Top international cyclists to participate in Hero MTB Race

Shimla: Top international cyclists will participate in South Asia`s Biggest 10th Hero MTB Himalaya (cycling) Race starting from here on September 27.

The 8-day race, the oldest and biggest mountain biking race in India, being organised by Hero Cycles and Himachal Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) will traverse through some of the most beautiful regions of the world. The race will conclude at Shimla.

The 2014 edition is bigger and covers the exhilarating route through the lesser explored interiors of the Himalayas with the highlight being a climb of Jalori Pass and the ride upto the gateway of the Great Himalayan National Park, recently announced as UNESCO`s World Heritage site.

To commemorate the success of the 10th edition, the prize money for winners of 16 categories has been increased to Rs 10 lakhs.

Started in 2005 with only 20 riders, the event has now reached a stage where top international riders are willing to participate and compete.

Last year, Luis Lea Pinto -- the world number nine -- competed and this year too an array of internationally acclaimed riders are taking part.

"It`s a dream come true to see Himachal and India being recognized internationally due to this endeavour. Indian Himalayas are slowly becoming a top destination for mountain biking across the world," said Mohit Sood, founder president of HASTPA.

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