EPIC 17K Mountain Biking race kicks off, riders cover 51 KMs on first day

Mangan, 26 Jun [IPR]:

Minister for Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department, Tshering Wangdi Lepcha today flagged off the EPIC 17K Mountain Biking race from Mangan Bazaar.

There are 66 bikers from various parts of the country and Bhutan participating in the four-day race.

On the first-day, the riders were tasked to cover 51KMS from Mangan to Lachung in 07 hours.

Issac Rai covered the targeted distance in 2 hours 35 minutes and 30 seconds. Shiven came in second by covering the distance in 2 hours 42 minutes and 10 seconds while Innus Ali completed the race in 2 hours 45 minutes and 21 seconds.

The participants will halt at Lachung today where they will prepare for the next phase on Wednesday.

On the second day, the bikers will be given a time frame of 7.5 hours to cover 53 KMs from Lachung to Yumesamdong covering Yumthang.

The first two days are recreational leagues which will test the endurance level of the bikers for the next level, the organizers informed.

Only bikers who will complete the first two races will be eligible for the later league.

The third stage is the toughest stage and the bikers will have to start from Lachung and travel all the way to Thangu covering a distance of 83 KMs in 10 hours.

The third stage is called ‘King of the Mountain’ and the winner will be awarded with special prize of Rs 20,000.

The last stage of the race is called EPIC 17K where the riders will race up to an elevation of 17,800 ft at Gurudongmar.

The valedictory ceremony of the race will be held on 29 Jun at Lachen Dzumsa where the winners of the race will be felicitated.

The competition will be under two categories which are Men’s Elite and Men’s Masters.

Cash prizes of Rs 70,000, 50,000 and 30,000 will be awarded to the first, second and third riders in the Men’s Elite competition and Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000, Rs 10,000 will awarded to the first three riders in Men’s Master competitions respectively.

The EPIC 17K event is first of its kind in the State organized by North District Administration.

The event is being supported by Lachen Dzumsa and Lachung Dzumsa, Hub Outdoors and Mountain Goats. Indian Army and ITBPF and Himalayan Mountaineering Institute are also supporting the event by providing medical facilities and rescue operation for the riders.