Thiruvananthapuram: Biking professionals and aficionados from India and abroad will test their endurance and expertise in a most challenging and rugged terrain of the Western Ghats as the 6th edition of MTB (Mountain Bike) Kerala is all set to be held on December 21, 22 at Priyadarshini Tea Environs, Mananthavady in the state’s Wayanad district.
Organised by Kerala government’s Department of Tourism under the aegis of Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (KATPS), District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) – Wayanad and Cycling Federation of India (CFI), this year’s mega mountain biking event will be more challenging and thrilling, taking the riders through a 5-km stretch at an altitude of 3,000 feet that encompasses terrains like dirt, rock and water.
Famous for the adrenaline rush it offers, MTB Kerala is the first mountain bike race in India to be featured in the MTB race calendar of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the Swiss-based world governing body for sports cycling and overseas international competitive cycling events.
“Over the years, the stupendous success of MTB Kerala has placed the state on the global map of mountain biking and also brought into sharp focus its adventure-related facets. It provides an opportunity to all cyclists to be the part of UCI-approved MTB Kerala race and demonstrate power-packed and thrilling performances to captivate viewers,” Tourism Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran said.
This year’s race will be held in three categories: International Cross Country, National Cross Country – Men, and National Cross Country – Women. An added attraction of the event is that it also includes for the first time an additional race for amateurs, titled ‘Fun & Thrill Challenge’.
For amateurs’ event, the registration fee is Rs. 1,000 per participant, and it can be done online at MTB Kerala website, www.mtbkerala.com. Registration starts on December 5 from 10 am onwards and closes on December 10 at 5 pm. For the ‘Fun & Thrill Challenge’, any amateur cyclist, who can manage to ride on a mountain terrain, may participate.
Fun & Thrill Challenge will have separate category for men and women. Participants who reach in first 25 positions in the qualifying round of a 38-km road cycling competition on December 20 will be selected for the MTB Amateur Championship on December 21. There is no qualification round for women category. The total entry for men for this segment is limited to 100 and 25 for women on first come first serve basis.
The first three positions in the amateurs’ challenge round will qualify for the MTB National Category Championship, to be held on December 22. Participants will have to bring their own MTB cycles and safety equipments.
Registration for international and national participants, free of cost, is already over. Only valid UCI and CFI (Cycling Federation of India) licensed nominees can participate in the national and international competitions. The technical committee will scrutinize the qualification of the riders and those who are qualified will be intimated.
The race is open to both individual riders and teams. As for the prize money, the winner in International Cross Country race will get Rs 150,000 while the first, second, third and fourth runner up will secure Rs 100,000, Rs 50,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively.
The winner in National Cross Country – Men race will be awarded a prize money of Rs 100,000 while the first, second and third runner up would be getting Rs. 50,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively. As for the National Cross Country – Women event, the winner will be presented Rs 50,000 while the first three runners up will be getting Rs 25,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000, respectively. The first three winners of ‘Fun & Thrill Challenge’ will also be given cash prize, medals and certificates.