The Hero MTB Himalaya prides itself as being one of the toughest bicycle races across the globe. The participating riders are known to undergo grueling training regimes in the mountains before they eventually park their bikes at the starting ribbon of this race. The 2016 edition will officially witness 60+ confirmed (yet) riders from 12+ nationalities. There are 5 categories in the competitive section - Men Solo, Women Solo, Masters Solo (40-50 yrs), Grand Masters Solo (51+ yrs), and Team of 2.
According to the official website, here are the top 9 champion riders that have confirmed participation:
1. Cory Wallace - Men Solo
A proud winner at this event two years ago, this Canadian has garnered a massive fan following in the Himalayas. Cory plays for the Kona Factory Team.
2. Catherine Williamson - Women Solo
This veteran British cyclist already has the world & European championships under her illustrious belt. Catherine has also participated in the MTB Himalaya before and will be vying for the top spot this time.
3. Ilda Pereira - Women Solo
Another seasoned favourite in the women’s solo category, Ilda also hails from Portugal. She has previously won the Operto Vitalis XCM Championship amongst others that will come in handy to her in this race.
4. John Funk - Masters Solo
Another fan favourite in the Indian hills, this Canadian won the competition in the Masters category back in 2012. This will be his third stint here.
5. Devender Thakur - Men Solo
This Indian prodigy will literally have a lot riding on his shoulders. Fresh off from podium finishes at the MTB Shimla, India National Championship, among a lot others, Thakur will be riding for India's first professional MTB team - the Hero Action team.
6. Andreas Seewald - Men Solo
This German has competed strongly in the best races across the globe, including the Black Forest Bike Marathon, Ritchey MTB Challenge, Konig Ludwig Bike Club, etc. This time he will give his best at this event.
7. Andreas Hartman - Men Solo
Another young prodigy in the race this year, Hartman has achieved a lot in his short career which includes the National Park Bike Marathon 2012. His hunger for success is his USP.
8. Jason English - Men Solo
This charismatic English teacher is a 24-hour solo world champ from 2009-16. He is coming in conquest of the Himalayas for the first time, and it is because of his family & friends that he is doing so.
9. Naima Madlen Diesler - Women Solo
This is the first time for the 26-yr-old Naima in the Hero MTB Himalaya. That's probably because she gets a high from the scenic landscapes, and she'll have them in plenty at this race.
The Sublime Race Route