3rd Bangalore Mountain Festival 2018

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South India is known for its bright winters and pleasant climate. This winter, Bengaluru’s Avati hills baked up with the 3rd year of Bangalore Mountain Festival. With three disciplines to choose from to scale the mountain, BMF included Trail running,  Cross Country and Downhill mountain biking. The 2018 edition of BMF is sponsored by 2GO Active Wear in association with Shathayu Ayurveda Yoga Retreat supported by Veloscope, Original Monkey, Red Bull, BOTSFreerider Mountain Bike Magazine.

Photo: Mruthyunjaya Swamy

Cross Country

Pedal junkies from all over India lined up for the Cross Country race starting at the Shathayu Yoga retreat facility, who were the venue partners for the 2018 BMF. Nearly 90 racers raced in the Elite (30km) and Amateur (20km) categories on a picturesque landscape of Avati. From local racers to riders from Himachal Pradesh and Australia, every racer cranked it for the title of Bangalore Mountain Festival 2018 XC Champion!

Elite Men start was an elbow fight! \\ Photo: Veloscope
Bengaluru’s Kiran Kumar Raju was off to a good start and maintained his tempo across the 6 laps. \\ Photo: Veloscope
Team HASTPA’s David Kumar is a high altitude regular. BMF was a hot place for him, landing him a 5th at the end of the day. \\ Photo: Veloscope
Even in January, the Avati temperatures weren’t cool for the XC racers. A hot day on the saddle for most competitors. \\ Photo: Veloscope

For 2018, Sunil wanted the course to be a bit tougher than last time, so we changed a few things and included a climb at the start and newer sections were created. After almost 12 days of work in the burning sun, no motor transport on the trails, carrying water and tools on the whole track, with the help from Balu, Sunil and team, our XC race track was ready for race day. – Siddalingeshwar \\ BMF 2018 Track Design Team

Aussie Craig Raynes got his power lungs to work and pulled a 4th place finish. \\ Photo: Veloscope
Himachal’s Devender Thakur climbs mountains for breakfast. The 35Kms course was a sharp test for India’s National XC podium regular. A 3rd spot on stage for the weekend. \\ Photo: Kimaya Morye
Shiven has come up the ranks since his Jrs National Championship win, a few years ago. Fighting with the experienced XC racers on Avati Hills, the young lad cranked out the 2nd best time of the day. \\ Photo: Kimaya Morye
Champion once again! National Champ, KKR timed it well at 1:26.16, taking the win at the 2Go Bangalore Mountain Festival 2018. \\ Photo: Veloscope

Results (Elite Men)

Winner – Kiran Kumar Raju 1:26:16
2nd – Shiven 1:29:00
3rd – Devender Thakur 1:33:23
4th – Craig Raynes 1:35:52
5th – David Kumar 1:36:25

Time for Champagne shower!

“Balls of Steel” Downhill Race

No chairlifts here! Hike up and be rewarded with half a kilometer long blasty descent \\ Photo: Kimaya Morye

A new course was created for the downhill leg of the event. The short technical trail saw racers battling it out over jagged rocks, ladder bridges and the crowd favorite, road gap! Steep sections with sharp rocks all around, the 700mts sprint course was uber-fun for the competitors and spectators alike. With some of the fastest racers from India and Nepal in attendance, BMF ‘Balls of Steel’ Downhill race has stepped up the level of Indian DH mountain biking tracks with their built features.

Bengaluru’s Preetham Kumar decided to throw his XC Hardtail down the rocky descent!
First downhill race of his life, on a new bike! Local boy Hemesh Mk survived the course without a major spill. \\ Photo: Harjot Singh
Kerala’s Maanav GS is new to the DH scene but rides hard every time he’s racing! A slam in the race run gave him a DNF.
Pune’s Zaki Alvi got back into racing mountain bikes after a long absence from the scene. Finding the safest route down the trail Zaki decided to skip the gapper.
Shashank CK from Bengaluru raced on a borrowed enduro rig, sent the road gap in practice! But in the final run, had a spill right before the jump and rolled down fast to the finish. \\ Photo: Kimaya Morye

The DH trail took 7 laborers, Yashas Shekar, Sunil Nanjappa and me, working for 6 days with 150ft of ladder bridge material, chainsaws and I had to manually nail all the bridges together!Siddalingeshwar \\ BMF 2018 Track Design Team

Nilesh Dhumal from Bengaluru stayed on his lines, swiftly making it over the ladders. \\ Photo: Kimaya Morye
Styling the crowd favorite part of the course, Vinay Menon from Pune, keeping it cranked to the finish line. \\ Photo: Kimaya Morye
Manali’s Rinku Thakur has been gaining speed in the Indian DH scene gradually. With all day bike park shredding at the Ski Himalayas Park in Solang, the young speedster is someone to watch-out for. After practicing hard and locking his lines, Rinku pulled the 5th best run of the day. \\ Photo: Veloscope
Pune’s Gautam Taode couldn’t keep up to his usual speeds on the 700mts course. Railing through dirt onto a 4th place finish in Finals.
16year old Rishabh Gowda from Bengaluru likes to bomb descents, over and over again! With all day long practice sessions, Rishabh clocked the 3rd fastest time of the day. Photo: Kimaya Morye
Pune’s Piyush Chavan rode well in his practice runs, smoothening out the rocks on course. But his final run timing wasn’t enough to take the win. Settling for a 2nd place finish. Photo ©
Kicking it right out of the start deck, Rajesh Magar from Kathmandu – Nepal, pointing in the right direction. \\ Photo: Veloscope
With the slickest lines on course, Rajesh tamed the rocks in style. In-spite of a flat on the bottom section, the 2017 BMF champion took it home once again, winning for the 2nd year in a row. \\ Photo: Kimaya Morye
Fastest man down the mountain. WINNER of the Bangalore Mountain Festival “Balls of Steel” Downhill race 2018 – Rajesh Magar \\ Photo: Kimaya Morye
Champagne time!


Winner – Rajesh Magar (Kathmandu, Nepal)
2nd – Piyush Chavan (Maharashtra, India)
3rd – Rishabh Gowda (Karnataka, India)
4th – Gautam Taode (Maharashtra, India)
5th – Rinku Thakur (Himachal Pradesh, India)

This year’s BMF was dedicated to our fallen brother, Ajay Padval who left us in July last year. Our respect to his parents for attending the BMF and encouraging all the racers to keep following their passion.

We at Freeridermag are always happy to support talented riders like Rajesh who share the right vibes, on and off the track! Shout out to all the riders who contributed towards Rajesh Magar’s India visit – Karthik Gottumukkala, Christian Holm, Ritwik Burman, Ignatius Chen, Sunil Nanjappa and team FRMTB.

Freeridermag would like to THANK Sunil Nanjappa for all the hospitality and support!

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