The Asian Continental Mountain Biking Championships 2017 to be held in Xuancheng, China is slated for the 13th and 14th of May. As the best in Asia prepare for a wheel battle, Nepalese and Indian racers are buckling up for a good fight as well.
The Indian National XC champion Kiran Kumar Raju (31) from Karnataka along with Ramesh Ale (24), Purna Bahadur Pradhan (32), K Venkateswarlu Reddy(30) from the Indian Army will be cranking it up in the XC rounds. This year Nepal will not be joining the podium chase on the XC front.
As the lycra clad XC power horses crank it on in China, India’s DH racing stars will be having a go at the title of fastest mountain biker in Asia! Pune’s Gautam Taode (26) will be joined by Piyush Chavan (21) on the 1500mts course. This would be Gautam’s first appearance at the continental championships. After having won a podium at the Asia Pacific level before, it would be interesting to see how the natural speedster performs.
Representing the mountain nation of Nepal, “Nepali Bullet” Rajesh Magar will be joined by Suman Tamang and Spandan Lama. Rajesh “RJ” had clocked a top 15 timing last year in his seeding run but couldn’t crack the top 10 in finals. This year, he has trained harder and has a brand new machine from YETI Cycles to kill the competition. For Suman and Spandan, this is their first continental championships and would be a big learning experience for both.
To compete with the best mountain bikers of Asia, these athletes have spent multiple years in building up their speeds with limited resources. For the Indian team this year Honda Motors has stepped in to support partially for travel and logistics along with Heini Sports decking up the jerseys for the Indian national team.
More Nepalese and Indian racers landing at such international events helps the national scene grow further. Hope the racing experience gained in China will help raise the quality of Nepalese and Indian racers for taking over bigger events.