- Inauguratory Prologue stage to 8th Hero MTB Shimla records highest ever participation at the race
- Race was flagged off by Sh. Ram Subagh Singh, ACS, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh along with athletes from the Special Olympic Cycling Champions from Himachal Pradesh
- 25-kilometer route covered Institute of Advanced Studies, Sanjauli, Dhalli and Mashobra
- Youngest participant 14 year old Hukum Singh from Kullu. Eldest participant 63 year old Vijay Mittar from Ludhiana
Shimla: The first competitive leg from the Dak Bungalow, Mashobra of the 8th edition of the Hero MTB Shimla got underway today.The 8th edition of the race also marks 15 years of HASTPA bringing the sport of mountain biking into the country, will see cyclists battle it out against each other through Nihari, Dak Bangla, and Mashobra.
Last year’s winners David Kumar, Ashish Sherpa, Akash Sherpa and Akshit Gaur, all part of the Hero Action Team, will be defending their titles this year. David Kumar is the current King of Shivaliks and will be on his hat-trick win this year. Ashish Sherpa won the Student’s category last year and is participating in Men Solo this year, giving David Kumar some intense competition. With a diverse mix of national and international talent joining the race, everyone is looking forward to see how the first day of the race unfolds.
A prologue to the years competition was ceremoniously flagged off from the historic Ridge Maidan yesterday by Ram Subagh Singh, ACS, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh, Amit Kashyap, Director, Himachal Pradesh Tourism, and Rakesh Sharma, Deputy mayor, Shimla, along with athletes from the Special Olympic Cycling team of Himachal Pradesh. The team from Himachal Pradesh includes Raghunath Singh and Shubham Lunar. Both Shubham and Raghunath were selected for the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, where they won laurels for the country.
The prologue is a 25-kilometer non-competitive stretch that covered Sanjauli, Dhalli and Mashobra, and was organised in the spirit of inaugurating the main race which kicks starts tomorrow. The ride took the cyclists through Heritage Walk route of Shimla, which dated back to the colonial period and covered – Institute of Advanced Studies, Gorton Castle and St Bedes. The cyclists are also rooting for a plastic free tomorrow and the race will be completely going plastic-free this year .
The route for the Prologue was as follows:
Ridge (Start ) : CTO : Chauda Maidan : Ava Lodge : Indian Institute Of Advanced Studies: Ambedkar Chowk : Gorton Castle : CTO : Ridge : St Bedes : Sanjauli : Dhalli : Mashobra : Dak Bangla (Finish)
Race participation, like every year, has been diverse. This year, the race has witnessed participation from over 100 cyclists, from 6 countries (India, Nepal, UK, Japan, Germany and Columbia) and 15 cities. The maximum number of cyclists this year are from Gurgaon and Shimla.
Mohit Sood, President & Race Director, HASTPA said “We are excited to receive overwhelming participation from across the world. Today with this gathering of participants and audience from across the country, It fills me up with joy to see such a wonderful lineup of the best talent in the country take part in the race.”
“The weather in Shimla has been nothing short of mystical, the trails on prologue were extremely fun to ride on. Also, to see so much local support is extremely heartwarming, looking forward to the first stage tomorrow!” says Vidit Paliwal, a cyclist from Gurgaon based cycling group PedalYatri .