Hero MTB Himalaya: Grueling course awaits riders in 12th edition - Kashmir Sports Watch  

Hero MTB Himalaya: Grueling course awaits riders in 12th edition

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NEW DELHI: The 12th edition of Asia’s oldest and the third toughest mountain biking race, the Hero MTB Himalaya, will start on September 24 and conclude on October 3, pitting over 60 adrenalin-junkie cyclists against each other in some of the toughest off-road terrain.
This premier cross-country endurance event will start in Shimla on Saturday and traverse a course spanning 650 kms across eight days at an elevation of 16,000m, ending in the hill station of Dharamsala against the stunning backdrop of the Dhauladar mountain range of Himachal Pradesh. Riders will traverse four districts of Himachal and cross the rivers Beas and Satluj and touch the boundaries of the Great Himalayan National Park, one of the largest in India.
This route terrain of this year’s edition of the Hero MTB Himalaya is mostly single tracks with a few stretches of motorable jeep tracks, rocky tracks, loose gravel and small segments of broken tarmac. According to the event organisers, there will be an equal amount of uphill and downhill segments in the race and that each day looped circuits of approximately 60-70 kms will be covered by riders.

 “We are very excited to announce the new route race will be taking this year. This year is going to be more challenging to the riders in terms of terrain and competition which is coming in from all parts of the globe,” said Mohit Sood, president of the Himalayan Adventure Sport and Tourism Promotion Association. “We have made significant up-gradations to race infrastructure and rescue. Our team has worked hard to deliver an authentic Himalayan experience to the riders.”
 Rider Andl Hartmann from Rocky Mountain Factory Team, who has participated in some of the world’s most respected races, termed the route as “tough compared to any races I have done previously”. Hartmann will ride with his team-mate Manuel Weissenbacher.
 Other notable international cyclists include former Canadian world champion Cory Wallace, who won the King of Himalaya title 2014 and who is back after missing last year’s edition to claim the yellow jersey; last year’s runner-up in the open women’s solo category, Idla Pereira; Catherine Williamson who will fight for the Queen of Himalaya Jersey; and 24-year-old German mechanic Andreas Seewald, who is viewed as a serious contender having pushed the 2015 Hero MTB Himalaya champion.
 India’s best rider, Deven Thakur, will be part of the Hero Action team. This is his third Hero MTB Himalaya.

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