Nepal cyclist wins Himachal mountain biking event

Shimla: Nepal’s Ajay Pandit Saturday won the sixth edition of the Hercules MTB Himachal 2010 - the country’s toughest cycle rally that concluded here, an organiser said.

‘Ajay Pandit is the overall winner of the event while Ramesh Chandra Joshi and Dilip Singh of the Indian Army stood second and third (respectively),’ Mohit Sood, president of the Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA), told reporters.

He said Joshi and Singh stood second and third last year as well.

Last year’s winner Padam Sabenhang, also from Nepal, was out of the event on second day due to injuries.

Seventy-six cyclists, including 11 foreigners, covered 500 km rugged and inhospitable terrains in eight days. The expedition passed through Shimla, Kullu and Mandi districts.

‘The route was quite inhospitable but the practice back home (Nepal) helped me win the title,’ Pandit said.

Only 45 out of the total 76 cyclists were able to complete the event. The Jalori Pass (at 3,223 metres) in Kullu district was the toughest point in the rally.

The teams from the Indian Air Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police also participated.

The foreign participants were from the US, Austria, Germany, Nepal and Bhutan.

Covering the most rugged and inhospitable terrain, the Hercules MTB Himachal has been billed as the third toughest mountain biking event in the world. The other two are Trans-Alps Challenge in Europe and Trans Rockies in Canada.


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