Having just finished writing a gruelling senior secondary (+2) examination, Akshit Gaur a 17 year old from Shimla is off to compete at the Rumble In The Jungle, cross country marathon style international biking race in Sri Lanka. Akshit will be the the youngest rider at this race and the only Indian to participate in the event.
The 4 stage race covers close to 300 km in four days. What makes this a really big challenge is the amount of climbing involved. Riders will climb close to 8000 m in off road sections over mountain ranges and tea gardens.
Those competing at the mountain biking event include top international riders like – Cory Wallace (Canada), a 3 time Canadian champion, a former World Championships 18 no ranker Yuki Ikeda (Japan) and Ajay Pandit Chettri (Nepal).
Preparing for the race Akshit has been training in the Himalayan foothills around Shimla and Narkanda where he spends close to 2-4 hours on the bike everyday. The young racer rides for the Hero Action Team and will be riding his flagship UT ETX Bike – A full carbon bike weighing only 10 kgs and priced at 2.99 Lacs INR.
Akshit was first spotted in the Hero HASTPA School programs in 2014 and has since then progressed into a top mountain biker , finishing as the winner in various races like Hero MTB Shimla (Winner student 2016,2017 – 2nd and 5th overall respectively . Winner MTB Nainital (student category , 3rd overall) and many other races. He has competed and won against riders much older and experience and will present a strong challenge at the race
“I will be the youngest rider at the race – Im a little nervous as this is my first international race . At the same time I am also very confident about my training. I have followed s strict training regime and I am confident about my shape. Its a dream come true for me to be at the starting line of a race with riders like Cory Wallace . I am also very confident about my new bike – the UT ETX. Its a dream bike – very fast , and great handling. This is only possible with the help of HASTPA and Hero Cycles. I can’t believe its actually happening but i will make my state and my country proud – I will give it all,” said Akshit.
“For us the dream is to nurture a future olympian in the sport and we are fully committed to that cause. We spotted Akshit at the first school program and have tried ur best to provide him a platform with the limited resources we have. He is one of the brightest cycling talents in India and we would continue to support him and other serious aspirants. Hero Cycles has shared this vision with us and we are blessed to have a partner like them” Said Mohit Sood – President HASTPA