The Oxford Golf Resort in Pune, Maharashtra played host to the 13th National Cross Country Mountain Biking Championship 2016 earlier this October. For 2016 Giant Starkenn Sports Pvt Ltd joined forces with the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) and Maharashtra Cycling Association to bring in a three day event packed with lung busting action.
A 5km trail, with a mix of jeep tracks and a mellow single track was laid out for the weekend. Two man made obstacles sections were added into the course, but were altered by the race officials before the race commenced, for safety reasons. Along with a singletrack in the woods, the course comprised of two climbs that saw many amateur racers getting off the bike. When asked about the difficulty level of the course, most of the leading Elite racers agreed they’d like to see a more challenging track in the future, as they feel they have the required skills to tackle a tech course.
The bib count went over 300 racers spread over different categories – Juniors, Sub Juniors and Elite.
The Elite Men – Time Trials was bombed by Kiran Kumar Raju while the Juniors Time Trials was won by Sandesh Uppar from Karnataka.
The Mass Start Category saw racers pounding on their cranks by the 6th Lap. In Elite Men, West Bengal’s Ramesh Ale churned out a victorious run with Kiran Kumar Raju close behind followed by Sandesh Uppar of Karnataka. In Elite Women Category, Kerala’s Geethu Raj N (Winner) and Tinu Mariya Tomy (2nd) grabbed the podium followed by Karnataka’s Seema Adagal in 3rd.
Kerala State team won the overall MTB National Championship Title for 2016 followed by the Karnataka team in 2nd.
With rumblings about introduction of “Downhill” next year, the CFI has started thinking of adding the gravity assisted side of the sport in the calendar. Its just a thought at present, hopefully very soon this would gain momentum.