The 2nd ‘North Quest Ladakh – Challenge 2018’ wrapped up last week, in the beautiful city of Leh. Boasting of about 250 mountain bike (MTB) riders participating this year, it is the highest accredited MTB race.
While talking to the media, Harkirat Singh, who is one of the organizers at the race said,” This is the highest accredited MTB race in the world. This race is accredited by Cycling Federation of India (CFI). Since the last event, we have seen a huge influx of new riders, new clubs coming up. They are quite enthusiastic about taking part in this event.”
Furthering the satisfaction from the active participation of the Ladakhi community, he mentioned that this race would be an annual feature from this year onwards.
Hailing from Bangalore, one of the strongest XC racers of India, Kiran Kumar Raju topped the podium in the Elite category, at his very first participation. “Racing at an altitude of 3500 meters and above was definitely difficult. We had to come here about five days prior to the race in order to get acclimatized to the weather and altitude,” mentioned Raju. Devender Thakur, from Kullu won silver while Padam Bahadur bagged a bronze. They received a cash prize of Rs.75,000, Rs.50,000 and Rs.25,000 respectively.
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Apart from these wins, CFI selected five children for professional training in mountain biking. Lekzes Angmo, who is one of the five selected, has already a won a gold and created history by becoming the first girl from Jammu & Kashmir to become a national champion.
Mr. V.N.Singh – Director CFI, who also attended this race said that such events help promote cycling in this region.
The race was xcm (cross country marathon) format, a gruelling 9.5km course x 6laps with a 3km constant climb reaching 3700mtrs. Happy to have survived the altitude and finished the race with a win. – Kiran Kumar Raju – WINNER
Praveen Sharma, organizer Wisdom EventoSports said that the purpose of NorthQuest is to raise Ladakh on the Indian mountain biking map and progress it to international level with regular foreign athletes’ participation. Diksha Kapoor, organizer Wisdom EventoSports also attended the race.