By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 24 May: The beautiful landscapes of Uttarakhand, the zealous sportsmanship of the riders, the cheerful aura of the viewers and the unconditional support of the organisers among other things is what the 4th Edition of ‘The Ultimate Uttarakhand Himalayan MTB Challenge 2019’ was all about, which concluded on 27 April. It was not just about hosting a Mountain Terrain Biking competition but was also about amalgamating that competitive environment with the charm of Uttarakhand.
The race commenced from Nainital on 18 April, which led the participants to reach the final stage at Mussoorie through various stages – Almora, Kausani, Rudraprayag, New Tehri and Chinyalisaur, where at each stop, the participants were given an opportunity to watch the state’s folk cultural performances during the evening hour hosted by local talented artists.
All of it was absorbed by a diverse group of people as the event witnessed a significant international participation as well. Iran’s Parvees Mardani and Nepal’s Lakshmi Magar bagged the win in the Men and Women Overall Category, respectively. Devender from Himachal Pradesh prevailed in the ‘National Men’ Overall Category. Poonam Rana from Uttarakhand ranked first in the ‘National Women’ Overall Category, who along with her brother, Kamlesh Rana, was deemed among the best riders of the race in terms of technique. The organisers left no stone unturned to maintain safety measures and to avoid any mishap.
Rajat Pandey was the first participant from Uttarakhand to finish the race. Bringing the motto of Indian Army to the roads, Kamlesh Rana was the rider ranked second in the National Men’s category. Thailand’s Kirti Sukprasarat and Prawwak Tantal were second and third, respectively, in the international category.
The presence of intense competition amongst the female riders was admirable. Indonesia’s Novoviana missed being the champion by a gap of just 1 minute, while Suratia Bappa of Thailand ranked third.
Additional Chief Executive Officer Ravi Shankar of Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, said, “By organising such activities, Uttarakhand is planning to publicise itself as the international destination for Adventure Tourism. The state’s mountain geography is perfectly suited for mountain biking, and this is the reason why the tourism department is organising this competition by involving international participants. Due to the fame gained internationally, mountain terrain biking can emerge as a business that will strengthen the local economy of the state. By doing so, local businessmen will get an opportunity to invest in this new industry and self employment opportunities would also increase.” He thanked the Cycling Federation of India for the technical support for the event.