MTB Himalaya cycle race starts on Sunday

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Shimla, Sep 24 (IANS) The 12th edition of the Hero MTB Himalaya cycle race is all set to begin from Shimla on Sunday. It will conclude at Dharamshala on October 3 after covering 650 kms of Himalayan track in eight days.

The event is organised by the Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA).

The Hero Action Team which is sponsoring the Indian team was conceptualised by HASTPA and Hero Cycles in 2014 with an objective to provide a platform and ecosystem for budding biking talent in the country.

In the event, Akash Sherpa, who is the youngest Indian in the Open Men Solo Category and Sandeep Madaan will be representing the country.

Some of the well-known riders participating in the events include Sarah Appelt and Monika Eggert from Germany and Ruben Chirino, John Jack Funk from Canada.

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The race will be done in eight stages and there will be a different base camp every day on the tricky track.

According to HASTPA spokesperson Ashish Sood: “This year, we are expecting 60 entries. Several world famous riders, including seven woman riders, have confirmed their participation. Apart from it, 60-year-old John Jack will be the oldest rider in the event and he is participating in the Grand Masters category,”

“This year’s rally will be the longest and accordingly we have made the arrangements with some cultural programmes,” he added.

Speaking about the rally, Pankaj Munjal, Chairman and MD Hero Cycles, said: “Mountain biking is a sport that requires a high degree of training, stamina and passion for biking in the high terrain. The sport has gained a encouraging following in recent years but we want to expand its reach to more youngsters in the country.”

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