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Cross Country Mountain Biking Race in Manali

The organized “Himalayan Trails and Dust Mountainbiking Challange” has been running every year for five years and I managed to participate at all, besides last year.

Mountainbiking Festival in Manali

Mountain biking festival in Manali

The level of the race has improved significantly over the last five years. Of course cows still run infront of the bike and  I was the only female participant this year yes well.

But the participants are no longer just local boys who are friends with the organizers, but actually come from all parts of India and are partly even sponsored riders!

Die Organisation wird von Jahr zu Jahr profffesioneller

The organisation becomes more professional from year to year

Manali is ideal for mountain biking: unexplored paths, strenuous uphill rides and challenging descents: it goes over loose boulders, up to snow-covered passes, to clear mountain lakes or to remote villages and through green coniferous forests.

Mountain Biking in Mnaali

Mountain Biking in Manali

I often travel alone on my bike here. All the more I look forward every year to the race to get to know other mountain bikers and to explore the paths and roads around Manali together for a day!

Selfie auf dem Weg zum Rothang pass

Selfie on the way to the Rothang Pass

For me, it’s less about competing with the other bikers than having a lot  fun!

In fact, I am quite strong in terms of endurance, so that I perform relatively well during the uphill climbs. But when technical skills are required or it goes downhill at a rapid pace, I slow done. I just care too much about my health and the condition of my bike!

Registrierung für das Rennen

Registration for the race – every year more and more participants come from all corners of the country

But the Indian guys are enormous! Especially the locals seem to know no fear and rush over stones, through rushing streams steeply down into the valley!

Short race description:

The Cross Country race consisted of three sections.

Kurz vor dem Start

Shortly before the start

In the first stage we went in serpentines for six kilometers to the village of Kanjal. Then we had to carry our bikes through the village on a narrow path until we reached a single trail that ran through a green coniferous forest.

Dreikilometer langer Single Trail

Three-kilometre-long Single Trail

The three kilometers were technically demanding it went through mud, over loose stones and through streams – I spent a lot of time pushing :).

nach dem Trail

after the trail

During the 2nd section I was able to shine and finished 7th: it went uphill continuously for 9 kilometers from Old Manali to Palchan. The small, partly unpaved road is my daily training track and so I knew exactly how to divide my strengths.

Auf in die zweite Runde: 9 km bergauf

On to the second lap: 9 km uphill

After lunch we went back to Old Manali for 9 kilometres. It started to rain heavily: Monsoon (!), but I enjoyed the descent through the cool rain, although I was much slower than the rest! Safety is just a matter of time!!!!

Mittagspause

Lunch break

In addition to the Cross Country race, there was also a downhill race with participants from Nepal, Australia and Great Britain!

Proffesionelle Rider aus indien, Nepal, UK und Austrailien

Professional Riders from India, Nepal, UK and Austrailia

The downhill course consisted of 2 1/2 km course in Solang Valley.

Mit der Gondel bergauf

Uphill with the gondola

It was muddy (we just got monsoon), stony and fast! For me only watching was an option.

Steiler Single Trail

Steep Single Trail

But I enjoyed the atmosphere: it’s always great to be with athletes who have a passion! I myself managed the slippery trail on foot, as I distributed the lunch packages to the marshals. This allowed me to watch the riders very closely.

Es gab viele Stürze

There were many falls

It’s great to see how the mountain bike scene evolves from year to year and to be a part of it.

das Downhill Rennen

the downhill race

A seven-day race will be held near Manali at the end of September and I am determined to participate!!!

Glueckliche Teilnehmern bei der Siegerehrung

Happy participants at the award ceremony