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Bandra-Worli Sea Link

Cyclists' sightseeing delays Tour de Mumbai

Feb 13, 2011

MUMBAI - The city leg of the Tour de Mumbai was delayed by over an hour and a half after some of the amateur cyclists turned tourists on the iconic Bandra-Worli Sea Link and forced the organisers to start the race all over again on Sunday.

The original 104-km race of 12 laps, was delayed by over 90 minutes and curtailed to 79 kms and 11 laps after some amateur participants and photographers covering the event were seen taking photographs and enjoying themselves on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, through which the cyclists had to pass.

Race Director David McQuaid said about 30 amateur participants and 20 local photographers were on the Sea Link when the cyclists began their first lap this morning.

"They were sitting around the end of the road on the stand which was dangerous as the cyclists race at a great speed," he said.

"We consulted seniors like Robbie Hunter and Robbie McCwen. Since this was the first lap, we had the opportunity to neutralise the result and start afresh," he added.

McQuaid, however, said that this was nothing new as races have been stopped earlier too for various reasons like fire, medical emergency or unsuitable weather.

"Racing on urban roads, we can not prepare for every eventuality. Even the cyclists understand that," he added.

Meanwhile, South African Robbie Hunter of Team Radioshack, who won the Mumbai leg of Tour de Mumbai on Sunday, said that the incident did not have any affect on the riders.

"In the end it did not affect the result. They had a cyclothon for the people of Mumbai. Everybody (amateur participants) was not off the circuit. We saw some people who were riding on the circuit. Unfortunately one of my team-mate collided with one of the people.

"Its a bit disappointing. You don't want to hurt the poor people with your bikes and you also don't want to take a risk. We spoke to organisers. We spoke to International Cycling Union. It took them another 20 minutes to clear the circuit. And then we raced and then it was a good race," he said adding that no one was seriously hurt in the incident.

Cyclists' sightseeing delays Tour de Mumbai
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