Shimla, Sep 20 (IANS) Two top world ranking finishers of the UCI MTB World Marathon Championships will participate in the 14th edition of the annual Hero-MTB Himalaya cycling challenge here that is set to begin on September 27, organisers said on Thursday.
The two finishers — Andi Seewald and Ole Hem — will compete with 76 other riders in the nine-day race, touted as one of the toughest across the globe, which will conclude in Dharamsala on October 6.
While Germany’s Seewald was the 2016 winner in both the men’s solo and overall events at the King of Himalaya event, Hem won the Norwegian Championship XCM in June 2018.
Also participating in the MTB Himalaya is Australia’s Jason English, a seven-time world champion in 24-hour mountain bike racing.
Other notable riders include Insync bike brand ambassador Harry Molloy and Patrick Robinson, UK’s 2018 Street Velodrome National Champion. Both will be riding Insync’s famed “Riddick” MTBs or mountain bikings.
The MTB Himalaya route covers hilly terrain, dirt trails and back roads against the panoramic backdrop of the outer Himalayas riddled with pines, deodars and oaks.
“The uneven, winding journey will test both physical and mental reserves of the participants in the open race as they negotiate technical descents, banked roads and steep inclines,” Mohit Sood, President of the Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) — the club organising the event, told IANS.