How to Become a Professional Cyclist in India

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Tips & Guide

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The primary objective of cycling should be to have fun and enjoy the ride. However, some bikers wish to pursue cycling as a profession. But they have no idea how to become a professional cyclist in India.

Do you have any idea? Cycling is a sport in India that is affiliated with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), according to the Cycling Federation of India (CFI). Every year, numerous events are organized for professional cyclists. However, most riders are unaware of this.

Cycling is still not widely practiced in India. Why is this the case? Most individuals ride bicycles as a pastime, not as a profession.

So, in the article below, I’ll go through almost everything  about how to become a Professional Cyclist in India, including:

  • In India, the process of becoming a professional cyclist.
  • Advice on how to become a professional road cyclist.
  • What types of cyclists exist?
  • How to Join the Indian Cycling Federation.
  • Is cycling a viable career option in India? And much more.

If you want to become a professional cyclist in India, you should read this article completely.

How to Become a Professional Cyclist in India? Quick Response

A cyclist must join or register with the Cycling Federation of India. Then he or she must take part in events organized by CFI or throughout the world. In India, that biker is considered a professional cyclist.

As a beginner cyclist, you must enhance your performance since a cyclist must ride every day (average distance to cycle in km) to build stamina, should work with a skilled coach, and eat a balanced diet to maintain an ideal body weight and shape.

Similar Article: What is the Average Cycling Speed in India? – Everything You Need to Know!

If you ride a bicycle on the road, whether you are a professional or an inexperienced rider, you must be aware of the traffic laws of wherever you ride.

Types of Professional Cyclists (Which type do you want to be?)

three cyclists clicked while racing in a cycling race event

Riders specialize in their particular terrain or racing style to become professional cyclists. Professional cyclists are classified into the following categories:

such as sprinters, climbers, riders, punctures, and all-rounders.

Professional cyclists of various categories

Cycling is also a game/sport in which several types of races or cycling tournaments are held for various types of riders.

Some cyclists prefer road cycling, while others prefer mountain biking. As a result, there are various categories of professional cyclists in the cycling sport:

1. Climbers (Mountain Biking Specialists)

A climber, as the name implies, is a cyclist who rides mountain bikes on mountainous terrain; his weight is relatively light in comparison to other riders, but not his energy and power. Climbers have an exceptional ability to reach the highest spots on the planet by riding at incredible speeds and inhaling thin air at high elevations.

2. Sprinters (Rapid Cyclists)

Sprinters are road cyclists with large and powerful legs (thighs) who can kick faster than anybody else in the peloton (a group of cyclists in a race) to win the race as quickly as possible. A sprinter may reach speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour.

3. The Riders

Riders have the stature and strength of sprinters, yet they can maintain a high cadence for many minutes to surpass their opponents. They are particularly efficient when it comes to time trials.

4. Puncheur (Punchers)

Punchers are famous for their bursts of speed in the last kilometers of a race. Their ability to maintain a constant cadence over extended periods of time allows them to escape the race with less efficient quick accelerations than sprinters.

5. The Rouleur (All Rounders)

Rouleurs are adaptable cyclists that can ride in a variety of terrains. They can press hard regardless of the surface or elevation. They are nicknamed all-rounders because they can fill a variety of roles, but they are especially important as domestiques and super domestiques, as well as team captains.

6. Time Trialists

In skinsuits and aero helmets, they are fantastic solo riders. They are designed to attain fast speeds over a wide range while also providing adequate power during a climb and on flat terrain.

So, if you watch a cycling race, you will see various types of cyclists. Determine which category you fall into if you wish to be a professional cyclist. Also, tell us what sort of rider you are!

Who are Elite or Professional Cyclists?

Professional cyclists compete in events and races such as the Sub-Junior National Track Cycling Championship, the Junior and Sub-Junior National Road Cycling Championships, and other cycling competitions across the world. These events are organized for various age groups and bicycle types.

Cycling races are held to see whether cyclists and teams can complete the fastest time. Races range from 10 km to 100 km and are held on various terrain such as roads or trails. A cyclist must be able to cycle for long distances without tiring.

Road events are races that are held on public roads. Similarly, if they are held on a track, they are referred to as track events. MTB (mountain bike) events are one of the events that are dedicated to MTB (mountain bike) bikes.

See also: Best Mountain bike brands in India you don’t know about.

As a result, professional cyclists compete in a variety of races and competitions throughout India and the world.

12 Best Tips for Becoming a Pro Road Cyclist

tips for wanna be professional cyclists

Many race events across the world, such as the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France, and other cycling races, attract thousands of professional riders competing for the best time. Learn how to become a professional road cyclist by reading the steps below.

1. Prepare your body and mind as if you were a professional rider.

The first step toward becoming a professional cyclist is to mentally and physically prepare for intense cycling and training. Cycling races require a good body, strength, and stamina.

This can be accomplished through frequent cycling (at least 4 hours per day), strength training in the gym, a proper and adequate diet to fuel your workout (fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and lean protein), and attempting to cycle in a dynamic environment to increase your riding cadence and stamina.

2. Being active in the cycling community

If your ultimate objective is to become a road cyclist, join some of the top cycling communities where you can participate in cycling events and learn about cycling rules and regulations. When you compete against other cyclist hopefuls, you are also forced to step beyond of your comfort zone.

Cycling Federation of India (CFI) and Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) are two organizations that cyclists should be familiar with. As a result, active participation in the cycling community is quite beneficial.

3. Don’t put it off; begin cycling as soon as possible.

Begin your bicycle excursion as soon as feasible (if possible). To participate in this cycling sport, join certain cycling associations and local riding groups. It will aid in the development of your strength and skills at a young age.

When you start early, you are also known to certain expert bikers. So don’t wait too long; cycling, like other sports, is becoming competitive in India.

4. Ride alongside a group of experienced bikers.

When you begin cycling alongside experienced cyclists, you learn from them and become inspired to learn new things.

See more: What is BRM in Cycling and How Can I Participate?

You should also hang out with cyclists, attempt to establish some bicycle buddies, and ride with riders who are better than you.

5. Consult a bicycle coach to improve your technique.

In any sport, the coach is extremely crucial. “A good coach can change the course of a game, but a great coach can change a life.” So, look for a bike coach who can train you, teach you new methods, and point you in the proper way. 

A qualified coach can help you improve your racing technique, shatter your own time records, and increase your endurance and speed. Also, advice you on how to select the proper equipment and nutrition for bicycle activities.

6. Bike Handling Skills.

A cyclist with superior handling skills will be a more secure rider. 

Having the ability to control the bike while traveling at high speeds across a variety of terrains, in packs, over obstacles, and so on requires highly specialized tactics.

Cornering, climbing/descending, and changing gears efficiently are all required skills.

“They can put more energy into their riding if they are confident and comfortable handling their bike, in tune with its handling, braking, and accelerating characteristics.”

7. Nutrition/Hydration

Nutrition/Hydration – When you’re putting in a lot of work in training and competition, making sure you get enough recovery nutrition, staying hydrated, and controlling your weight are all essential skills. Knowing nutrition science, planning to fuel, and keeping to a diet are all skills that can help you acquire a competitive advantage.

8. Practice Key Skills and Build Your Own

Isn’t it true that “practice makes a man perfect”? So, while cycling, keep this principle in mind. Continue to practice critical abilities without counting them. Additionally, attempt to establish your own technique that will set you apart from the pack.

9. Choose the event in which you want to specialize

As you are aware, there are numerous types of cycling events; you must determine the category (niche) in which you intend to concentrate. Decide what form of riding you prefer and what you excel at. In this circumstance, a skilled coach will undoubtedly assist you.

For example, if you enjoy racing, try time trials, criteriums, or stage races. If you enjoy mountain biking, consider downhill, enduro, or cross-country racing. Alternatively, if you enjoy track racing, enter sprint or pursuit races.

10. Find flexible work that allows you to cycle

Cycling, as you know, is a hobby, and making money from a passion is difficult at first. So you’ll need flexible employment to cover your cycling costs.

If you are chosen for a team, you will still need money because they only finance bicycles and equipment, not personal needs. To pursue this sport, you must have a source of revenue.

11. Take part in local races.

When you compete in local bike competitions in your city or state, you improve your skills, confidence, and reputation. If you enter with others, you should collaborate with members of your local club to control the racecourse.

Local races can be found by checking or the official cycling website of your nation.

12. As you become better and faster, enter larger competitions.

The final stage toward becoming a professional cyclist is to compete in state-level cycling competitions, where you should thrive in order to attract the attention of professional teams.

Because a cycling team scout seeks new talent at these races, if you perform very well, you may be selected for a professional team to compete for them.

So, keep looking at the CFI and Audaxindia websites for opportunities to participate in these larger events. Best wishes!

The mission and purpose of the Cycling Federation of Indian

cycling federation of india organizing a event near india gate

In India, you can become a professional cyclist.

The Cycling Federation of India is the sole organization in India that is responsible for promoting the sport of cycling in India by periodically organizing cycling events and races. Since 1989, it has been promoting cycling in India.Founded to promote cycling as a sport in India. Every year, the CFI organizes the National Championship for Indian cyclists.

CFI organizes a national championship every year.

  • National Championship of Road Cycling
  • National Track and Field Championships
  • National Mountain Bike Competition

The Indian Cycling Federation’s mission

  • Control, direct, regulate, and develop all forms of bicycle sports in the country.
  • Cycling should be promoted at all levels in all Indian states.
  • The organization is the sole organizer and owner of National Championships, Inter-State Cycling Championships, and Stage Races in India.
  • The purpose is to foster sportsmanship and fair play.
  • Assist and promote cycling at national and international cycling events, and advocate the sport’s interests before national and international continental and federations.

How to join the Cycling Federation of India [CFI]

A government body for cycling sport in India is the Cycling Federation of India. CFI membership is limited to elite cyclists. If you are an Indian and want to join this club, you must first obtain a CFI license. If you are a foreigner, you must have an equivalent riding license.

There is no set procedure for joining CFI. You must be an elite cyclist who wants to pursue cycling as a career.

Each state in India has its own cycling organization to promote bicycle activities. You must become a member of that organization. You will then be required to routinely participate in intra-state cycling events. To be selected for the state squad, you must consistently perform well.

When you reach the level of elite cyclist in your state, you can compete in inter-state cycling races to be considered for the Indian National Cycling Team.

After being picked for the Indian National Cycling Team, you will be able to compete in all international and national cycling competitions in India and throughout the world.

This is similar to how cricket is governed in India, where the BCCI is the sole regulating body. Cycling in India is overseen by the Cycling Federation of India (CFI).

How to Take Part in the Tour de France Cycling Event

The Tour de France is an annual multi-stage bicycle race for men (not women) that takes place primarily in France but also occasionally in neighboring countries. This event lasts 23 days and consists of 21 stages, each lasting one day.

The Tour de France, on the other hand, is not available to any cyclist with a bike and a goal. Because the Tour de France is a team competition rather than a competition for individual riders.

To compete in the Tour de France cycling event, you must first secure a position on an elite cycling squad. Because this is really a team competition.

The Tour de France is decided by the International Cycling Union rankings, and wild card entries are also permitted.

To be considered for an elite squad, you must excel in critical races. Then you must be a member of one of the nine teams that regularly compete in the tournament.

It is not necessary to be one of the nine fastest riders because racers are assigned to specialized duties and may be more beneficial to their team if they excel on the mountain stages.

Important: Only males are permitted to compete in the Tour de France as riders. Women are not permitted to compete in the event. Reason?

Is cycling a viable career option in India? Passion vs. Career

Cycling is a viable career option in India. Because the Cycling Federation of India promotes cycling as a sport in India. Cycling is also included in the Olympic Games. You can compete in numerous cycling races across the world as a professional cyclist and win prizes and medals.

As you become well-known in India as a professional cyclist. You will make a lot of money from many sources. You can also work as a cycling coach for the Cycling Federation of India or other cycling organizations or clubs in India.

As a result, you can pursue a career as a competitive cyclist in India. You might also start your own bike club or work as a coach for an existing one.

How much money can one make as a cyclist in India?

Cycling is not a specific career, however, it is possible to earn money through cycling in India. Regardless of where you live, you must be innovative in order to work around it.

Cycling, however, is not a career like IT, trading, manufacturing, or hospitality. Sports, arts, and music, for example, are not careers at all. They are a hobby. It’s not like working a 9 to 5 job where you earn enough to cover your daily costs and EMIs.

If you want to pursue a passion, you must be extremely competitive and willing to make tremendous sacrifices. One of them is money. Passion is linked to your soul, and money is irrelevant in this scenario.

The majority of Indians do not grasp this because they have only learned to work for the government or a private corporation for a consistent monthly paycheck.

Cycling is a new sport, and finding sponsors for a rider is difficult. Cycling is not as popular in India as cricket is. Indians should be interested in sports other than cricket. 

In India, there are five ways to make money via cycling:

  • If you are passionate about cycling, starting a blog or video blog where you can share your expertise of riding, gear, and parts could be a terrific idea.
  • You can make additional money by exploring a city, different neighborhoods, mountain routes, and so on, and posting pictures/videos on a blog/youtube.
  • Consider supporting local products while cycling; this will give you credibility, and then you can go on to bigger cycle brands.
  • If you have a large enough following on Instagram, YouTube, or your blog, you may be rewarded with free products/gear/parts from numerous manufacturers.
  • You may also earn money through cycling apps in India by riding according to their directions.

Consider exploring – there are numerous options. If you can’t find one that you like, you can always make your own!

The path to professional cycling success:

Famous Indian Cyclists’ Stories – The stories of cyclists such as Karnataka’s Arvind Panwar, one of India’s first pro cyclists, might inspire potential riders. His path from humble beginnings to racing throughout Europe inspires him to keep going.

Leading Indian pros such as Esow Alben and Harmeet Singh provide lessons such as believing in your dreams, being patient with results, retaining motivation, having a curious attitude to keep growing, and accepting hard work.

How to Become a Pro Cyclist in India: FAQ

How much cycling do I have to do per day to compete in the World Cycling Championship (WCC)?

There is no such thing as a fixed cycling distance. You should pedal every day because training and experience are the foundations of every sport. Professional cyclists spend a lot of time on the road as part of their employment. Build your leg and core muscles by working out for at least 60 minutes once or twice a week. Also, eat well to fuel your workouts and stay focused at all times.

How much money can a professional cyclist make?

Cycling, as you may know, is not as well-known in India as cricket. Earnings are not guaranteed. Earn money by taking part in cycling competitions & tournaments, cycling blogs, the Ridevert app, and brand marketing. In India, a professional cyclist might earn between 50,000 and 120,000 INR. However, reaching that level takes time.

Who is India’s best cyclist?

Mahitha Mohan has been India’s top cyclist since 2010, according to Wikipedia. She has competed in and won national championships in a variety of road, track, and mountain biking competitions. In 2010, she won the gold medal in the 50 km Mass Start.

How long does it take to develop into a competent road cyclist?

It takes around a year with proper guidance although It is clear that everyone’s path to becoming a professional road cyclist is unique. Regardless of how long it takes an athlete to make it to the elite ranks, experience counts in cycling.

Conclusion: Are You Ready to Become a Professional Cyclist in India?

To wrap up this article on professional cycling in India, consider the following. Cycling is a hobby of mine. You must be really passionate about cycling if you want to be an elite cyclist. When you are following your passion, you should never consider money.

Following the steps outlined above, you can become a professional cyclist in India. If you intend to ride your bicycle on Indian roads. Cycling tips for road riding must be remembered.

If you enjoyed this post, please forward it to your riding buddies and friends.


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