Free entry for five Nepalese riders in mountain biking race

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2015 20:17 IST
An earthquake measuring 7.5 magnitude struck 80 km (50 miles) east of Pokhara in Nepal. (@gunaraj on Twitter)

The 11th edition of the Mountain Terrain Biking (MTB) Himalaya, a cycle expedition on one of the toughest tracks in Asia in the lap of Himalayas, has allowed free entry to five Nepalese bikers.

The free entries are part of the Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association’s (HASTPA) efforts to help the earth-quake ravaged country. The association is organising the mountain biking race.

Besides, the riders will contribute 25% of their winnings to the Nepal Cyclist Ride to Rescue (NCRR) Relief Campaign. NCRR aims to build seven schools in seven weeks starting December.

The five riders from Nepal participating in the cycle expedition are Ajay Pandit Chhetri, Gopal Narayan, Buddhi Bahadur Tamang, Raj Kumar Shreshtha and Rajan Bhandari.

Meanwhile, the 11th edition of MTB Himalaya is set to witness the participation of 40 international riders. Scheduled for eight days from September 27 to October 4, the race includes seven stages with a total elevation gain exceeding 49,200 feet — highest in any race across the globe. The terrain is a mixture of jeep tracks, gravel, mud, sand, streams, single tracks and pine forests.

The international riders participating in this year’s race would represent over 15 countries, including India, Nepal, Holland, Bangladesh, Austria, Germany, Portugal and Canada amongst others. Teams of the Indian Army will also participate in the expedition.

HASTPA president Mohit Sood said, “Catherine Williamson, winner of ABSA Cape Epic 2013, will be one of the participants at the race. She has won ABSA Cape Epic and Sani2c, a multi-stage race; and has participated in the World and European Elite Championships in triathlon, duathlon, road racing and marathon MTB, Joberg2c, W2W, Cape Trek Pioneer, Garden Route 300 and Mongolian Bike Challenge, among others. Pau Zamora, four-time Cape Epic finisher is also participating. Pau has travelled around the world for mountain biking.”

Other international participants include Reimund Dietzen from Germany and Andreas Seewald, who was one of the top 20 riders at the UCI Bike Marathon World championship 2015 and has participated in many marathons in Europe like Salzkammergut trophy 211km and Black Forest Ultra bike.

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