Indian National MTB Championship 2018 – Downhill

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The 15TH Indian National MTB Championship 2018 saw the 2nd year (demonstration class) of Downhill mountain biking in the mix. On a new course created at “Sunny’s World Adventure Park” in Pune, Maharashtra, by GT Adventures and Starkenn Giant Bicycles India.

Gautam Taode (GT Adventures) and team Starkenn got the track taped up in time for the Finals at Sunny’s World.

Hike up to race down.

The 1 km descent wasn’t one of the best in the country, but the trail had some hairy sections to keep things interesting. With a major amount of pedal churning sections included, the racers had to not only bomb down the hill, but also had to propel them wheels hard! The finish patch doubles kept the spectators entertained, as many racers struggled to make it clean across the finish line on two wheels!

Excited yet nervous for the safety of racers in this high risk race! Downhill racing is a new discipline to monitor for the CFI Race Commissaires.

Conducted as a “demonstration” discipline this year too, the Cycling Federation of India promises to include Downhill mountain biking in the official list of MTB National Championship races from 2019. Hope they keep their word!

The track builder and 2017 2nd place winner, Gautam Taode from Maharashtra had to sit out of the podium position this year. \\ Photo: Vinay Menon
Meghalaya’s Apshai Griffith Niangti is a podium regular in Indian DH races. At the National Champs though, Apshai slipped out of the top three. \\ Photo: Vinay Menon
Rinku Thakur from Himachal Pradesh showed good speeds, but missed the podium for 2018. \\ Photo: Vinay Menon

By evening, the Final run results put Maharashtra’s Slade Gomes in the top spot as India’s fastest DH racer for 2018. Followed by Maharashtra’s Piyush Chavan in 2nd and Assam’s promising ripper Ismamul Howk landing a 3rd with a crash that cost him a Win.

Assam’s Ismamul Howk is a new name on the Indian DH race podiums. A crash cost him the win, landing a 3rd place finish in Finals. \\ Photo: Vinay Menon
Taking the smoother route, Maharashtra’s Piyush Chavan on his 2nd place run. \\ Photo: Vinay Menon
“Speed is your friend!”. It’s true in the case of Slade Gomes from Maharashtra. From MX, to trail building, to winning the National DH Champion title for 2018. Slade doing what he does best, keeping his speed up! \\ Photo: Kimaya Morye
Cycling Federation of India – Secretary General Sh.Onkar Singh sharing CFI’s future plans for Downhill racing in India.
2018 Indian National Downhill MTB Champions. Piyush Chavan (2nd place), Slade Gomes (Winner) and Ismamul Howk (3rd)


*The Cycling Federation of India is yet to release the final timing sheet. Complete standings will be shared soon.


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