dominated the competition winning 9 golds, 5 silvers, and 6 bronze medals. This level of dominance in Indian cycling is rare and quite unparalleled.
Furthermore, this national champion was awarded the highest recognition for sportspersons in Karnataka, the Eklavya Award in 2013. Later he went on to represent India in the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow in 2014. In the UCI Asian Cycling championships, Sreedhar represented India in the open category.
In 2014, he won the gold medal at the National Championships Road race. He covered the distance of 140 kilometers at an incredible time of 3 hours and 35 minutes.
Alongside his passion, he also works with the Indian Railways in the traffic department. Hailing from a farmer’s family, Sreedhar’s journey to the helm of the Indian Cycling community is truly inspiring.
C Rameshwori Devi
The cycling arena in India was brought to everyone’s notice by this 44-year-old lady belonging to Manipur. For Rameshwori Devi, there was no ‘born to cycle’ attachment as she grew up playing a variety of sports before finding her passion for cycling.
She is an international champion with more than 100 medals in her kitty. And throughout her career, she has won only one bronze out of all. This clearly defines the word dominance in the sport. Placing in the top 2 at competitive levels is not easy, and to do so for such a long time is an amazing feat.
She is famous for being a strong-willed woman adorning the sport even after three years of maternity break. Also, she attracted everyone’s attention after defeating her younger and more fitter counterparts. And to emerge victorious right after the break is a testament to her mental toughness. Not just that, she has balanced her duties as a sportsperson, a mother, and as a CID officer. Superwoman fans, anyone? Here is one.
Dr. Amit Samarth
A doctor by profession, Amit (43) discovered his passion for cycling while trying out various triathlons. Now he is spreading his love for the sport by encouraging people to opt for cycles as a daily mode of transport.
He is a proud winner of Race Across America (RAAM) and Trans- Siberian Extreme (TSE), both of them being the longest and hardest races in the world. Recently, as a Scott Sports ambassador, he went on for a 6,000km ride across the golden quadrilateral in India within 15 days.
Undoubtedly, he is by far the best ultra-cyclist India has ever produced.
Deborah is a 26-year-old cyclist born in the group islands of Andaman and Nicobar. From weathering a tsunami at the age of nine to weathering international competitors with ease, Deborah’s life is that of a warrior.
She has various Asian accolades like Herald Asia Cup 2014 and Taiwan Cup Trek International Classic to her credit. With the Track India cup, she became the first Indian woman to win in the Women’s Elite category.
Currently, Deborah is out of action as she is recovering from an injury. Given her constant battles against pain and discomfort, SpokeHerd believes that she will come back stronger than ever.
Originally from the state of Punjab, Amrit Singh has been a part of the World Track Cycling Championship, Australia 2012. He has also participated in various sprint events since the very young age of 8 in the U-12 category.
His medal tally speaks volumes of his talent – 34 gold, 11 silver, and 3 bronze medals at both international and continental levels. He has represented India in various international events such as Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and Asian Cycling Championships.
These are the top 5 successful cyclists in India. There is a definite lack of infrastructure and institutional backing for cyclists in the nation. But this has not stopped our champions from making the country proud.
With the Olympics in action, cycling is bound to make heads turn, thanks to its unpredictable, yet thrilling events. We, at SpokeHerd, hope to see more individuals taking up the sport professionally.