Thousands Ride in Astana to Commemorate Great Patriotic War

ASTANA – More than 2,000 people, including well-known professional athletes, participated in a bike ride in Astana May 7 to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the Soviet people’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany (and the Second World War in Europe).

Photo credit: Khabar.kz

Photo credit: Khabar.kz

The race started from the square in front of the Saltanat Saraiy (Palace of Festivities) and concluded at the Saryarka Velodrome.

The ride was part of the nationwide Victory charity project designed to pay respect to the veterans of the Great Patriotic War.

It also gave an official start to the summer cycling season in the capital. At the finish line, organisers awarded the winners in multiple categories, with some winners receiving bicycles.

The Astana city mayor’s office and the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation arranged the event with the backing of the National Olympic Committee, the Samruk Kazyna Trust Social Development Foundation, and the Astana Presidential Professional Sports Club (PPSC).

“Today, we celebrate a festival of sports. It is gratifying that the bike ride attracted great interest from residents of the capital. With this action, we pay tribute to the heroism of our veterans in the Great Patriotic War, which we will always remember,” said Vice-President of the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation President and CEO of the Astana PPSC Amanbek Kulchikov. The organisers of the bike ride plan a series of mass events in the coming months to promote sports and a healthy lifestyle.

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“With such projects, we attract our compatriots to mass sport, as they have a chance to see famous athletes and bike on the main roads of Astana. The health of the nation is one of the key factors for further development of Kazakhstan. Without the mass character of sports in the country, we will hardly see victories of Kazakh athletes at international competitions. In the future, we would like to help arrange more events like today’s. It is now less than a hundred days left to the Summer Olympics and already now we notice in the people’s moods the expectation of a great feast of sports. We hope that in Rio we will have many reasons to be proud of our country,” National Olympic Committee Executive Director Serik Kaskabasov commented after the event.

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