India’s first-ever SAI NCOE for mountain bike and bike motocross will be installed in Shimla

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India’s first-ever SAI National Center of Excellence to train athletes in mountain biking and cycle motocross will be set up in Shimla by the Ministry of Sports in conjunction with the government’s Department of Youth Services and Sports of Himachal Pradesh.

The collaboration between the center and the State to set up this world-class facility was formalized with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on March 23.

The NCOE is set up to provide world-class training facilities for Indian cyclists to compete for all 18 Olympic medals in the disciplines of mountain biking and BMX.

“Now is the time to expand our orbit and train athletes for the Olympics in other disciplines where Indian athletes show prospects and where we can win more medals to improve the overall tally in the Olympics,” said Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said in a statement.

“Cycling is one of those disciplines where there is a lot of potential. This first ever SAI NCOE set up in Shimla in conjunction with the HP Government will provide world-class infrastructure and coaching to Indian cyclists preparing in the disciplines of MTB and BMX for 2028. It is a step to enhance the potential sportsman of India and we will see the results in the years to come.”

The center, one of the best high altitude training centers in the world, at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level, will have world-class infrastructure, a high performance center in state-of-the-art sports sciences, an Olympic-level track and internationally renowned trainers, where India’s top cyclists and local sports talents can train, according to a statement from the ministry.

Due to the sport’s requirement for hilly terrain and a suitable climate for training, Shimla emerged as a preferred choice for the NCOE.

With the establishment of this SAI NCOE, Himachal becomes the torchbearer of MTB and BMX training in India and a possible venue for future world championships for both cycling disciplines.

The NCOE, which will have the capacity to train around 200 cyclists for Olympic-level preparations, will be equipped with an Olympic-level XCO track, a training track with specialist features, a BMX track, an indoor gymnasium, an indoor facility with virtual coaches, accommodation facilities for 100 athletes, coaches and support staff.

In addition, there will be a high performance sports science center with state-of-the-art facilities such as an indoor recovery pool, stream and sauna, weight and conditioning room, biomechanical lab, physiotherapy and anthropometry.

High-end equipment such as respiratory and lactic acid analyzers, heart rate monitors, treadmills, bicycle ergometers will also be available for athletes to use during their training.

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