PELLING(SIKKIM): Pelling Additional District Magistrate BB Subba this morning flagged of riders on the sixth leg of the nine-leg 500 km $25,000 first International Kanchendzonga Mountain Biking Expedition to Hee Patal Yatri Niwas.
GP Upadhyaya, Commissioner-cum-Secretary Tourism Department, Government of Sikkim, addressed the participants and announced that it would be a regular feature and the next edition would be organised on much bigger scale. He himself pedalled for a 15 km distance.
Meanwhile, international Padam Sabenhhang of Nepal is going from strength to strength. Displaying his prowess, Nepal Mountain Biking champion Padam is increasing his lead after finishing first. On three occasions, he waited for his teammate Mangal Krishna Lamba and lost several minutes. Still the cyclists from Himalayan Ultimate Biking Club are sitting pretty for the team championship.
In the fifth leg --51.6 km long from Yusum-Darap-Pelling, Padam pedalled the distance in one hour, 26 minutes and 15 seconds to win the leg with an ease. His colleague Mangal Krishna Lamba was close on his heel in 1::27:07.
Army 'A' rider Ramesh Chander Joshi (Army 'A') and Sushil Singh (Army G) secured third and fourth positions in 1::27:28 and 1::32:01 respectively.
Kulbir Kaur of Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, Chandigarh is leading the ladies challenge after withdrawn of American and German cyclists. The American rider, however, withdrew from the competitions from first leg from Gangtok to Rumtek. Kulbir, representing Firefox, clocked 2::23:01 and finished 20th in overall.
The youngest participant Monika, of Chandigarh and SGGS College, got 27th position with a timing of 2::41:20.
Jigme D Denjongpa, representing Melting Point, is keeping Sikkim hopes alive. Finishing by shouting "Chak de" at the finishing point, he has become the most popular rider.He is cheered by all. Another rider who has made his impression is white beard Dicky from Delhi.