Programme of 14 th annual Hero MTB Himalaya, India’s most challenging cycling extravaganza announced

Jul 27, 2018 18:40 | Education&Sports

Dharamshala (Arvind Sharma)27/07/ 18

Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association is organizing the 14th edition of annual Hero MTB Himalaya, India’s most challenging cycling extravaganza, in association with DISCOVERY CHANNEL & TIMES OF INDIA. Informing this Mohit Sood President –Team H.A.S.T.P.A. said , “ Top ranked cyclist from around the world will participate  the race, which  is scheduled to be flagged-off on 28th of Sept.2018 from the historic Ridge of Shimla and also finish at the Dharamshala on 06th Oct.2018.”

Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) is a registered society under Society’s Act of 1860, working in Himachal Pradesh towards the advocacy of cycling as an activity to promote eco-tourism and developing sustainable livelihoods for the native population of Himachal Pradesh.

“We have been conceptualized and successfully organized India’s premier mountain biking race - MTB Himalaya for the past eleven years in Himachal Pradesh. We want to showcase the wealth of natural trails Himachal Pradesh possesses to the mountain biking community from around the world and are in the process of developing a model to promote cycling tourism in Himachal Pradesh,” added Sood.

He said that the Mountain Cycling event first started in 2005, taking precedence from similar events like The Trans-Rockies challenge in Canada and The Trans-Alps Challenge in Europe. A dearth was felt for similar event in the mighty Himalayas and the mountain cycling was born in Himachal to put India on the world map for adventure cycling and there by create opportunities to a native Himachalis to encash upon the world wide growing figures of cycling tourism. “As recent surveys point out, mountain biking is the fastest growing sport in the world, add to it, its eco-friendly nature, economic and health benefits it can accrue to the state and its people,” said Mohit.

In its 14th edition now, Hero MTB Himalaya has grown satisfactorily from a more participation of 32 riders in 2005 to a participation of nearly 80 riders in 2018, representing India and other parts of the world. He informed,”We have riders from 17 countries participating in this year’s event. We have seen the World No 9 -  Luis Leao Pinto and World no 16 – Corry Wallace racing at the 13th edition  . There would be more professional and ranked riders like former Tour De France and UCI ranked athletes taking the race to an another level in this edition.”

He futher said that the event also attracts many riders from our defense establishment namely the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and ITBP. The event is one of its kind in India & is a well established brand among the mountain biking community in the cycling world.

The event will be flagged off on 28th of Sep. 2018 from The Ridge, Shimla at 8 A.M. & finish at dharamshala, the abode of his holiness dalai lama on the 6th of Oct. at 4 P.M. The Riders through these days would ride the distance of 640 Kms (Approx) through the back country trails of Himachal Pradesh, gaining a maximum elevation of 3300 meters, with a total elevation gain of 17120 meters in eight days. This makes it the most difficult eight day mountain stage race in asia where the riders will face daunting task of trails, single tracks, rocky down hills , jeep tracks , river crossing and treacherous uphill’s.