Pedalling with vigour even while negotiating tricky stretches, 30 cyclists rode down and up a distance of 20 km along the rugged pathways of the Western Ghats on Friday, as a prelude to the 6th edition of MTB (Mountain Bike) Kerala.
The ‘Fun and Thrill’ races for men and women began from the serene Priyadarshini Tea Environs, with youngsters cycling to nearby Mananthavady before returning to the starting point so as to complete a trial round of MTB 2019 in the run-up to Saturday’s finals in the category. The national and international races of the event, organised by the Department of Tourism, will be held on Sunday.
Port Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran will inaugurate the main segments of the MTB at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
While the all-India races will have 60 men and 20 women vying in separate categories, the international segment will have cyclists from 14 countries.
Held under the aegis of the Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (KATPS), District Tourism Promotion Council and the Cycling Federation of India (CFI), the MTB was flagged off by Mananthavady municipal corporation chairman V.R. Privij.
CFI general secretary Maninder Pal Singh, additional secretary-general Sudhish Kumar, race director Sudam S. Rokade, KATPS CEO Manesh Bhaskar and DTPC (Wayanad) secretary Anand B., who is also the MTB convener, were present.
The final race of ‘Fun and Thrill,’ along a round within the Priyadarshini Tea estate, will start at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday.
The top three winners will get cash prizes, medals and a certificate.
From various countries
The international segment will see the participation of men and women from Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Canada, Germany, Iran, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Uzbekistan besides India, MTB is the country’s pioneering mountain bike race to feature in the calendar of the Switzerland-based UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), the apex organisation for cycling bodies in the world.
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