8th Nepal Mountain Bike Championship
Nepal has always been known as a popular mountain biking destination, as its varied terrain offers bikers some of the most challenging, picturesque and scenic routes. Many tour operators started offering visitors to Nepal, the opportunity to explore that country by going on a mountain biking trip, and soon the sport that was initially a tourist attraction became a serious sporting event. Riding through the Kathmandu valley or taking on the adventurous journey from Pokhara to Kathmandu, has led to many competitions and championships, such as the 8th Nepal Mountain Bike Championship, which is scheduled to take place on 24 November 2007.
The NCA, or Nepal Cycling Association, have been working tirelessly to organize the 8th Nepal Mountain Bike Championship, to start in Chovar, which is a beautiful farmland region that is just outside of Kathmandu. Tourists and visitors in Nepal are welcome to enter into the race, which is hoping to attract more entrants than in previous years.
There will be four categories according to skill and experience. Entrants will be able to ride under the juniors division, the masters’ race, the elite, or the women’s race. The difference between the divisions is the distance. Mountain bikers will have to complete laps for the race, and each lap is eleven kilometers. Entrants into the masters and elite divisions will have to complete three laps of eleven kilometers each, while the junior division and women need to complete two laps. As most mountain bikers will comment, it is not the distance that could hamper their race efforts, but the terrain and course that awaits them.
Mountain bikers from all over the world take part in this annual event, and come from countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Japan and the United States of America. Locals from Nepal also enter, and it is always a day that is filled with festivities and adventure. Many of the international entrants take part purely for the joy and excitement of the race, even though there are cash prizes of Rs. 20 000 for the winners of the elite and masters’ divisions, with Rs. 15 000 for second place and Rs. 10 000 for third. Winners of the woman’s and junior divisions will receive Rs. 5 000.
But whether it is for the love of mountain biking or for the challenge and dream to win, the reason why mountain bikers enter is of no concern to organizers. All they are hoping for is that the 8th Nepal Mountain Bike Championship will bring attention to this magnificent country and its beautiful landscapes, and that everyone who enters has fun and enjoys the day.