Eighty intrepid cyclists set out from the Himachal Pradesh capital Saturday to conquer the incredible Himalayan ranges on wheels in one of the world's toughest mountain biking rallies, event organisers said.
The ninth edition of 'MTB Himalaya-2013' was flagged off by state Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy. The participants would cover around 500 km in six days, Mohit Sood, president of the Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA), the club organising the event, told IANS.
Portuguese bikers Luis Leao Pinto, who is Titan desert MTB Marathon champion and stands ninth in world rankings and Ricardo Rodrigues Martins ranked 16th in the world, will be among 16 foreign participants from nine countries.
Both the cyclists were marking their debut in an Asian biking event, Sood said.
The highest point of the rally would be the 3,400-metre Hatu peak, overlooking the tourist destination of Narkanda, 65 km from Shimla.