Three Indian women for the first time have completed Paris-Brest-Paris cycling circuit in which they rode a cycle non-stop from August 18 to 22.  Prachi Kshirsagar was the first among the three to complete the circuit in 91 hours. She was followed by Renu Singhi from Rajasthan and grandmother of two who completed the circuit in 92 hours. The third Indian woman to complete the circuit was Priyadarshini Pawar though her finish time has not been recorded. Two other Indian women also completed the event, but much later than these women.

Since the circuit started in the year 1891, no Indian women had completed the event. These Indian women have made history by completing the event for the time. The three women had participated as an amateur cyclist and finished it in their very first attempt. Only 30,000 cyclists have completed the long cycling event to date, among whom Pawar, Kshirsagar and Singhi were the first Indian women to complete the 12,00km long cycling event. However, the maximum time-limit of the event is only 90 hours and no Indian woman has completed it within the time limit.

Key Takeaways:

  • Prachi Kshirsagar completed the Paris-Brest-Paris circuit in 91 hours with an average pace of 13.35 km/h
  • Renu Singhi finished the race in 92 hours with an average pace of 13.21 km/h
  • Priyadarshini Pawar is the third Indian woman to complete the Paris-Brest-Paris cycling event with the pace 12.89 km/h
  • Since the circuit started in the year 1891, Priyadarshini became the third Indian woman till date to complete the event.
  • Daughter of Indian Navy officer, Priyadarshini was congratulated by the Indian Navy on Twitter. 

Prachi Ksirsagar

Prachi Kshirsagar was the first among the Indian women to complete the Paris-Brest-Paris cycling circuit this year. Prachi completed the circuit in exactly in 91 hours. She maintained an average speed of 13 km/hr.

54-year old Renu is a grandmother and a cycle enthusiast who believes that it is never too late to begin what makes you happy. She started cycling when she was 51-years-old and has pedalled for more than 6,000km in these three years.

Renu Singhi

Renu Singhi from Rajasthan and Jaipur cycling comrades finished the circuit in 91 hours 59 minutes and six seconds, approx. 92 hours. 54-year old Renu is a grandmother and a cycle enthusiast who believes that it is never too late to begin what makes you happy. She started cycling when she was 51-years-old and has pedalled for more than 6,000km in these three years. She has undertaken many cycling expeditions and has covered the whole Rajasthan on her cycle. Commenting upon her achievement and the sharing her secret tips in a conversation with TOI, Renu said,” Of the nine participants from Rajasthan, I was the only one to complete the race. One needs will power, confidence, determination and desire to complete the race. When I was leaving for the event, I told myself that come what may, I will complete it, and here I am!” She is an ambitious woman who has already decided her next goal which is London-Edinburgh-London race.

Priyadarshini Pawar

Priyadarshini Pawar was the third Indian woman to complete the circuit with an average pace of 12.89 km/h. However, her finishing time has not been officially recorded. Pawar’s parents are officers in the Navy while her husband is in a Coast Guard.  She is also an alumna at Navy Children School, a place where women and children can dream of becoming a naval officer. On August 25, the Indian Navy posted a series of tweets in which they commended her remarkable achievement as a daughter of a naval officer. It also credited Pawar’s achievement to its programmes empowering women and children and congratulated other Indian women for their contributions in making the country proud.

Paris-Brest-Paris circuit

Paris-Brest-Paris circuit is a cycling event that started in France in 1891 and is the oldest long-distance cycling event. It starts from France to Brest and back again. The 1,200 km cycling event is open for participation from any part of the world. Besides, in 1931 the event was further divided into two parts, namely brevet (also called randonnée), in which cyclists ride individually and the other is an audax where cyclists ride in a group.

The most recent edition of the Randonnée Paris-Brest-Paris circuit was held in 2019 from August 18 to 22. A total of 6000 participants from 60 different participated in the event this year.

The most recent edition of the Randonnée Paris-Brest-Paris circuit was held in 2019 from August 18 to 22. A total of 6000 participants from 60 different participated in the event this year. The race began from National Sheepfold located in the park of Rambouillet’s castle.

These winners are role models

Priyadarshini Pawar, Prachi Kshirsagar and Renu Singhi are examples of how women are capable of historic achievements and deserve the highest rewards. Priyadarshini’s connection with the Indian Navy and the remarkable feat as an athlete has empowered women who were conventionally not considered fit-for-field. Institutions and strong supports like Indian Navy play an important role in encouraging and leading women to the field of their choice where they can excel. Besides Renu Singhi’s brave and iconoclast ambitions despite her age, tells us that it is never too late to start achieving.

Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

Picture credit: mid-day.com

Also Read: Fiona Kolbinger: First Woman To Win One Of The Toughest Cycling Races

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