75 riders, 8 days of riding, a journey of 438 kms, 3 districts covered and through the interiors of Himachal Pradesh – this summarizes the Hercules MTB Himalaya 2012, an adventure with the magic of the mountains!
9 days after it started its foray into the heart of Himachal Pradesh, the Hercules MTB Himalaya 2012 has come to an end. And true to its mission, organizer HASTPA has delivered on its promise – not only is the race the country’s finest mountain biking race; it is certainly its toughest too. The past couple of days have taken the riders and the support crew through some of the most picturesque landscapes of Himachal Pradesh.
From the Himachali capital of Shimla, to the beautiful Gadakuffar to the grassy meadows of Kullu Sarahan to Jalori Pass with its view of the snow clad mountain peaks of the Inner Himalayas, and right back to Shimla, the 8th edition of the Hercules MTB Himalaya took riders through a total of 438 kms, amongst the mountains and valleys of Himachal Pradesh.
The format of the race included intermittent stretches of competitive riding and free riding. The competitive stretches saw riders fight it out to gain the lead position, while the free riding stretches gave them ample opportunity to not just ride, but to also revel in the beauty of the scenery. The terrain that riders needed to tackle included challenging up-hills with steep inclines, meandering down-hills, rocky off-roads and narrow bike and hikes stretches.
Through the course of the Hercules MTB Himalaya 2012, riders pedalled with all their might, battling gruelling terrains, elements of nature, sheer distance and of course their competitors. Through the journey, the riders shone through before the made their way to Ridge Maidan for the grand culmination of the race. Of the 75 participants, 31 riders completed the entire 438 km journey.
Shri Sudripto Roy, Chief Secretary – Govt of Himachal Pradesh did the honours at the Prize Distribution Ceremony and gave away the prizes to the winners. All in all, a total prize money of Rs. 6,00,000 (6 lacs) was split between the winners.
And the winners of the Hercules MTB Himalaya 2012 are:
Men Solo Category
1. First Place: Narayan Gopal – 13:38:31
2. Second Place: Aayman Tamang – 14:27:35
3. Third Place: Richard MCDowell – 15:16:36
Women Solo Category
1. First Place: Monica – 29:39:28