By Solomon Nwoke
The organisers of CyclingLagos have announced a star prize of N1.7 million for the winners of the competition in the professional cadre.
The much-anticipated CyclingLagos event which has the full endorsement of Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) is expected to ride off on August 25.
The Chairman Organising Committee, Soji Adeleye, said that the event would be one of the biggest cycling competitions in Nigeria due to the number of registered participants.
He said, “at the initial plan, we had hoped for about 1,000 cyclists, but now, we have surpassed that mark. This is a great plus for us.
“We are also expecting cyclists from across Africa, from Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and other African countries. It is going to be a great event.
“Cycling has a lot of benefits and not just the competitive aspect of it alone, we want to create a culture of cycling for our people to get them healthy,” he said.
“The prize money tag for the winners is N1.7 million, while the 2nd position goes with N750,000 and a yet to be determined prize money for whoever comes third.
“We are getting some responses as regards sponsorships, while our doors are also open to more partnerships because we want to make it the biggest cycling event.
“We want to encourage more people to be involved in cycling because aside its competitive rewards, cycling can give balanced health benefits because it is a worthy exercise.
“This event has the blessings of the Lagos State Government, so, we are right on track as regards the logistics and supports, we want to have a competition with its right value”.
Adeleye said that CyclingLagos would cut across all classes of people, adding that there would be a competitive aspect of it and also the symbolic races.
“We are going to involve everybody, including the government; we want to reach out to everyone that cycling is good for their health.
“Cycling has lots of benefit and for government too, they will start to consider creating bicycle paths in the designs of our roads.
“The championships will also help the cyclists to be able to have competition, they are looking forward to and an avenue to showcase their talents to the world.
“We have the celebrity ride with some important personalities, amateur competition and professionals,” he said.
Equally, the Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Kweku Tandoh said after the organiser held a road show to herald the event that the competition which is expected to be one of the biggest in the state would be given all the necessary support.
“We are glad to be part of this great initiative, cycling is one of the sports that have great benefits. Aside from the competitive side, it also has a health support.
“Cycling is one of the events that have prospects in all structures, but it is a sport that cannot be handled alone by the government. The private sector participation is also key.
“The state will be hosting about three cycling events this year namely, Epe Rally, Cycling Lagos, and the African Cycling Championships which are all private sector driven.
“What the state government will do in all these is to provide support, cycling requires a lot of funding for equipment and that is where the private sector comes in,” he said.