Mtb Challenge Dharmashala
Himachal is truly forging ahead and along with its neighboring state Uttarakhand, emerging as the mountain biking capital of the country. MTB Challenge Dhramashala is yet another race which has the promise to become a signature event. Most importantly all these races have an enthusiastic government support, which gives an official stamp and encouragement and ensures long term commitment.
MTB Challenge Dharamshala race was a 60 KM single day mountain biking race, set in Dharmshala, in the heart of the Shivalik hills, overlooking the majestic Dhauladhar ranges in distance. It was the first edition that flagged off on April 30th, 2017. organized by The Hell Race. 27 riders from different parts of the country and abroad took part
Though the original route was 72 KM but it was cut short to 60 because of the bad weather on the race day. Yet, it did not compromise on the terrain configuration which included the initial climb of 18 KM up to Kareri village. The race route passed through trails, woods, streams, jeep tracks, gravel downhill’s and had a good 1 KM section of hike and bike. The climb was steep with an average gradient of 5 % gaining a highest altitude of 1985 meters and total elevation of 2465 meters. The race started from Dharamshala and crossed remote villages like Ghera, Kareri, Salli, and Barnet
Devender Thakur, a rider from Shimla, wrote the main story of the race. Devender who has already made a mark on the mountain biking circuit in India took a wrong turn about 2 KMS from the start line and lost 40 minutes. Yet with a focused and strong mindset, he chased down all the other riders one by one and finished first with a time of 04:42:33.
The chief patron of the race was Mr.Vishwas Sindhu, Founder and Director of The Hell Race is an MTB lover and has been organizing these outdoor endurance races since 2015. “There is so much scope in Himachal Pradesh and the local kids that has the potential to put India on a global mountain biking map. It’s sad that the outdoor sports are not an inherent part of our culture and society. Sports have the potential to bring the best out of anyone. We all should come together to start bring this change and make it a revolution and I am just trying to do my best in whatever I can to make this happen.”
The race was won by Devender Thakur (Shimla) representing Hero Action team with Stephan Withcombe (United Kingdom) as a runner-up and Sandeep Madan (Chandigarh) representing (BTwin India). In the Women category, Sarah Appelt from Germany representing Hero Action team won the race with Rhian Thomas (United Kingdom) taking the second position.
The next edition of this race will be held in March/April 2018. For other races organized by The Hell Race, visit their website www.thehellrace.com. The next on the calendar from their stable is MTB Dhauladhar. It’s a 3-day mountain biking touching the remote places around Bir and picturesque Barot valley expected to be held in October/ November this year.