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Image gallery: RadioShack and Liquigas stars take maiden wins on Indian soil

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McEwen congratulates Hunter after his win

McEwen congratulates Hunter after his win
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) in yellow milks the applause from the huge crowds that gathered

Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) in yellow milks the applause from the huge crowds that gathered
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The peloton weave through the India landscape

The peloton weave through the India landscape
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The bunch ride under the Indian sun

The bunch ride under the Indian sun
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Liqugias set a blistering tempo

Liqugias set a blistering tempo
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The finish line in Mumbai

The finish line in Mumbai
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The early break

The early break
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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There was a mixed ability of talent on show

There was a mixed ability of talent on show
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Some of the pros organised their own training rides in between the two races

Some of the pros organised their own training rides in between the two races
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Not everyone was interested in the racing

Not everyone was interested in the racing
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The UCI will be pleased with the local support given to the racing

The UCI will be pleased with the local support given to the racing
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Mumbai was a stunning backdrop for the two UCI sanctioned races

Mumbai was a stunning backdrop for the two UCI sanctioned races
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Robbie McEwen makes his way through the crowds

Robbie McEwen makes his way through the crowds
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Fans of all ages came out to watch the racing

Fans of all ages came out to watch the racing
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) wins in Mumbai

Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) wins in Mumbai
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Liquigas drive the bunch towards the finish

Liquigas drive the bunch towards the finish
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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UCI racing comes to India

UCI racing comes to India
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Liquigas made the long trip to India along with a host of pro teams

Liquigas made the long trip to India along with a host of pro teams
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Robbie McEwen (Radioshack)

Robbie McEwen (Radioshack)
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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No barries but the crowds give the pros plenty of space

No barries but the crowds give the pros plenty of space
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The Radioshack riders relax before the start

The Radioshack riders relax before the start
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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No road side assistance meant that rider had to take care of their own wheel changes and punctures

No road side assistance meant that rider had to take care of their own wheel changes and punctures
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The Rad

The Rad
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The Shack team enjoy the long wide stretches of road

The Shack team enjoy the long wide stretches of road
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The Radioshack team before they set off on their ride

The Radioshack team before they set off on their ride
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The lead group

The lead group
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The bunch reel in a group

The bunch reel in a group
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The peloton cross a bridge during the first of two races

The peloton cross a bridge during the first of two races
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Radioshack sent a strong team to India for the two events

Radioshack sent a strong team to India for the two events
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Riders brave the busy roads around Mumbai in the name of training

Riders brave the busy roads around Mumbai in the name of training
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The Shack riders carry out their own over taking manoeuvres

The Shack riders carry out their own over taking manoeuvres
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The Radioshack riders take on the local traffic on a training ride

The Radioshack riders take on the local traffic on a training ride
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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A local police officer climbs a barrier

A local police officer climbs a barrier
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The riders sign on before the start

The riders sign on before the start
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The Radioshack team on a training ride

The Radioshack team on a training ride
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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A market in down town Mumbai

A market in down town Mumbai
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The local scenery

The local scenery
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The Radioshack riders take on the local traffic on a training ride

The Radioshack riders take on the local traffic on a training ride
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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Hunter drops back to the team car

Hunter drops back to the team car
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The Radioshack riders take on the local traffic on a training ride

The Radioshack riders take on the local traffic on a training ride
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)
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The sun goes down on pro riders in Mumbai

The sun goes down on pro riders in Mumbai
(Image credit: Gregg Bleakney)

The International Cycling Union's efforts to globalise cycling events took another step forward with the second running of the Tour du Mumbai in India last weekend.

Spectators were treated to the spectacle of ProTeam stars, including RadioShack's Robbie McEwen and Robert Hunter, and Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) competing in a pair of races in India's most populated city.

Hunter ensured RadioShack would leave India with a sprint victory on a shortened 79km seaside course on Sunday. Two days earlier Viviani edged out McEwen in the first race. Significantly, it was Hunter's first win for his new team and, like Viviani, will go down in history as his team's first ever win on Indian soil.

However, the importance of the event went far beyond the racing. India's enormous population and growing economic status makes it a key to the growth of cycling as a sport around the world. The dramatic backdrop of Mumbai and the introduction of the sport to locals playing an important role both internationally and locally.

The Tour du Mumbai also showcased India's growing experience as host of cycling events. Last October, New Delhi played host to the men's and women's road racing programme at the Commonwealth Games. Despite initial concerns over organisation and safety, the success of the road and time trial events proved that India could hold its own in terms of International cycling events.

While the Mumbai event has had input from the UCI and international advisors, the organising committee is made up largely of local authorities.

The exposure of cycling to India's approximately 1.2 billion inhabitants is also an important benefit of events like the one in Mumbai. The event also included a series of mass participation rides dubbed the Mumbai Cyclothon. Last month Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx gave his endorsement to India as a future cycling powerhouse.

“India is a big country. Here people are talented, they are motivated. If they train properly, I see no reason why India won’t produce world class cyclists in 10 years,” Merckx told reporters on a visit to India to endorse the Mumbai event in January.

“But they will have to train a lot and the country will have to organise a lot of races. This event is a good step in the right direction.”

View a gallery of images from the second Tour du Mumbai here.