As many as 250 Mountain Bike (MTB) riders participated in the 2nd 'North Quest Ladakh -Challenge 2018'-the highest accredited MTB race, which concluded on Sunday.
"This is highest accredited MTB race in the world. This race is accredited by Cycling Federation of India (CFI)," said Harkirat Singh, one of the organizers, while talking to the media.
He further expressed satisfaction that the local Ladakhi population took an active part in this event.
"Since the last event, we have seen a huge influx of new riders, new clubs coming up. They are quite enthusiastic about taking part in this event," he said.
Singh also informed that the cycling race would be an annual feature from this year onwards.
The race had many winners in several categories. In the Elite category, Kiran Kumar Ragu finished first while Devender Kumar stood on the second position and Padam Bahabur won the third position in the category. Cash prizes from the first position to the third position were Rs 75,000/- 50,000/- and 25,000/- respectively.
Meanwhile, in the Amateur men's category, Thinles Dorjay stood on first position and Sachin KR Singh finished at the second spot. In the Amateur women's category, Sonam Chuskit emerged as the winner while Rinchen Dolma stood on second position in the Amateur women's category.
For many, it was the first time participating in the race, like Kiran Kumar Ragu, a resident of Bangalore.
"Racing at an altitude of 3500 metres and above was definitely difficult. We had to come here about five days prior to the race in order to get acclimatized to the weather and altitude," said Ragu.
CFI's Director VN Singh, who was also present in the event, said that such an event would help promote cycling in this region.
Five children were selected by CFI for professional training and out of which one, Lekzes Angmo, has already won a gold medal and scripted history by becoming the first girl from Jammu and Kashmir to become a national champion.