By : Mohan Verma
The 10th edition of Hero MTB Himalaya, the oldest and biggest premier mountain biking race in India, is set to start from Shimla on 27th September 2014.
The team HASTPA (Himachal Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association) endeavoring to make 2014 edition bigger and tougher with an exhilarating route through the lesser explored interiors of the Himalayas with the highlights being a climb of Jalori Pass and the ride upto the gateway of the Great Himalayan National Park, recently announced on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
To commemorate the success of its 10th edition, the prize money announced is of 10 lakhs to be spread over 16 categories.
The 8 days high altitude endurance mountain biking race covers 500 km with a total elevation gain of 12,500 m making it a once in a lifetime experience celebrating the spirit of adventure with pure adrenalin rush. Mohit Sood, Founding President of HASTPA said :
“The race has reached its 10th year and it’s a proud moment for all of us. What started with only 20 riders in 2005 has now reached a stage where top international riders are willing to participate and compete in this event. Last year we had Luis Lea Pinto – the world’s no. 9 rider, who competed here and this year too we have an array of internationally acclaimed riders. 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.”
Another organising member Ashish Sood, Race communication officer said :
“The route for the 10th year had to be special. It’s been a long journey and we have mixed and matched pieces from previous 9 editions to give an absolutely new route. We will be climbing the mighty Jalori Pass twice (riders are already excited about that) and will be conducting the race on 90 percent off-road sections. Jungle tracks, jeep tracks, single tracks, rocky and gravel sections will form the majority of the route. That’s what these top riders are looking for – They want to experience true colors and flavour of Himalayas and we try our best to deliver that. Our state is one of the most beautiful parts of the world and we want to showcase that potential which India holds.”