Subhamoy Paul, who was taking part in the Moto-Quads Xtreme category of the Raid de Himalaya, died on Tuesday after he crashed during the third day of the rally. The organisers called off the event after the tragedy which shook the rallying fraternity across the country.
The rider from Kolkata was a seasoned campaigner at the Raid. On the third day of the event — during the Losar to Gramphoo stage over Kunzum pass — Paul is said to have lost control of his motorcycle (a KTM 500 EXC) in a rocky section and reportedly died on the spot.
Paul was found with a severe head injury by the first response vehicle but they couldn’t revive his pulse. He was airlifted to Manali by the support medical chopper but to no avail.
The 2016 edition of the Raid began from Manali on Sunday and the competitors crossed the Rohtang Pass on the first day, ending the day’s ride in Kaza. The second day’s action saw the competitors ride competitive stages in a Kaza Gate-Lingti-Rama-Kaza Gate-Demul-Kaza loop. On the third day, the competitors began the stage from Kaza, and took the route via Losar and Gramphoo.
Paul crashed near Chhatru, around 17 kilometres from Gramphoo. The exact reason for the crash could not be ascertained due to paucity of information.
The veteran off-road rider was 49 years old and had been living in Romania over the last six months. He had been doing enduro and trail riding there and was physically in a much better state than his previous outings in the Raid.