En­duro rac­ing makes its Hi­malayan de­but

Action Asia - - EVENTS -

NEPAL BIK­ING ASIAN EN­DURO SE­RIES' FIRST race in Nepal – the coun­try's first en­duro full-stop – took place on the eastern rim of Kath­mandu Val­ley in April. The seven-stage race saw 53 rid­ers from more than a dozen dif­fer­ent coun­tries take on the wooded trails of Na­garkot. Or­gan­ised by a crew of lo­cal rid­ers called Gnarly, the event started with a prac­tice ride on April 7, with the fol­low­ing two days see­ing three and four race stages, re­spec­tively. Par t i c i p a nt s f r om s e v e r a l c o u n t r i e s t o o k p a r t , a mong them rid­ers of all lev­els of rac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and skills: from re c re at i onal e nduro r a c e r s t o na­tional cham­pi­ons and ath­letes. “The com­pe­ti­tion was ver y tight,” says Elite win­ner Florent Poilane, a French ex­pat liv­ing in Viet­nam. “I was ac­tu­ally be­hind Ra­jesh by 10 sec­onds on the first day of the race, and was able to get a two-sec­ond over­all lead the next day. The trails were awe­some and rid­ers here I feel have a lot of po­ten­tial to do re­ally well in other coun­tries.” Like­wise, one of the five fe­male rid­ers Saria Ba­jracharya said, “The trails along the coun­try­side were re­ally a great ride – even though I ran over a chicken on the way.” Clearly the rac­ers were fo­cused, as they tore up the seven con­trast­ing trails that ran through thick woods, serene vil­lages and lush farm­lands. From the Women's cat­e­gory, both the Bel­gian win­ner Kris­tine Ne­len and sec­ond run­ner-up from Tai­wan, Chi Ling Tsai, ex­pressed their in­ter­est in com­ing back for more of the same next year. “The craze of En­duro bik­ing a n d Ne p a l a s a n a d v e n t u r e des­ti­na­tion has def­i­nitely got­ten a boost with this event. The Nepal Cy­cling As­so­ci­a­tion als o took

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