The 15th National Mountain Bike Championship 2018 conducted by the Cycling Federation of India saw a refreshing new course for the Cross Country discipline, with tech climbs and steep singletrack descents. Not the usual XC course you’d see at the Indian Nationals, the 2018 trail was demanding as well as rewarding, with it’s flow and gradients, said some of the racers. The Giant Starkenn team did an excellent job of putting together a challenging XC track, which surely filtered on the best XC racers of the country. Here’s some action from the Mass-start (Elite Men) leg of the three day event at Sunny’s World, on the outskirts of Pune City in Maharashtra.
The 3.7kms long trail consisted of loose dust on hard-pack in most bits. With steep tarmac climbs into steeper single-track climbs, the racers had to power it through, only to hold on to the bars tight for one of the steepest descents ever included in an Indian National XC Race! A trail previously built/maintained and ridden by the local downhill riders of Pune City, the “Mad Monkey” descent was included in the national cross country event, to spice things up for the lycra army.