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Priyanka Mehta and Akash Sherpa win their respective Elite class in the 11th Firefox MTB Himalaya




The 11th Firefox MTB Himalaya Shimla 2024, organized by Firefox Bikes LTD in collaboration with MTB Himalaya, concluded with resounding success and thrilling moments. The event witnessed an unprecedented gathering of 140 mountain bikers from 45 cities across India and 5 countries, showcasing their skills and determination on challenging terrains.

 

Organized by the Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA), the competition was held in an MTB-XCM/XCO style race, open to both amateurs and professionals. Riders embarked on a grueling journey spanning 130 KM over two days, surmounting 3000 vertical meters through jeep roads, single tracks, and forest climbs. This edition was distinguished not just by the rugged track but also by the diverse participation, embodying the spirit of mountain biking and adventure.

 

Featuring a completely New Route and Format, the race passed through forest trails of Kufri Wildlife Sanctuary, Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, and the pristine forests of Mashobra. Held in 7 categories with the highest-ever women participation of 16 riders, the event showcased the youngest rider at the age of 11 and the oldest rider at 63 years of age.

 




Out of the 140 participants for the MTB Shimla, winners emerged in each category as follows:

Men's Elite: Akash Sherpa from Shimla had consolidated a lead of over 18min on day one and kept on dominating the second day as well with a healthy margin he was the leader as Atul from Dharmashala finished in second position, Nikhil Thakur from Kullu tried to make a comeback on the final day but his huge day one deficit settled him to third.

Men's Junior (16-19 yrs): Ayush Negi from Dehradun was leading on day one by 34min and had a close finish on day two, but the day one lead was sufficient enough for him to win, Yugal Thakur from Shimla bettered his performance on day two but had to settle for second position and Parvaiz Ahmad Mir from Budgam was third.

Men's Master (40-55 yrs): Sunil Barongpa from Kullu finished his day one with over 55min lead and further extended on day two as Amit Baliyan from Dehradun finished in second while Amrinder Singh Bajwa from Panota Sahib completed the podium.

Men's Grand Master (56 or above): Anil Kapila from Chandigarh was the undisputed leader from day one, as he began his day one with a lead of over 100mts had nothing to look back as he still extended his lead on day two as well and comfortabally finished on top  Kailash Chand Meena from Jaipur  and Masheshwar Dutt from Shimla did finish a distinct second and third respectively.

Men's Sub-Junior (15 or below): With a 27min lead on day one Ashwin Rauthan from Dehradun managed to finish day two with further 4min lead to win the class as Karthikay Kainthola from Dehradun was comfortable to finish in second position which he was holding on day one as well while Aarav Thakur from Shimla finished third.

Women's Elite (20-39 yrs): Priyanka Mehta from Haldwani began her journey with a 18min lead at the finish of day one, but day two never went as expected was slower by 9min but still managed to hold on to her top position, Sandhya Mourya from Bhopal was unable to cover up the day one lost time in spite of good performance on day two had to settle for second while Divija Sood from Shimla finished a distinct third.

 

 

"This year's race in Shimla embodies the surging enthusiasm for mountain biking and adventure sports sweeping across India," expressed Mr. Sriram, CEO of Firefox Bikes LTD. "It transcends being merely a race; it mirrors a dynamic cultural shift towards embracing the great outdoors, pushing boundaries, and embracing new challenges. Witnessing riders from diverse backgrounds, spanning different ages and experiences, underscores the inclusive essence of this exhilarating sport."

 

He continued, "The presence of top-tier riders heightened the race's atmosphere, infusing it with tangible excitement and fostering an unparalleled sense of competition. Their expertise, determination, and unwavering passion not only ignited fellow participants but also stood as a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence within the mountain biking fraternity. Their participation highlights the event's significance as a platform for showcasing the finest talents and pushing the boundaries of achievement in this thrilling realm of adventure sports."

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Nice article. Glad to see some coverage for hi energy cycling events!

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