MTB Himalaya has grown from a mere 30 riders in the first edition to one of the most sought after races in the world. In simpler words MTB Himalaya has put Himachal Pradesh and India on the world map for Cycling. The event is carried out with support from the Ministry of Tourism and Himachal Tourism.
Like every year the 9th edition of MTB Himalaya 2013 will see over a 80 aspirants will make their journey to the state capital of Shimla with a one point agenda: Conquer the Himalayas on two wheels; to be the ultimate champion of one of the toughest events in the world. Over the years teams from Hungary; Nepal and the Indian armed forces have managed to squeeze their way to the podium. This year will see participation from over 8 countries; Indian air force Adventure Wing and the Indian army Adventure wing.
For this year the race is scheduled from 27th September to 3rd October 2013. The event will cover an approximate distance of 500 km through the unscathed Himalayan Back Country travelling through over a 100 villages enroute. This year the team has come up with a new route all set to challenge even the best of riders. For the first time since its inception – The race structure has changed, The route will comprise of Single tracks; forest tracks; jeep roads and one single stage each day with climbs of close to 2000 m. There will back breaking uphill and very technical singletrack downhill sections. The race will touch a maximum height of 3400 metres above sea level at Hatu Peak. This will be 300 metres more than Jalori Pass(the highest point last year). The daily climbs are also going to be much more than what we did last year. Single race stage means competitive distance of around 70-80 km every day. The rest day has been removed from the race and riders will have to grill it out for 6 days continuously!
MTB Himalaya has been the pioneer event in Indian cycling. Since its inception the sport has gained more and more popularity with a growth of over 200% year on year in the number of cyclists in the country. “There was hardly anything happening in Indian cycling when we started the event in 2005; Now you see multiple cycling groups in every major city of India. The youth has taken to cycling even in smaller cities like Shimla/Jalandhar etc; we have some excellent cycling talent which can compete at the top level in the world if nurtured properly. It’s not just an aspiration for National cyclists. The event has created an equal amount of buzz internationally as well. So much so, that the event has seen 18 nations being represented at the race with international community talking very highly of the event. “The exposure we have provided to Cyclists in India about Mountain biking has created a separate sector for adventure Tourism in India where athletes are very keen to judge themselves against the most difficult terrain. Manali and Himachal Pradesh have become a hot destination for cyclists. This has created a self-sustainable tourism infrastructure in the sector generating employment for the local community” – Remarked ashish sood.
The 9th edition of MTB Himalaya is all set to challenge even the best riders from the world!
Words & Photos: MTB Himalaya PR