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All you need to know about Hero MTB Himalaya

Hero MTB Himalaya is the third toughest mountain biking event in the world

The 11th edition of India’s premier international mountain biking challenge, Hero MTB Himalaya is all set to commence on the 27th of September, 2015. The race covers a span of 500 km in a total of 9 days on treacherous paths, 3400m above sea level on a terrain that mainly consists of sand, gravel and loose rock with strenuous uphills, dangerous downhills and through jeep tracks in thick vegetation.

It is a highly-awaited race by local and international cyclists. Cyclists are expected to pedal about 70km a day to take on the Himalayan challenge.

The race flags off at Shimla on the 27th of September (the registrations/briefings are done the day before) and passes through the Gada Kufar-Tanni Jubar-Kullu Sarahan-Jalori Pass-Cragnano route and ends in Shimla on the 4th of October.

Hero MTB Himalaya, which is organised by the Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA), first took place in 2004 with just 35 applicants has now come a long way, it received about 200 applications in 2014 and saw 63 riders represent 12 countries.

The categories include:

  1. Open Men Solo
  2. Open Women Solo
  3. Open Master Solo (40+)
  4. Teams of 2

It also offers riders two options to choose from – ‘professional category’ and ‘amateur category’. While the route for the professional category is 30% more than that of the amateur category, they do have the opportunity to win a cash prize.

The cross-country endurance race has seen about 1,200 people take part through its first 10 editions. Riders from USA, Austria, Germany, Nepal and Bhutan have taken up this challenge, including the likes of Cory Wallace and Sonia Lopez, who won the 2014 edition in their respective categories.

A large number of local participants from the Indian Army Adventure Wing, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Army Training Command have started taking part in the challenge. Nepalese cyclists Padam Sebhang and Ajay Pandit Chettri have both won the race twice consecutively between 2008-2011. Only two Indians have won this race in 10 years, Satish Chand and Ramesh Chander Joshi.

With 80 open slots, the 2015 edition has received confirmation from a number of high-profile international cyclists. Siegrid Bever who rides a Specialized Stump Jumper, Steven Pauwels who rides a Trek Elite 9.9, both from Belgium and Antonio Ortiz from Spain, who won the TransAndes Challenge 2015, will be riding this year.

With 9 years of pedaling through the most gruesome terrains of the Himalayas behind them, HASTPA has an advanced route and revamped structure management for an improved cycling adventure this year.

The organization has adopted the sport of mountain biking as its core promotional activity and strives to offer the best quality of service and hospitality at such remote locations throughout the race with feed and hydration stations, services points during the riding period. Moreover, hotels/guesthouses and campsites are arranged for the riders every single day along with nutritious meals fit for the cyclists.

Hero MTB Himalaya is billed as the third-toughest mountain biking event in the world after the Trans-Alps Challenge (Europe) and Trans-Rockies (Canada), with an elevation gain of 12,000m at an altitude of 3400m above sea level. This 7-day challenge puts the rider’s skills to test and gives them an exhilarating experience of a lifetime.

You need to be at least 18 years of age to enter the competition. For more details regarding the route, fee details and registrations click here. Registrations for the 11th edition of Hero MTB Himalaya are still open and end on the 1st of September, 2015.

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