Mangan, 29 Jun:
Issac Rai of Kalimpong has been adjudged the winner of EPIC 17K Mountain Terrain Biking Race held in North Sikkim.
A total of 66 athletes from various parts of the country and neighbouring Bhutan had participated in the race.
The final day of the EPIC 17K MTB Race covered a distance of 83 kms from Thangu to Gurudongmar Lake at an elevation level of 17800 ft.
The valedictory ceremony was held at Lachen Dzumsa today wherein the winners of the race were awarded prizes. The function was attended by Forest Minister, TW Lepcha, as chief guest in the presence of Deputy Speaker, SLA, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, District Collector, North, Karma R Bonpo, Pipons and the general public of Lachen.
The competition was held under two categories, Men’s Elite and Men’s Masters. Cash prize of Rs 70,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 30,000 was awarded to the first, second and third riders in the Men’s Elite competition and Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000, Rs 10,000 was awarded to the first three riders in Men’s Master competitions.
A special consolation prize was also awarded to women riders who finished the race.
The event based on the themes “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” and “Secure Himalayas” was organised by Forest Department in collaboration with the North District Administration. The associate partners for the race were Lachen Dzumsa, Lachung Dzumsa, MNP, TAAS, Indian Army and ITBPF.
Forest Minister, Mr Lepcha, while speaking to this correspondent said that the aim of the event was to take the race to a global level and make a mark in the mountain biking calendar of the world so as to promote tourism of North Sikkim.
He also added that the EPIC 17K MTB Race is a unique race being held in North Sikkim. It also tested the endurance level of riders while being exposed to panoramic views of the Sikkim.
The DC North said that the programme has potential to be a game changer for development of tourism in the district and move the entire industry towards high value tourism in the State.
“The race will act as a platform to showcase the abundant bio diversity, unique geology and scenic beauty of the district,” said the DC North while extending gratitude to all for supporting the event.