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India’s Tour de Mumbai continues steady growth for 2011

India’s only UCI-sanctioned professional race will be a two-stage event this year and will feature teams from around the world, including the U.S.-based RadioShack squad.

The second edition of the Tour de Mumbai will see international riders compete in Nashik, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northeast of Mumbai, on February 11, and in Mumbai itself two days later.

The first race will cover 158 kilometers while the second will be over 117 kilometers, race organizer ID Sports announced Friday.

Riders will include those from the American RadioShack team and Italy’s Liquigas, the UCI and the Indian Cycling Federation confirmed Thursday.

RadioShack last month announced the signing of Australia’s Robbie McEwen ─ a triple winner of the Tour de France’s green jersey for sprinters ─ and Robbie Hunter, the first South African to win a stage on the Tour.

Wider mass participation “cyclothon” events for children and adults will again be held on Tour de Mumbai race days, with the aim of raising the profile of cycling in cricket-obsessed India, as well as improve health and fitness.

“We are looking forward to see how these races develop as international events on the UCI calendar,” UCI director Philippe Chevallier said. “We believe India has huge potential for a representation of professional cycling on a global level with initiatives like Tour de Mumbai I and II.”

Argentina’s Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank), won the inaugural Tour de Mumbai last year, earning $50,000 (U.S.) in prize money.

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