FootHills MTB Challenge 2021: Race Report!

Race Report from the FootHills MTB Challenge 2021 held in Dehradun on 14th April by AdvenThrill in partnership with…

When your blood is pumping, your heart is thumping and sweat is pouring into your eyes… you still push on… because you want to reach the top first…

Racing cycles has a bazillion formats. On most occasions cycle races and the culture take a cue from the landscapes surrounding the locale.

Dehradun is no exception. A strong MTB culture and located at the base of the hills, this city has all the cycling juntaa looking up, to the top of the climb. Always!

Foothills MTB Challenge 2021
Kicking up some dirt!

Enter the FootHills MTB Challenge 2021 by AdvenThrill. A hill climb race for mountain bikers, where the goal was simple. Reach the top first and be crowned the King & Queen of the Mountain.

On 14th of April, mountain bike racers gathered to indulge their competitive spirit. All in memory of a young lad. Tanishk, tragically lost his life while riding his cycle in an automobile incident. He was an avid racer and fantastically talented.

There is no better way to remember a racer, than to race in his memory. And that is exactly what the good folks of Dehradun did on his birthday. Race…

Foothills MTB Challenge 2021: The Start line
Everyone who has the courage to start a race is a winner!

FootHills MTB Challenge 2021

Before the flag dropped, the riders congregated in town, where Tanishk’s dad and brother were present. His dad blessed the racers by flagging them off. We salute his spirit, for having the courage to support the sport, even after losing his son.

Tanishk’s dad and younger brother who were present to flag off the racers…

The Race

As one would expect, the moment the flag dropped it was mayhem. Riders jostling for position as they worked their way up. Some lighting up from the first pedal stroke. Others keeping their powder dry, to explode in the latter half of the race.

The course was not technical, but nonetheless it was tricky on occasion. There were sections of deep dirt which saw many riders hopping off their bikes to push. Inches deep gravel was also a challenge for those heading fast to the top.

A few even had their posteriors bouncing off the ground, rather than their tyres! And for those with flagging spirits and bodies, AdvenThrill had arranged for energy drinks and chocolates along the way. The racers were super happy with this, because they got what they needed, a challenge and the fuel to complete that challenge.

Here are the results from the various categories. Congratulations to all those who worked their way to the podium…

Foothills MTB Challenge 2021 result

The Overall winner of the race was Sandeep Thapa who had come down from Shimla. Lighting the fire under the local boys, who would now want redemption in the next race! Fastest local was Anshuman Nautiyal.


What was special about this race was the fact that there was wide representation. There were riders from Himachal, Odisha, Maharashtra, various parts of Uttarakhand and one even from USA!

4 girls stood at the start line, we hope this number will only grow in the coming races. Astha Dobhal, Anjali Bhandari, Chandini & Sayali were the outstanding girls.

Astha with the winner’s trophy in the girls category being presented by Dr. Ruchi Sethi and Dr. Sanjay Sethi

There was 14 year old Yash Gupta racing as well and 3 racers were 60+!

Racing isn’t just about crossing the finish line, it is showing up at the start line. 60 cool folks registered for this race and tested their mettle against each other. And anyone who has organised a bicycle race in India knows, that 60 is a massive number. Even more so considering the budding cycling culture in Dehradun.

We are sure this number will only go up in the future. All those who attended appreciated the race and organisation and promised to be back again for the next one!

Foothills mtb challenge 2021
It is never meant to be easy!

Thanks To…

A race doesn’t happen in a vacuum, you need support. All kinds of support from everywhere. These are the wonderful people and companies who made FootHills MTB Challenge 2021 possible. Thank you!

Dr. Ruchi Sethi & Dr. Sanjay Sethi for sponsoring the prize money for the race
Vishav Dhiman & Kamaljeet Dhiman for accepting to be the Guest of Honour and handing out the prizes
Naresh Singh Nayal, Race Director, who is the Coach of the Indian Blind Football team
Vinod Saklani and Manish Bhat for being the Race Referees
Volunteers: Apoorv Saklani, Subhendra Shahi, Sunil Mehla, Subhash and Ramesh Bharti
Photographers: Vedant Rastogi, Manav, Ashutosh and Kshitij from the AdvenThrill team

The inspirational cycling couple from Dehradun, Vishav and Kamaljeet Dhiman distributing certificates and medals to the finishers…

Hydration Partner: Enerzal
Refreshments Partner: Musee Art Cafe
Technical Support: Urban Trailblazer

Last and surely not the least. The man behind AdvenThrill and who made this race possible, Vijay Singh

Racing in memory of Tanishk

The next race is planned somewhere during the monsoons by AdvenThrill. Hopefully it will turn out to be a proper slush fest! Stay tuned for that on their Instagram page

PS: Life is stranger than fiction. And as coincidence would have it, Tanishk, in whose memory this race was organised, was blessed with good news. Tanishk’s father after flagging off the race was at the hospital with his wife where she gave birth to a healthy son that same evening. Wonders never cease…

Photo Feature

Looking back at the competition!
Foothills MTB Challenge 2021
Climbing on loose rock and rubble
…is never easy!
Foothills MTB Challenge 2021
When push comes to shove!
The method doesn’t matter… just reach the top first!
Head down and party hard!
All the way from USA, Matt!
All the way from Maharashtra, Sayali
Anjali, who finished second among the girls…
Mr. AdvenThrill himself… Vijay!

If you liked this article you can read about road racing in Chennai, MTB racing in Maharashtra and endurance racing in Ladakh!

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