Waheed wins Dodapathri stage
Waheed Ahmad Ganai won the 3rd stage of ongoing Khyber 13th Tour de Kashmir cycling expedition held from Humhama Chowk to Dodapathri on Monday.
With this win Waheed made it two in a row in the Tour after having won Pahalgam stage on Rajneesh of Haryana finished second while as overall leader and holder of yellow jersey Saurabh of Haryana finished third.
Earlier the third stage of this 350-kilometre national level cycling extravaganza was flagged off from Humhama by Deputy-Commissioner Budgam, Mir Ahmad along with officials from Police, administration and organizers J&K Sports Development Association. The event is being organized by JKSDA in collaboration with Tourism department Kashmir for the promotion of cycling tourism in the State.
Terming the event as the only kind of its event in Country, Deputy-Commissioner Budagm hoped that more such event would be held in Kashmir.
“I am happy to see this event being held in Kashmir which involves riders from 12 different States of Country which include some international riders,” he said.
The route of the third stage was uphill and in it almost all the riders from leader board met with accidents that include Umer Nabi, Akber Khan as well as leader Saurabh and Waheed. Despite the falls the race continued and event turned out to be a success.
Later prize distribution ceremony was held at Dodapathri in which first three position holders were awarded prizes by CEO, Dodapathri Development Authority, Zahoor Ahmad.
Speaking on the occasion, he said, “All the outside riders who are participating in this event are our tourism ambassadors and they will promote our tourism destination through their individual word of mouth publicity,” he said.
“Dodapthri is developing tourist destination and its easy and short access from Srinagar makes it an ideal place for tourists,” he added.
Akber Khan and Umer Nabi who are the two leading cyclists of the Valley met with accident during the stage have put their hopes on Gulmarg and Sonmarg stage now.
“Today it was golden chance for me to take huge lead and reduce the gap of leader. However, when I was leading I along with Akber met accident and had fall. Still I gave it my all and joined the leading bunch. But that took toll on my chances. My only hope now is Gulmarg and if I will be able to win that with sizeable margin then I have got chances to make it for the title,” Umer said.
The only kind of its kind event will on Tuesday move to fourth stage that will be held from Magam to Gulmarg. The fifth stage would be held from Gagangeer to Sonamarg in Ganderbal district. The last stage is scheduled to be held in Srinagar along with prize distribution ceremony.
The event is being sponsored by Mirza Sons, J&K Bank, New JK Roadways and Lawrence Vidhya Bhawan.