The First Tsomgo Lake Mountain Bike Race.
27th September, 2016 was World Tourism Day. It was also a day which saw one of the most grueling Mountain Bike Cross Country Endurance events ever to take place in India.
The Border Raid MTB organized by Hub Outdoor had riders climbing from 6,200 feet in Gangtok to 12,400 feet above sea level at Tsomgo Lake in a mere 32kms. That is some steep incline.
32 riders participated in this epic sufferfest of mammoth proportions and 30 of them finished the race within the stipulated time allotted. The race saw participants from all over Sikkim, Darjeeling, Mumbai, Kolkata, Shillong, Karnataka as well as Bhutan.
The incline was not only the only thing the riders were up against. The sheer altitude of the Lake was enough to make you feel out of breath because of the lack of oxygen much quicker.
The event was organized by Hub Outdoor, who has been pioneering in being a one stop solution for mountain biking since 2004 and was largely supported by Sikkim Tourism, Sikkim Police as well as the Indian Army, since the Lake is located very close to the Tibet Border.
This was also the first time the Redbull arch had decorated any event in Sikkim. Mountain biking thus has taken a new high in the eyes of the youth of the state.
Race Results and Timings:
1st – Tashi Dorji Tangbi (Bhutan) 2:44:26
2nd – Ashim Sharma (Gangtok, Sikkim) 2:47:40
3rd – Banshanlang Khylaitt (Shillong) 2:51:48
4th – Tenzing Chombay Sherpa (Darjeeling) 2:53:53
5th – Nim Gyaltshen (Bhutan) 3:04:06
Words: Prateek Singh | Photography: Shivam Roy