29 athletes from countries including Japan, Britain and the United States travelled to Nepal to endure a 9 day, 400 km mountain bike race and if that doesn’t sound gruelling enough the race takes place at a whopping altitude of 17, 769 feet in the Himilayas.
When at an altitude like this it isn’t just the extreme distance that creates a challenge it is also the struggle with altitude sickness as well as the bone chilling minus 15 degree Celsius temperature that makes even the smallest of tasks difficult let alone an extremely tough endurance race!
However more serious challenges faced the organisers of the race this year after a 7.8 magnitude hit Nepal earlier this year killing nearly 9000 people, this meant 60 percent of the competitors that intended on competing dropped out, the race went ahead however with organiser Phil Evans saying this of the situation “Many were put off by the quake. But we decided not to cancel the race because it would have sent out a negative message about the country”
with the race getting the go ahead national champion Ajay Pandit Chhetri came out on top of what many call the toughest mountain bike race in the world talking about his win and the race Chhetri said, “I am very happy to have won, this is a difficult race and we cycle over a natural route. Even professional riders find it challenging.”
To have a look at the race in action check out the video below!