SRINAGAR: As many as 250 Mountain Bike (MTB) riders participated in the 2nd ‘North Quest Ladakh -Challenge 2018’ – the highest accredited MTB cycling race – which concluded successfully at Leh on Sunday.
The race was flagged off by Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh Dorjay Mutup from Shanti Stupa road at 7:00 AM in presence of several guests and dignitaries including Upper Leh Councilor Gelong LobzangNyantak.
The cycling race was conducted by ‘Wisdom Even to Sports’ with support from several corporate houses under the technical guidance of ‘Cycling Federation of India’ (CFI). The event had Elite, Amateur men, Amateur men and Children’s categories.
In the Elite category, Kiran Kumar Ragu completed race first and became the winner while Devendar Kumar stood on second position and PadamBahabur won the third position of the category. Cash prizes of Rs 75,000/- 50,000/- and 25,000/- were given to first, second and third position holders respectively.
In the Amateur men’s category, Thinles Dorjay stood first and Sachin KR Singh second. Both of them were awarded with one MTB and a Timex watch from the organizers. Sonam Chuskit stood first and Rinchen Dolma second in the Amateur women’s category and received Rs 5000 and 3000 along with a watch from Timex.
According to organisers, this is the highest accredited MTB race in the world. Expressing satisfaction over Ladakhis taking active part in the event this year, organiserHarkrat Singh said that since it was a very new event started in 2016 for the first time, local were very apprehensive about taking part in MTB racing. He informed that this event will be an annual feature to be held in September from this year onwards.
This was the first Leh trip for Kiran Kumar Ragu from Bangalore, who managed the first position of the Elite category. “Racing at this altitude of 3500-meter plus was definitely difficult. We had to come a lot earlier about five days before to get acclimatized to the weather and altitude,” Ragu said adding that it had finally been amazing for him.
Director CFI, VN Sigh said that organizing the event is aimed at promoting cycling in the region. He said that the event is being organized to encourage youth to cycle wherever possible so that environment is also taken care of. One of the organizers from the Wisdom Even to Sports, Stany Wangchuk said that during the first event, five children were selected by CFI for professional training and out of which one LekzesAngmo has already won a gold medal and created history as she has become first girl from Jammu and Kashmir to become a national champion.