Meet Pune’s 15-year-old pro motocross racer who lives his life at full throttle
Pune’s Rugved Barguje, son of former national motocross champion and winner of the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Award Gnyaneshwar Barguje, has taken the world of motocross racing by storm winning several trophies at the national and international level.pune Updated: Oct 31, 2017 15:01 IST
It seems that the love for motocross runs in the veins of every member of Barguje family. Gnyaneshwar Barguje, better known as Bala, is a former national motocross champion and winner of the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Award. His brothers, Vijay Barguje, Yogesh and Vishal, are also among the top motocross racers.
And now, his son Rugved is also following his footsteps. At a very early age, he has mastered the sport and has been winning several trophies at the national and international level.
In the upcoming super cross event, he will be the flag bearer for the junior section of Pune and has a busy schedule ahead up until December.
“I am super excited about the season. For the first time, we would be playing as a team and will also get a chance to compete against foreign riders. It’s challenging but it will be fun for sure,” said 15-year-old Rugved.
Fitness is essential
Rugved points out that there are a lot of misconceptions regarding motocross.
“Many think it’s just the machine that we have to control. But that’s not the case. Like any other sportsman, we also need to focus on physical fitness. If you don’t have stamina, you can’t ride,” he said.
“When you take a jump, your breathing stops and it starts only after landing. So it’s very important to work on it. Secondly, most of time, we need to keep the bike firm and steady. Therefore, we need to have strong legs, calves and biceps. So we spend most of our time working on our strength training at the gym,” he said.
Talking about his daily schedule, he said, “My fitness routine involves 10-km running, 30-km cycling and gym training. I am appearing for my standard X exam externally. So I attend a 6 am class and then go for running. Then, again, I have a 10-11.30 am class following which I hit the gym. I spend two to three hours and then take enough rest. In the evening session, I practice with the bike and try to learn each and everything about the machine. We have a track at Kirkitwadi, near Sinhagad fort, where we practice doubles, triples and hook jumps. Late at night, I go out for a cycle ride.”
Motocross is a mentally and physically demanding sport and it requires discipline and strict diet control. Due to lightweight bikes (around 65 kgs), the riders are also required to control their weight and can’t afford to go all out on snacks or sweets. They follow the diet programme set by their gym instructor.
“Even during the race events, we try to avoid anything but juices. We have a liquid diet, mainly protein shakes or banana but no solid food,” said Rugved.
Rugved has a two-year contract with TVS Racing, which handles the technical part. However, Rugved feels that the rider must be well versed with the machine he is riding and should sense the slightest problem in the bike.
“In India, we have many riders but not that many good bikes. We are required to import everything. Even if any part needs to be replaced, we have to wait for months. Fortunately, TVS handles all these hassles but overall, it’s very challenging to pursue any motorsport in India,” he said.
Rugved’s contract with TVS Racing will end this year and he is expecting the company to renew it or he might look for other options.
“This year, I am not going abroad for any tournament due to my Class 10th exams. But next year, TVS is sending me to China to participate in a moto event. It’s not a full-fledged super cross but it will be challenging,” he said.