• This topic is empty.
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • Author
  • #5728
      • City:

      Here’s your opportunity to race with the best mountain bikers of the country at the Grey Ghost MTB Challenge in Lahaul on the 11th of July!

      We are happy to announce our association with the Grey Ghost MTB Challenge 2021. A mountain bike race to be held on the 11th of July in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh.

      Grey Ghost MTB Challenge 2021

      The race is being organised by the Lahaul Spiti Cycling Association with District Administration Lahaul Spiti, under the banner of HPCA. Grey Ghost, the name is derived from the elusive species of the area, the Snow Leopard. The race winner is going to have do something similar, be elusive from the competition and disappear into the surrounding trails.

      Winning the race is of course going to be difficult. Some of the best mountain bikers of the country will be there. To win, you’re going to have beat these remarkable talents:

      1. Devender Thakur (Winner of the Ultimate Ladakh Cycling Challenge)
      2. Shiven (MTB National Champion)
      3. Naman Vij (5th at the MTB National Championships)
      4. Ashish Sherpa (4th at the MTB National Championships)
      5. Vijay Parkash (8th at the MTB National Championships, he’s joining in from Chandigarh)
      6. Rohit Thakur (10th at the MTB National Championships)
      7. Sonam Norboo (Bronze at the Ultimate Ladakh Cycling Challenge, he is joining in from Ladakh)
      8. Rajat Pandey (3rd at the MTB National Championships, he is joining in from Uttarakhand)

      Grey Ghost MTB Challenge

      Race Route

      There are two routes for the race, A and B. The former is 48 km in length and for Men’s Elite, Boys Under-19 and Masters. While the latter is 30 km in length and for racers from Girls Under-19, Women’s Elite, Boys Under-14 and Joy Riders!

      Route B

      Starting with Route B, the easier of the two. This will have about 14 km of National Highway which is smooth asphalt. This is almost entirely climbing with bits of flat sections. The route starts in Keylong on the highway, followed up with a 3 km long descent on jeep trails. Then an off road climb for another 3 km, followed by broken asphalt all the way till we reach Tandi, finally it ends with an 8 km climb back to Keylong.

      This route is not technical. The descent is on loose gravel and one climb is also similar. And at points it can get steep.

      On this route, you will be climbing a total of 550 metres in 30 km.

      Route A

      Route A is comprised of Route B and an extra 18 km detour. The difference is that from Tandi instead of heading for Keylong, you take a left, cross the Chandra river over a bridge, enter a village and take a single track.

      Single trail is totally about 2 km, jeep trail section is around 30 km and the rest is highway asphalt.

      The route elevation profile will be shared subsequently.

      Route A has 900 metres of elevation gain in the 48 km. We reduced the climbing, since it is already high altitude. The race starts at 3000 metres and minimum elevation would be around 2800 metres. There is only one long climb.


      All the 6 categories will win prizes. Details of it shall be shared later. This is nice, since most races somewhat ignore the junior categories when it comes to awards.

      Other than the podium finisher, the Top 10 of Route A will also win cash prizes.

      All the finishers will get certificates from HPCA (Himachal Pradesh Cycling Association), signed by the District Authority. Medals will be presented to the podium finishers.

      With the riders themselves being the driving force behind organising the event, everyone will take home a valuable experience if not a podium spot and prize!

      Promoting Mountain Biking among Women

      Women are under represented in the sport. To promote the sport among women, the organisers will give equal money for the men and women category. This is a fantastic initiative, since even many global sports aren’t equal in their treatment. There is also no race fee applicable for female racers.

      Yet, it is important to be realistic. And we are hoping for around 10 female racers to be present at the start line. With the hope that those 10 will inspire another 20 to come out and race.

      Racing in Lahaul is Special

      Lahaul provides beautiful terrain to ride in. The altitude and landscape together make the experience of riding there surreal and mesmerising. It feels like riding in heaven.

      For those travelling from the plains, they should preferably reach 3-4 days prior to the race. So that they can explore the gorgeous countryside and acclimatise to the altitude as well. This region has minimal traffic, so you can enjoy your cycling here.

      Lahaul doesn’t get a lot of rain, so you can enjoy a dry race in pleasant 14-18 degree ambient temperatures. You will be racing in shorts and half-sleeve jerseys. Since the sun beats down hard.

      But if you are going for the race from the plains, it is prudent to carry warm wear for the chill mornings and evenings.

      Getting to Keylong

      The Lahaul valley is now much more accessible thanks to the recently inaugurated Atal Tunnel. It allows locals to travel from Manali to Lahaul in winter as well, whereas earlier the place was inaccessible once snow covered Rohtang Pass.

      Earlier it would take 6-7 hours from Manali to Lahaul, with minimal traffic. Now you can reach Keylong in just 2 hours. Anybody from Chandigarh or Delhi can easily drive down for the race in 1 day. From Chandigarh it would take 10 hours to drive up.

      The Atal Tunnel is closed at night. But it is open for traffic throughout the week.

      Buses from Delhi and Chandigarh have started to Manali. You can catch a Volvo to Manali and from there you can take a local bus or even ride from Manali to Keylong, which is just 70 km away.

      Grey Ghost MTB Challenge: Race Information

      1. The race shall start & finish in Keylong for all the categories on 11thJuly 2021, 8:00 AM.
      2. Number plates will be distributed at start venue at 8:00AM.
      3. Covid Protocols to be strictly followed at the start/ finish areas. Masks & Social distancing is compulsory.
      4. Registration is free for Women Elite, Women U-19, Men U-19, Boys U-14 & Joy Ride(Non competitive).
      5. Registration fees is Rs 500 for Men Elite & Masters(40+).
      6. Riders are to bring their own MTB Bicycles and helmets.
      7. A total cash prize of Rs 2,00,000 shall be distributed among the winners of each category. And Overall Top-10 for Route A.
      8. Route A will be for Men Elite, Men Masters(40+) & Boys U-19, 48kms with 900m of elevation gain. (Details & elevation profile will be shared later)
      9. Route B will be for Women Elite, Girls(U-19), Boys(U-14) & Joy Ride, 30kms with 550m of elevation gain. (Details & Elevation profile will be shared later)
      10. The race is a High Altitude race with an average elevation of 3000m. Kindly prepare for the event accordingly.
      11. Accommodation will not be provided by the organisers.

      Rules & Regulations

      1. Helmet is compulsory for all categories at all times during the event.
      2. Strict NO Plastic policy shall be observed. Any rider throwing any kind of wrappers/plastic shall be immediately disqualified.
      3. Only Mountain Bikes in good working condition will be allowed.
      4. Please follow traffic at all times during the race and be on the left hand side of the road wherever it comes.
      5. Wearing earphones during the event is strictly forbidden.
      6. Race will be governed by the regulations of Himachal Pradesh Cycling Association. The decision of the Race Commissaire will be final.

      General Guidelines

      1. The practice of cycling in general and competition cycling especially, is a risky physical activity.
      2. Each event participant must commit, knowing that it will involve mountainous terrain with intense climbs and fast descents.
      3. Do not ride more than two in parallel and should you have to overtake the rider in front, you have to sound him in case it’s a narrow track and you anticipate any possibility of a crash.
      4. Please carry your hydration bottles during the rides, though we will be making arrangements of refreshment and hydration at the feed stations during the route.
      5. It’s a self-supported race. We will provide limited mechanical support in between. However, you need to carry your bike and fix it yourself in case any need arises during the race.
      6. Registration Link: https://tinyurl.com/yj9akt6a

      List of Hotels in Keylong

      Photos: Gitesh Gupta

    Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.