Lt Col Srinivas first-ever rider to win Ultra Spice Race
The race which was flagged off from Goa on January 27, went through Honavar - Chikmagalur and Coorg in Karnataka. From there it descended down to Iritty in Kerala before heading up to Wayanad reserve forest.pune Updated: Feb 03, 2018 20:22 IST
India’s first solo RAAM (Race Across America) finisher cyclist Lt Col Srinivas Gokulnath thumped his dominance on the Indian soil too, by winning India’s only ultra-cycling event - Ultra Spice race, a 1,750 km cycle race which took place in southern India.
In the process, Srinivas became the first-ever rider to finish the 1750 Ultra Spice Race. No cyclist was able to finish the race in the inaugural edition. This was the second edition of the race.
The race which was flagged off from Goa on January 27, went through Honavar - Chikmagalur and Coorg in Karnataka. From there it descended down to Iritty in Kerala before heading up to Wayanad reserve forest.
The route then headed into the Nilgiri mountains up to Ooty at 2200mt through a winding 25 km route. Turning around the route returned the same way to the Mangalore-Bangalore highway and turned to descend towards the coast.
From Mangalore, the route followed the coastline back to Goa. The distance 1750 Km had a total elevation gain of almost 21200mts.
The cut off for the solo riders was 120 hours, but Srinivas finished the race well within with a timing of 97 hours 37 minutes.
“It was a tough race. It tastes your mental and physical abilities to the extreme. Cycling 1750kms sounds one of the kind as no race in India has that distance.
“When I experienced the race, I felt it brutal. You don’t get any leverage at any level. That way the race is special. It’s equally challenging to the crew also. Managing the logistics and all. Want to thank my crew team for their efforts,” said Srinivas after the race.
Meanwhile, another army personnel, Lt Col Bharat Pannu from Nashik, who is the first Indian to finish Race Across Austria (RAA) another challenging ultra cycling event, is still to cross the finish line. He and Kabir Rachure from Navi Mumbai are close to each other and fighting fiercely for the second spot.
“We are happy to witness Srinivas finishing the race. Unfortunately, we had one mishap as Bangalore rider Vasanth Manivannan fell down near Shimoga. He dislocated his shoulder and was rushed to the hospital. He is safe and will recover quickly.
Another rider Sumit Patil missed the cut-off timing before Ooty. So now the race is between Bharat and Kabir only,” said race director Divya Tate from Goa.
“Bharat had a good start but was troubled by his knee, and then was a bit slowed down and Kabir covered the gap between them,” she added.