ASTANA – Local cyclists participated in a bicycle race organised Aug. 24 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Kazakh cycling and celebrate the Aug. 30 Constitution Day. The starting point of the race was the Saltanat Saray Wedding Palace.
More than 2,000 cyclists joined the Sunday race, among them Mayor Imangali Tasmaganbetov, Olympic champion Alexandr Vinokurov and bicyclists from the Astana Pro Team, including team captain Vincenzo Nibali, Jakob Fuglsang, Michele Scarponi, Maxim Iglinsky and Dmitry Gruzdev.
“I am really happy to welcome all the participants today. This race proves that Astana is a city of active and goal-seeking people. I congratulate all [Kazakhstan residents] on Constitution Day and wish them good health, welfare, good luck and all the best,” said Tasmaganbetov.
“When we heard about the race, we decided that the whole family would participate in it, so I came here with my wife and my two children. The mood is great and so is the weather. I think it is good that our city promotes cycling. Of cource, we need to reconstruct the whole city infrastructure to let cyclists ride safely,” explained race participant Ardak Tashenov.
According to another cyclist, Alibek Dairbayev, such races should be organised every Sunday to let people stay fit and create an image of a dynamic capital.
Such celebratory bicycle races have become a good tradition for locals. The event not only allows the city to promote the necessity of leading a healthy lifestyle, but also instills public spirit among youth. All the collected assets will be allocated to promote sports among people with disabilities. The best cyclists of the race received awards in the following categories: the youngest cyclist in the race, the oldests cyclist in the race and the most athletic family.
Racers rode a 4,600-metre route from the Saltanat Saray Wedding Palace to the Astana Arena stadium. The same route was chosen for the Kaisar Keruen public race, organised this year to commemorate the 16th anniversary of Capital Day.