Race Report from the FootHills MTB Challenge 2022 held in Dehradun, Uttarakhand and organised by Team AdvenThrill in partnership with CyclingMonks.com
The FootHills MTB Challenge 2022 was the second iteration of this Dehradun race. It is held in memory of Late Tanishk Chaudhary, who lost his life after being hit by a car, while riding his bicycle.
The best way to honour those who have left us is to race in memory of them. That is exactly what the good folks at AdvenThrill have been doing for the last two years.
The 2022 edition saw the race get bigger and better. While the first year was a single day hill climb, the second year has seen the race evolve and grow.
It is now a 2-day stage race, with the first day being a long and winding hill climb and then descent. The second day is a short power packed course with everyone having to go full power from the first moment.
With the elevated level of the race, some incredibly talented riders made their way to Dehradun from different corners of the country. Racers were present from 8 states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and of course Uttarakhand.
Prior to the race, race bib numbers were distributed at Decathlon and Musee Art Cafe, both of whom partnered in organising this race.
FootHills MTB Challenge 2022: The Race!
Around 70 riders gathered at the start line on the 13th of April. With 5 girls also in the mix. It is wonderful to see the number of ladies participating in mountain bike racing. We hope they will inspire others for this number to grow.
The route started in the city, before heading out towards the hills and a solid 27 km and 1300 metre climb. It then descended the same distance on the other side of the hill back to base, where the first stage finished.
At the start of the climb, a group of 7 elite riders broke away from the chasing pack and climbed hard. This front group stayed together till around 4 km to the hill top. With 4 km to go, Devender Thakur from Himachal Pradesh attacked and only Ashish Sherpa and David Kumar could follow. The three Himachali boys then kept attacking and parrying each other till the top. Ashish and David reached the top almost simultaneously, while Devender was a bit farther down the road.
On the descent Ashish pulled a massive gap, taking continuous risks. His goal was to break the chasing pack and create an unassailable lead. His gamble paid off as he crossed the finish line on the first day 3 minutes ahead of Devender and David.
The first day of racing was critical, because the second day was super short.
Day 2’s Shenanigans
The second day of racing was just 20 km. With such a short distance to cover, all the racers went full power from the first minute. There was minimal strategy at play, as it was continuously attacks and counter-attacks. A big group were riding together for the most part, before the top 3 from day 1 broke away and maintained their gap all the way to the finish line.
The winners rode the second day through trail and asphalt at roughly 25 kmph. That is how hard paced the race was!
The eventual winners were, Ashish Sherpa in 1st place, Devender Thakur in 2nd and David Kumar in 3rd.
While the boys rode 55 + 20 km over the two days. The girls rode 20 + 20 km. They had a significantly shorter route on the first day, while the second day’s route was the same.
5 girls were racing each other and eventually Priyanka Mehta took the win. Saumya came second and Anjali Bhandari finished 3rd.
Besides the Elite Boys and Girls, there were multiple other category winners as well.
1st : Tsewang Norbo
2nd: Devansh Panwar
3rd: Arnav Gogia
1st: Amit Balyan
2nd: Ashok Limbu
3rd: Vineet Panwar
1st: Rajan Gupta
AdvenThrill the race organiser have been doing a great job of promoting the sport in the city of Dehradun and the FootHills MTB Challenge 2022 is another feather in the cap.
There has been a massive improvement in the race from the first year to the second. The racers are supported along the way with regular hydration points and race marshals. The learning curve is as steep for an organiser as it is for a budding racer.
And we are sure, that future races will be even bigger and better. Wishing loads of luck to Vijay and his team AdvenThrill.
Firstly, thanks to the Tanishk’s parents and family who graced the event with their presence. It is an honour for everyone of us to race in his memory.
Chief Guest, Director General of Police, Uttarakhand, Shri Ashok Kumar honoured all the winners with trophies. Chief Guest, Col. Ashwini Pundir, Director, Adventure Sports, Uttarakhand Tourism, honoured the winners with cheques. Col. Hariraj Singh Rana gave medals and prizes to all the winners.
Vijay Pratap Singh, Founder, Adventrill, awarded cycling coupons for a Spiti Cycling Tour to all category winners and young cyclists. He said that AdvenThrill will continue organizing such big events regarding cycling and safety. He added, that such events make the youth more aware of sports, that is why youth should participate enthusiastically in such events.
Mr. Vinod Saklani and Apurv Saklani played the role of referee in the race while Mr. Naresh Singh Nayal was the Race Director. The race was conducted by Vijay Pratap Singh, founder of AdvenThrill. The trail of the race was built by Aryan Singh of AdvenThrill team, Kaushal Pandey, Shubhendra Shahi, Vaibhav Uniyal, Ashmit Rawat, Yash Arya, Vedant Rastogi, Gambhir Singh helped make this race a success. Chauhan, Arpan Singh, Ashutosh, Anil Mohan, Himesh etc. played a helping role.