Prime News, Karnataka, National and International, Cycling, Udhagamandalam, December 14:- The 11th edition of Tour of Nilgiris (TfN), the annual epic tour of RideACycle Foundation (RAC-F), reached Udhagamandalam (Ooty) by pedalling 103 km through Devershola, Masanagudi and the Kalhatti Ghat after starting from Mysuru and cycling through to Hassan, Madikeri and Sultan Bathery (Kerala).
Moving forward, the TfN 2018 contingent will explore the hinterlands of Ooty, which will take them to Kundah Dam before turning back to Ooty by climbing through Yedakad, Emerald Bazar and Fern Hill. The total distance pedalled on Day 6 will be 112 km. On the penultimate day, the cyclists will pedal 147 km from Ooty to reach Kalpetta passing through Pykara and Gudalur (through Naduvattam).
The grand tour will witness 110 cyclists, including 29 international and 18 women riders, pedal around 950 km around the pristine Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve across the Western Ghats, winding through Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, between December 9 and 16.
At a press conference held here on Thursday, Satish Belawadi, Tour Director, TfN 2018 and Badrinath V Sastry, Assistant Tour Director, TfN 2018, revealed that the first four days of the tour was just mesmerising and the Day 4 tested the endurance and true character of cyclists. It was the Kalhatti Climb which brought the best of cyclists.
The Kalhatti Climb of 12 km and 36 hairpin bends saw cyclists inch up 1,230 meters vertically. The fastest to complete the climb overall was K Kiran Kumar Raju and among the women, it was Katja-Lill Jensen and they were crowned the King and Queen of Kalhatti respectively.
According to Satish, “After a satisfying first decade of Tour of Nilgiris, we are stepping into the second decade with a greater determination to provide cycling enthusiasts a world-class tour that offers an experience that encompasses different elements. Importantly, the tour over the years has become a training ground for budding Indian cyclists to test their endurance and hone their skills in the presence of seasoned international cyclists”.
Commenting on the tour, Badrinath said, “TfN which initially had greater participation from Bengaluru, over the years has started attracting cyclists from across the country and also globally. TfN 2018 is witnessing the largest contingent from Mumbai with 27 cyclists, followed by Bengaluru with 20 cyclists, Pune with 10 cyclists and Indore with 6 cyclists. There are three cyclists each from Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad; while two from Goa and one each from Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata, Delhi and Vellore complete the India contingent.
Among the overseas cyclists, seven hail from Denmark; five hail from the United States of America; 3 from Great Britain; two each from Australia, Belgium, Canada and Germany and one each from Austria, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, The Netherlands and Sweden.
About RideACycle Foundation (RAC-F):
RAC-F, a not-for-profit advocacy organisation, is pioneering an initiative to popularise cycling for commuting, leisure and as an agent of social change and usher in a Bicycle Freedom Revolution in the country and make it a viable option for daily transportation. RAC-F’s initiative is essentially aimed at bringing back the culture of cycling by creating awareness in society on the virtues of using cycle and its benefits. (MR)