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6-year-old cycling prodigy sets World Record

Chennai: Six-year-old Rian Kumar from Chennai set a world record by pedaling 100 kilometres non-stop in record time. World Book of Records has recognized him as the ‘fastest and youngest to perform non-stop distance cycling of 108.09 km in 5 hours, 17 minutes and 6 seconds.’

Rian, son of officers in the Indian Navy, had recently shifted to Chennai from Delhi, took inspiration from his mother Commander Gauri Sharma (Retd).

Rian’s excitement over his record was evident on his face as he said, ‘The thing I like most about cycling is speed. I practise cycling three days a week and static cycling and strength training on other days.’ The Class 2 student wants to take part in the prestigious 200-km Brevets de Randonneurs (BRM). It is also his dream to participate in the Tour De France, the annual bike race in France.

When asked about his favourite cyclists, Rian said, ‘I follow Tadej Pogacar, Julian Alaphilippe and Mark Cavendish.’ Rian is popular among professional cyclists in Chennai, and many see great potential in him.

OV Venkataragavan is a Super Randonneur (a term for an accomplished cyclist who completes 200, 300, 400 and 600 kms unsupported endurance events held by Audax India), said, ‘I happened to meet this six-year-old little champion during one of the rides during the early hours.’ ‘He was chasing me to say ‘hi’ and introduced himself. He said, ‘I am Rian, the lion, and follow me on my Strava’. I was awe struck seeing his commitment and confidence. I have become his fan now,’ said Mr. Venkataragavan.

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The well-known music producer, songwriter, and cyclist Jim Sathya praised Rian’s dedication to cycling. ‘Rian, the Lion, stands for passion and dedication towards cycling which you will find only among professionals cycling 100 kms every weekend,’ he said.

During the pandemic lockdown, his mother said, Rian had the opportunity to work on his cycling talent in Chennai, which she called the ‘Mecca of Cycling’. She denied, however, that he is being pressured to make records. ‘In fact, I am being pushed by my son to get up early in the morning, though I’d cycle only thrice a week,’ she said. ‘During our joy rides, he used to ask for cycling more and more. He doesn’t watch cartoons but global cycling network on YouTube,’ she added.

Rian hopes to pedal with M K Stalin, who cycles on the same stretch. Six-year-old Rian had even a message for his peers: ‘Practise. If you practise and work hard, you can do whatever you like.’


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