Enduro Racing makes a grand debut in Nepal!
Kathmandu, Nepal (PRWEB) April 13, 2016 Media Contact: Anuj Adikhary Media Director & Co-founder, Gnarly
Asian Enduro Series – Nepal 2016, the first ever enduro race in Nepal, took place successfully across the eastern rim of Kathmandu Valley. The seven-stage race saw 53 riders from almost fifteen different countries take on the flowy wooded trails of Nagarkot. Organized by Gnarly, the event started with a practice ride on April 7th, while the following two days saw three and four race stages, respectively. The event, apart from being the first of the Asian Enduro Series, is also an international mountain biking event being held in Nepal after eight long years.
Participants hailing from Belgium, Bangladesh, the UK, Belgium, the Philippines, Malaysia, France, the USA, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and Nepal took part in AES, among whom riders of all racing experience and skills were featured. From recreational enduro racers to national champions and athletes, the racers dominated the seven trails that ran through thick woods, serene villages and lush farmlands.
AES Nepal 2016 had three categories: Elite (advanced male riders – 29 participants), Femenino (advanced and recreational female riders – 5 participants) and Curious (recreational male riders – 19 participants). The fastest timing for Elite category on the first day was held by France’s Florent Poilane, followed by Rajesh Magar, who was recently crowned national DH champion, and Chris Keeling, a half-British half-Nepali teen. For the Women’s category Belgium’s multiple-time XC and enduro champion Kristine Nelen bagged gold with American Jocelyn Powelson and Taiwanese Chi Ling Tsai in second and third positions, respectively.
The winners from Elite categories took home USD 500, USD 300 and USD 200, while in the ladies category the prizes were USD 300, USD 150 and USD 100. All winners received a finisher’s medal.
“The competition was very tight,” says Elite winner Florent, 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 2-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, “This has been one of the most fun races in my life although it was tough – both in terms of technical skills and physical endurance. The trails along the countryside were really a great ride, even though I ran over a chicken on the way! The forest section was also really fast through the greenery.” Indeed the trails ran though Nagarkot’s tranquil countryside, popular for the spectacular views of the mountains.
The director of Asian Enduro Series, Apo Sly said that the second edition of AES in Nepal is definitely on. “Two important objectives have been met through this race: to promote enduro cycling locally and internationally, in addition to boosting sports tourism,” the Filipino national said. “This race is a prelude of the several enduro races planned through Asian Enduro Series.”
Co-founder of Gnarly, Shyam Limbu, claimed, “This is Gnarly’s attempt to introduce Enduro racing in Nepal and think we’ve been successful to make it happen. We are honored to have organized the Asian Enduro and be able to pull off an event of this scale without any major incidents. In fact, this event is the perfect example that by collaborating with bike companies in the industry, any race imaginable can be possible. Besides the race elements itself, we’d made sure all aspects of the event like safety, food, accommodation, ambience and awards were well taken care of.”
Talking about Nepal’s 2017 edition Media Director and Co-founder of Gnarly, Anuj Adhikary maintains, “We’ve learned a lot working on AES, and we’re confident that next year’s Enduro event will be off the charts! We are hopeful that there’ll be more international as well as national athletes. The craze of enduro biking and Nepal as an adventure destination has definitely gotten a boost with this event and we can’t wait to be back next year with aplomb!”
The race was followed by an awards ceremony and an afterparty in Hotel Country Villa of Nagarkot with DJ Nishant manning the music. “This has been an awesome weekend of adrenaline action!” said Spandan Lama, a spectator and an adventure event entrepreneur. “This has been an amazing weekend and it’s great to see that adventure sports, especially mountain biking is picking up in Nepal.”
The next countries to host AES this year are the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. While the venue has already been decided but undisclosed, the next year’s Nepal’s 2017 edition is already looking to be far spectacular than this year’s!
Winner: Florent Poilane (0:35:38)
1st Runner-up: Rajesh Magar (0:35:40)
2nd Runner-up: Christopher Ashok Keeling (0:36:21)
Winner: Kristine Nelen (0:40:13)
1st Runner-up: Jocelyn Powelson (0:42:39)
2nd Runner-up: Chi Ling Tsai (0:44:27)
Winner: Prabin Rai (0:39:30)
1st Runner-up: Karma Lethro (0:40:47)
2nd Runner-up: Raju Gurung (0:42:01)
Full race results: http://www.gnarlybiking.com/aes-nepal2016-result.pdf
Banner Photo Credit: Vineet Sharma/www.freeridermag.in