Erciyes, one of Turkey's most popular winter sports and tourism destinations, hopes to draw cyclists to its facilities after it converts its ski slopes into cycling routes. Murat Cahit Cıngı, the CEO of Erciyes A.Ş., told an Anadolu Agency (AA) reporter that they are planning to stay open during the summer season. "Adrenaline-fueled cycling might thrive in Erciyes thanks to its geographical location. There are 36 different runs in Erciyes. The Tekir and Hacılar runs are especially suitable for downhill cycling," he said. Last summer, Erciyes hosted two national and one international cycling competition. However, cyclists of all abilities enjoy speeding down the steep slopes. Cıngı said that ski resorts like those in Austria, Sweden and France also offer cycling during the summer. He further said that international safety standards will be applied to the new courses. "We are in contact with cycling professionals in the private sector. If necessary, we can also design a build-operate system to establish proper cycling paths," Cıngı continued. The Erciyes Mountains attract between 250 and 300 thousand tourists each year, especially over the weekends. The area has many hills suitable for mountain biking. Cıngı said cycling tracks can be designed to have different levels of difficulty. So far, 200 million euros have been spent on the Erciyes Ski Center and Sports Project and new investments are still being made. Cıngı said the region is known as a ski resort, yet can acquire a new niche in the summer months. More cycling competitions are being planned to attract cycling groups around Turkey.
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