“Adventure is not lynching on a rope off the side of a mountain, but it’s an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacle of life.”
Keeping such an attitude, nine world champions among 100 peddlers will be spreading rain water harvesting message in the 15th edition of Hero MTB Himalaya, starting from September 26.
The 15th edition of Hero MTB Himalaya is organized by Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA), the Shimla-based Entity,Himachal Tourism and Hero Cycles in association with Youth Services and Sports including Social Outreach Program – Mission SMILE.
Mountain biking in the Himalayas is a God drive opportunity for the descents and climbs are the most challenging that any mountain change in the world can put to stubborn bikers. Out to test both stamina and endurance the 7 day cross country race has been set out on about 506 Km of laid back Himalayan country trails.
Starting out from Shimla, the highest point the bikers would reach during the race is at an elevation of 3000 meters altitude where along the route the bikers would encounter a true mixture of culture immersion and adventure.
The expedition will take place among 100 riders coming across from 17 countries including USA, Canada, Croatia, UK, Spain, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Poland, Belgium, France.
Mohit Sood ( Founding president HASTPA) says, “ It is extremely delighted to reach this landmark of 15 editions. Our ultimate aim is to produce an Olympian from India we are sure this experience will go a long way in achieving.”
Adria Nougera, King of Himalaya 2017 and former Spanish National Champion, Cory Wallace, King of Himalaya 2014 and 3 time World 24hr Champion, Milo Pilski, Croatian National Champion, Jason English, 7 times World 24hr Champion and 10x Australian Champion are amongst some names on from the top deck that are participating in 15th Hero MTB Himalaya.
Yunus Khan ( IAS) Director Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation said “Himachal Pradesh is a heaven for mountain biking and other forms adventure sports. We are fully determined to make this state as a hub for adventure based tourism in India and we believe that Mountain Biking will be a key activity in this. Hero MTB Himalaya has become an iconic race and is the flag-bearer of what this country and state can offer in terms of adventure sports . We are looking to build an extensive network of mountain biking trails in Himachal to be benchmarked with the best in the world.”
During the expedition the bikers will wind through open meadows, thick vegetation, narrow village roads, and densely wooded slopes offering spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. The trail also comprises single tracks, loose gravel , very small segments of broken tarmac and slopes of loose rock debris.
The Race Prologue will be graced by ministers and officials from the state, including the Chief Guest for the Prologue, the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Bandaru Dattatreya Education Minister HP, Suresh Bhardwaj ,Forest & Sports Minister HP, Govind Singh at Ridge Maidaan, Shimla and finishes at Dak Bangla, Mashobra spanning 25kms in total.
Route of the Prologue
Padam Dev Complex » Roller Skating Rink » Takka Bench » Christ Church » Ashianna » Daulat Ram Park (Through stairs) » Giaety » Mother Choice » Rani Jhansi Park » Christ Church » Dak Bangla, Mashobra
27th Sep Dak Bangla GadaKuffer
28th Sep GadaKuffer Paneo
29st Sep Paneo Gada Gushaini
30th Sep Rest Day
1st Oct Gada Gushaini Pandoh
2nd Oct Pandoh Barot
3rd Oct Barot Bir
TOP RIDER PROFILES
Cory Wallace & Jason English
Cory won the King of Himalaya title in 2014. He is a Canadian world champion and was formally ranked #18 in the UCI world ranking. Cory rides for Kona factory team.
This time he is partnering with Jason English, the 7 time world 24 hour champion, in the Team of Two category, thus forming the strongest duo of the race. English is a professional cyclist and rides for Pivot Bikes in Australia. He is a 7 time World 24h solo World Champion and a 10 time Australian National champion.
Adrià Noguera Soldevila was crowned as the King of Himalaya in 2017 after his impressive win in an intense battle over 8 stages with Thomas Engelsgjerd and Antonio Ortiz. Adria will be taking to the start line once again at the 15th Edition. The 27 year old is a former Spanish National Champion and will be riding to secure the King of Himalaya title once again.
41 year old Spanish – Antonio Ortiz will be riding his 2nd year at Hero MTB Himalaya. In 2017, Antonio finished as a 2nd runner up on the overall podium. This year, he will be challenging the contenders once again to claim the KIng of Himalaya title.
The Cape Epic winner has been winning hearts and the race since 10th Hero MTB Himalaya. Catherine has won the Women Solo category 4 times and is an inspiration to all women riders. This is her fifth time at Hero MTB Himalaya.
David Kumar and Rakesh Rana
This year, the duo have teamed up for the Team of Two category of the race. Part of the Hero Action Team (India’s first fully supported MTB team), David Kumar was crowned as the King of Shivaliks in the Shimla edition and topped the Asian category in the last Hero MTB Himalaya edition.
Rakesh Rana is from Nainital and was the runner-up in of Hero MTB Shimla 2017 and 2018. He also came second in the Asian category of the last Hero MTB Himalaya. It will be interesting to see the tough competition to see how the Indian duo fare against the world’s best, Cory and Jason.
Ashish Sherpa Brothers
The Sherpa brothers are young and promising riders from Shimla. Ashish Sherpa bagged the 2nd position is this year’s Hero MTB Shimla edition. He has won podiums in the 14th MTB National Championship, MTB Nainital and has also participated at Darling Brew Extreme held in South Africa. Akash Sherpa is one of the most talented cyclists in the country and has been winning podiums across races in India.
Flagged off Rally by Governor of Himachal Pradesh