India’s cycling fraternity mourns death of Pune’s mountain biker Ajay Padval
The exact details of this are unknown, since no-one actually saw him crash, but looking at the condition of his cycle, we think a burst tyre led to a crash, during which he fell off and hit his head against the ground or a sharp piece of rock: International cyclist Tuhin Satarkarpune Updated: Jul 14, 2017 12:01 IST
The accidental death of Pune mountain biker Ajay Padval has left the cycling community in India shocked. Ajay who was one of the finest downhill riders in the country breathed his last on Wednesday after he suffered a crash on the slopes of Khardung-La, highest mountain pass in Ladakh.
“In the hearts and minds of all of us and long into the future Ajay Padval, Jaspal Singh and Junaid Zaman will be remembered as three of the most committed and passionate cyclists that this country has lost. Such beautiful souls gone too soon. Words can’t explain this loss, the entire cycling community is mourning their untimely demise. It is indeed very unfortunate and my prayers go out to their families,” said Pravin Patil, Managing Director and CEO of Starkenn Sports in a statement.
Ajay, who was an active participant in mountain bike championships throughout the country, had numerous friends and they paid homage to the young rider.
Native Station is an organisation with a primary focus to promote adventure sports in Nagaland and the North-East region of India. Their founder Yanpvuo Yanfo Kikon said, “Last time I spoke to him he was telling me he'll come to Kohima in advance, stay here and help work on the Kohima Downhill track for this year. At such a young age of 22 he has achieved so much and inspired so many people especially the young people here in our region. He is a big inspiration.”
Meanwhile another international cyclist Tuhin Satarkar, who was with Ajay in Leh when the accident occurred decided to give a clear picture on how the things went. The rider said, “In light of Ajay’s accident we’ve noticed quite a few stories making the rounds on social media, most of which are untrue. In the interest of stopping any more rumours, here’s how the incident took place. We were on a road trip, and had stopped for a few days in Leh on our way to Manali from Zanskar. Ajay was super keen on cycling down from Khardung-La, as anyone who knew him wouldn’t be surprised to know. On Tuesday morning, he was driven up along with 6 other cyclists and was all set to bike down.”
“While on his way down he went ahead of the group and he suffered a fall. The exact details of this are unknown, since no-one actually saw him crash, but looking at the condition of his cycle, we think a burst tyre led to a crash, during which he fell off and hit his head against the ground or a sharp piece of rock. He was wearing a helmet which is cracked and probably helped him survive as long as he did.”
“When Ajay arrived at the hospital, he was already unconscious, having suffered a severe head injury, and had been put on respiratory support to help stabilise him. With the help of Defence Personnel, the Armed Forces Medical Team and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, we managed to arrange for an airlift with the help of the Indian Air Force for Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, through the night, Ajay’s condition had begun to deteriorate and he was kept on ventilator support. In this critical condition, the doctors advised against shifting him anywhere, whether by road or air,” Tuhin stated.
Around 12 noon on Wednesday, Ajay succumbed to his injuries in the SNM Hospital in Leh. Sandeep Mandan, a fellow cyclist, and Tuhin were with him at the hospital throughout the time he was admitted there.