E.M. Dissanayake, top cyclist and motor racing enthusiast | Daily News

E.M. Dissanayake, top cyclist and motor racing enthusiast

Among the all time top cyclists from Kandy, E.M. Dissanayake, who was born in 1944, had his education at Polgolla Primary school and from heir he was transferred to St. Joseph’s College Gampola and ended his secondary education at Sri Rahula College Katugastota.

He started his cycling in 1960 and his first race was the Kandurata Cycle Race held in Kandy in which he was placed 12th. He has participated in over one hundred events, and the main one was in 1960 the “Tour de Ceylon” a two-day race.

Then he took part in the 1961, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67 and 68 races. In 1963 he was placed ninth and the winner of that race was Maurice Coomaravel. Dissanayake was fortune to secure places in the first fifteen winners at Tour de Ceylon during 1960 to 1970.

He has won races like the Kandurata Race, the first Tour de Dumbara Race and in the famous New Year Race of Nuwara Eliya, Hatton, Kurunagala, Kegalle, Avissawella, Matale, Polonnaruwa. In some of these races he was placed second and third.

In 1980 he gave up in racing events and at present does cycling for his health and fitness. He covers over 30 to 40 KM per day. Later he took up Motor Racing and went on until 2000. Dissanayake took part in Katukurunda, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, Talduwa Rallycross, Kandy Road Race, Mihintale Road Race and Hill climbs at Radella, Mahagastota, Kandy Wales Park, Karndupena, Ambanpitiya, Kotmale and up to date he is a committee member of the Senkadagala Motor Sports Club.

Then he was in the cycling administration committee in 2007, 2013 as a vice president of the Cycling Federation of Sri Lanka and one time president of the Kandy District Cycling Association. Still he is an active cycling enthusiast and helps to organize many national level events in Kandy like Kandurata Cycle Race, which was started in 1957.

He has been the team manger in 2006 and participated at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 as cycling team manager. He is a National Commissioner – judge for cycling and has helped to conduct top level races as Chief Commissioner of the Air Force Races, Diyatalawa Presidential Races, Youth Races and Tour de Hiru de Neth FM Races.

The 77-year-old cyclist is always willing to share his knowledge and experiences with young cyclists and ready for them to give a helping hand.