HYDERABAD: Alliance Française Hyderabad is hosting a cycling event of its kind comprising 26 cyclists from Hyderabad who are taking part in the 19th edition of Paris Brest Paris Randonneur, which begins from August 18 to August 22. “It’s all about how far one can push his limits of body and mind,” says Krishna Kunam, who runs a software company and also a long-distance cyclist, all set to take part in the Paris Brest Paris (PBP) Randonneur which is one of the oldest amateur bicycling events in the world, a cycling tradition that started in 1891 and takes place every four years.
The mega event is conducted by Audax Club Parisien (ACP), based in France, which requires the participating cyclists to complete a distance of 1,200 kilometres within 90 hours - starting from Paris to Brest and then back to the french capital.
This year’s PBP will have 7,000 participants from 75 different countries. To qualify for the race, cyclists have to complete a series of qualifying rides known as ‘brevets’ which are organised by more than 80 countries under the aegis of ACP. Any cyclist who completes 200kms in 13.5hrs is regarded as a randonneur and to qualify for PBP, one has to complete a Super Randonneur series in a calendar year.
It is a series of brevets of 200kms, 300kms, 400kms and 600kms cycling to be completed in 13.5hrs, 20hrs, 27hrs and 40hrs respectively. “It is not a race against anybody but with time.” says Rajeev Kalva one of the riders responsible for Brevets in the city. In India these brevets are organised by the body Audax India Randonneurs. Any cyclist can participate in a brevet by contacting their local or nearby cycling group/clubs like Hyderabad Randonneurs, Mumbai Randonneurs, Bangalore Randonneurs, Madras Randonneurs, etc
Out of the 335 Indians participating this year, 26 cyclists are from Hyderabad Randonneurs, which has been organising brevets for more than seven years, headed by Muralidhar Nannapaneni. The participants had come together for the official Paris Brest Paris jersey launch of Hyderabad Randonneurs at the Jubilee Hills Club recently. “We have to endure a variety of weather conditions. France is currently experiencing a heat wave. There are also high chances of extremely cold downpour with a lot of headwinds and crosswinds and temperatures dropping below 10 degrees Celsius.
The cyclists have to keep riding day and night, so that the control cut-off times are not missed, says Rajesh Krishnamaneni, a business owner and one of the strongest riders in Hyderabad Randonneurs. The other participants include Krishna Kunam,Pradyumna Penmatcha, Rajesh Krishnmaneni,Sunder Kumar, Gautham Narne, Sadananda Reddy, Hemanth Sai Chandan, Jeetendar Dadvai, Nagaraj Mandula, Narendar Mareddy, Sanjay Yadav, Karthik Vuda, Gautham Reddy, Siddharth Bachloo, Sunil Kumar,Vamseedhar Bezawada, Prasad Raju, Vishal kant, Deep Chandra Sharma, Bhavani, Pavan Chakravarthy, Raja Sabareesh, Chaitanya, Navin Kommukuri, Shashikiran Tirumala, Prithvi Krishna.