Shimla mountain biking club honing talent

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Shimla, April 10 (IANS) A mountain biking (MTB) club here has prepared at least five riders who will participate in a three-day rally to be flagged off here on April 14, organisers said on Sunday.

The five young riders are: Two-time champion of Hero MTB Shimla Devender Thakur, 22; Gaurish Shyam, 15, who finished second in the students’ category and fifth overall in last year’s event; Akshit Gaur and Rohan Kukreja, both 16 years; and Adhiraj Singh, 15.

The fifth edition of Hero MTB Shimla will see over 70 national and international riders covering 120 km.

“We always envisioned seeing India and Shimla on the world map of cycling. I think the races helped us get global recognition. The Hero Action Team is showing us what is possible in terms of producing and nurturing talent,” Ashish sood, a member of Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA), which organises the event, told IANS.

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Rider Devender Thakur said he would like to do well to be in the top level of the game.

“I want to race at the Olympics one day,” he said.

This being his first race, Class 10 boy Adhiraj Singh is nervous.

“Being in the race for the first time, of course, makes me a little nervous, but at the same time it gives me what we call in sports the nervous confidence,” he said.

Class 12 student Akshit Gaur is hoping to win the students’ category and be on the podium in the overall category as well.

The MTB rally route, through the lesser explored interiors, would climb the Chini Bungalow (2,650 m), the toughest and highest point of the rally.

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This time two cross-country marathon type MTB races covering different off-road, unpaved broken tarmac, single trails and forest tracks winding through the hills surrounding Shimla will be scheduled.

The rally will pass through Shimla, Sadhupul, Chail, Kufri, Junaidghat, Koti, Chini Bungalow and terminate in Shimla on April 16.

HASTPA every year also organises the Hero MTB Himalaya, considered one of toughest in the world.

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