Dharamsala, Oct 7

Spanish rider Adria Noguera of the Scott Bikes team won the eight-stage race of Hero MTB (mountain bike) Himalaya rally that concluded here on Saturday after transversing largely over inhospitable off-road tracks of Himachal Pradesh.

He took a time of 27:41:12 to finish the 650-km race spread over eight days.

Thomas Engelsgjerd from Norway was the runner up as he finished the race with a time of 27:58:29.

Indian rider David Kumar finished in the top 10 riders beating his close competitor Isaac Rai riding for the Sashastra Seema Bal team.

Kumar, who is based in Shimla, was the winner in the Indian category.

A total of 61 out of 92 riders managed to reach the finish line.

"Teams from 16 countries comprising Portugal, Spain, the US and Australia participated in the race's 13th edition, besides Indian riders, comprising Indian defence forces," Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) President Mohit Sood told IANS.

The race started from the state capital Shimla on September 29.

HASTPA is the local club that organises the MTB Himalaya rally, touted as one of Asia's oldest mountain biking event, every year.

Canadian rider Cory Wallace, 33, who is currently the WEMBO World Solo 24-Hour Mountain Bike Champion, participated in the race.

He finished fourth in the Overall Category. He finished the race with a time of 28:48:40.

Cory, who axes trees in forests for two months and cycles on off-road cycling tracks across the globe the rest of the year, was awarded the King of Himalayas' title in 2014 in the MTB Himalaya.

Last year too he participated in the race but failed to defend his title from German Andi Seewald, who could not participate in the race this time.

The past 'Queen of Himalayas' Catherine Williamson defended her title.

This time she won the race for the fourth time in a row in the Open Women Solo category. She finished the race with a time of 35:16:24.

The race tracks were tarmac, broken gravel, rocks, mud and sand. The highest point of the race was the Jalori Pass at an altitude of 3,131 metre.

 

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