The 20th edition of the Tour De Air Force Cycle Tour will be held from March 1 to 3, from Colombo to Polonnaruwa in three stages.The race has been organised by the Sri Lanka Air Force Cycling Union and this is the first National Level event of the Cycling Federation of Sri Lanka.The men’s race will be held in three stages while the women’s race will held on March 3. Both events are for racing cyclists only.
The total distance of the race is 438km and the first stage will commence opposite the Sri Lanka Air Force Headquarters in Colombo on March 1. This stage will take the riders through Colombo, Ja-Ela, Minuwangoda, Veyangoda and Nittambuwa to Kandy and will be a distance of 132km. The second stage will commence from Kandy on March 2 and will be 162 km long. This stage will take the riders through Kandy and Kurunegala to Anuradhapura.The final stage will be held on March 3 from Anuradhapura to Dambulla and end in Polonnaruwa and will be 144 km.The women’s race will be 70km and will commence from Dambullaand end in Polonnaruwa.The winners in the men’s category will be awarded thus:1st place – Rs 300,0002ndplace – Rs200,0003rdplace – Rs 100,0004th to 25th place - cashawardsThe winners in the women’s category will be awarded thus:1st place – Rs 100,0002nd place – Rs 75,0003rd place – Rs 50,0004th to 10thplace – cash awardsThe Tour De Air Force Race commenced in 1999 and the race did not take place in 2008.Three foreign Air Force teams have been invited to take part in the race this year namely, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. These riders should be National Level License riders. Entries close on February 25.At the last edition Lahiru Madushanka (Sri Lanka Air Force) emerged the winner while the winner of the women’s event was Niluka Shamali (Department of Civil Security Service).Air Commodore Kithsiri Leelaratne, Secretary, Sri Lanka Air Force, Cycling Union stated that the event is organised to mark the 68th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force.