Mountain bikers to raise funds for Nepal quake victims

Shimla : Three-time champion of the Mongolia Bike Challenge Cory Wallace and Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) on Wednesday joined hands to raise charity for the Nepal earthquake victims.

“Since the maximum participation of riders out of India is from Nepal, we have decided to support the country which has made a global name in mountain biking,” said Mohit Sood, HASTPA president, the Shimla-based club that has been organising the MTB Himalaya rally for a decade.

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Fortunately, no Nepalese rider, who participates in the MTB Himalaya, has died in Saturday’s devastating earthquake.

The rally, which sees participation of around 100 bikers every year from across the globe, is billed as one of the toughest mountain biking events in the world.

“Help Nepal. Calling upon the cycling community of India to help Nepal generously,” two-time Canadian marathon champion Wallace, who in last October won the MTB Himalaya, said in a Facebook post.

“Riders from Nepal have been an inspiration to all of us and it’s our moral duty towards the country and its people,” Wallace, who just participated in Pre-Titan Desert in Morocco, added.

Sood said HASTPA has appealed to its members, numbering around 750, to donate generously. “HASTPA will contribute one-fourth of the total donations received from the members. The donations will go to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.”

HASTPA has established contact with a majority of bikers in Nepal on the phone and all of them survived the disaster, Sood added.

Besides Wallace, Portuguese bikers Luis Leao Pinto, who is Titan desert MTB Marathon champion and stands ninth in world rankings, and Ricardo Rodrigues Martins, ranked 16th in the world, are among the world ranking riders who participated in the MTB Himalaya.