Mustang, 24th November
The first edition of The Mustang Madness – a cross country mountain bike stage race held in upper and lower Mustang, Nepal started today 24th November 2016. The event is held in 7 stages covering a total distance of 220Km Continued. The first stage of the event started today from Kagbeni (2800m) and ended at Muktinath (3850m) vm1e3fo. Mr. Raj Kumar Shrestha took the lead in first stage with a timing of 57min and 50 seconds, followed by Mr. Buddhi Bahudur Tamang at 1hr2min44seconds. Mr. Man Bahadur Thapa Magar from Nepal Army came in third after completing the stage in 1hr 2min 56 seconds.
Mr. Rajkuram Shrestha said ‘ Trail today was short but all uphill and tough. The nature of the course changes everyday and there are some big downhills tomorrow. I will try by best to keep this lead.’ Mr. Buddhi Bahadur Tamang who came in second said ‘I took it easy today as it was the first day of the race. From tomorrow I’m giving my 100%.’
Total of 12 participants with 5 internationals registered for this event. Participants are from United Kingdom, Germany and Nepal. Two international participants could not start the race because of extenuating circumstances.
Among the 10 participants 2 are women. In this open competition the prizes are Rs 125,000 (USD 1250) for first, Rs 75,000 (USD 750) for second and Rs 50,000 (USD 500) for third. Winners are decided on aggregate timings from the seven stages. The later stages of this event follows the route of Chele (2900m), Ghami (3600m), Lo-Manthang (3800m), Tange (3300m) , Marpha(2700m) and ends at Tatopani (1250m). The race ends on 1st December 2016 at Tatopani.
Dedicated to promote and develop the potential of MTB trails and adventure tourism in Nepal, the event is designed to let participants ride their MTBs in exotic Himalayan desert landscapes but also gives them ample time to explore and experience the rich cultural and historical Mustang region of Nepal. Mr. Ian Morrison form Uk said ‘It’s quiet amazing to have a race in this location. It is stunningly beautiful, magical and the landscapes are remarkable. The organizers have done a spending job and so far everything has been absolutely amazing. I am looking forward to the coming stages.’
The event is organized by Adventure Sports Nepal in association with Nepal tourism board and is supported by Himalayan Expeditions and Gnarly Biking. Event organizer Shikhar Pandey says ‘The aim is to develop international standard events using and developing local manpower and skills. This is the first event and we have kept it small but our plan is to make it bigger and better in the coming years.’