Sikkim Border Raid MTB

Oct 3, 2016
by Prateek Singh  
"You don't climb mountains without a team, you don't climb mountains without being fit, you don't climb mountains without being prepared and you don't climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain by accident - it has to be intentional." - Mark Udall.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB

27th of September 2016 saw a gruelling one day Cross Country Endurance event with 6,000 feet of relentless climbing in under four hours. It's YAKtually all uphill from here in Sikkim, India.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
One Word: Sufferfest.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
The mighty Tsomgo Lake, located at an altitude of 12,400 feet and sitting close to the Indo-Tibet Border. This lies on the old silk route to China.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
Nightlife in Gangtok. It's of a different kind.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
Just showcasing the sheer vastness of the Himalayas. There is a rider climbing relentlessly in this photo.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
Pre Race Rituals at Hub Outdoor.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
Bragging rights come free with these.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
The 32 participants included riders from all across India and Bhutan.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
You feel the air get thinner as you climb higher.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB

Sikkim Border Raid MTB

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
Mr. Nim Gyaltshen from Bhutan has seen 61 cold winters and still finished in 5th place beating some of the local young guns.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
Not giving up is key.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
I'm all good. Not even breaking a sweat. A promising young gun from Sikkim, Bishal Thapa.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
It's the last ascent from 10,000 feet to 12,400 feet that is the most gruelling. Thanks to gravity and lack of oxygen.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
No it's not all tarmac. Due to the excessive amount of landslides in the region, the roads become trails in the blink of an eye.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
Getting High.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
You need to have tiny soldiers shovelling coal into your calves for this.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
The closer to the finish line you get, the more endless it seems.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
Police and Army escort was essential on this route.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
The weather up here can change from bright and sunny to pouring rain and hail in minutes.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
A mere 100 metres to the finish.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB

Sikkim Border Raid MTB

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
Finishing definitely comes with a sense of accomplishment. Many people get altitude sickness driving up here.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
The grind is over. 18 of the 32 participants managed to finish within the stipulated time, the rest finished late and 2 riders gave up on the way.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
Authenticating bragging rights.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB
The Podium. Not a bad place to have one though.

Results:

1st) Tashi Dorji Tangbi (Bhutan) 2:44:26
2nd) Ashim Sharma (Gangtok, Sikkim) 2:47:40
3rd) Banshanlang Khylaitt (Shillong) 2:51:48
4th) Tenzing Chombay Sherpa (Darjeeling) 2:53:53
5th) Nim Gyaltshen (Bhutan) 3:04:06


 Pinkbike Shivam Roy Hub Outdoor
The riders were so spent, almost all decided to skip the Joyride back down.

Sikkim Border Raid MTB

Hub Outdoor, the organizers of this event have been the pioneers of Mountain Biking in this part of India. They intend to bring more challenging Cross Country and Enduro events to the region in the days to come. They already have the country's first Bike Park and are coming up with a Mountain Bike Academy to train young athletes.

All Photos © Shivam Roy / Hub Outdoor / Pinkbike


MENTIONS: @prateek24




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