A company that made India pedal around for years, is now making the same country shine on a globe. Hero Cycles, world’s largest cycle manufacturer, today announced its collaboration with Himachal Adventure Sport & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) to support MTB Himalaya 2014, India’s premier International cycling event. 63 cycling teams from 12 countries will be a part of six-day, 500 kms race to be flagged off in Shimla on Sept 26th. Indian Air Force and the Indian Army adventure wing will lead the strong Indian challenge

Mr Pankaj Munjal, MD Hero Cycles speaking at the launch of Hero MTB Himalaya

Mr Pankaj Munjal, MD Hero Cycles speaking at the launch of Hero MTB Himalaya

Hero Cycles announced its entry in competitive cycling sport by unveiling the ‘UT Action Team’ at the 10th edition of Hero MTB Himalaya also known as Mountain Biking Himalaya. “Hero Cycles identified budding cyclists for this team. These players will be trained and groomed to participate in major international and national cycling events. We are confident that the budding India talent will get a great opportunity to learn and improve their skills at the highest level with such a diverse international participation”, said Pankaj Munjal, Co-Chairman and Managing Director. He further adds, “The sport of cycling and mountain biking will be introduced at the school level through the School Programme. It will be taken further to the next level for those desirous of taking up the sport through the Mountain Biking Training Academies based in Shimla and Gurgaon. Hero and HASTPA will endorse deserving cyclists from these academies for International and National cycling events”

Mr. Mohit Sood, Managing Director, HASTPA, the organiser of Hero MTB Himalaya said, “The collective vision of Hero Cycles and HASTPA is to be at the forefront of bike advocacy in order to have an impact on people of all ages and backgrounds by spreading awareness about the positive fall outs of cycling on health, environment and lifestyle. They have joined forces to bring about a revolution in the sport of cycling and to make the Himalayas and India the most sought after mountain biking destination in the world”.

The event won’t only have newcomers and budding cyclists, it will also see one of the greatest cyclists of modern times such as Sonia Lopez and Cory Wallace sweating it out. Wallace, the current Canadian champion and who has won titles all across the world, has been made the male ambassador of the event. Speaking at the event Wallace said “I am thrilled to be a part of Hero MTB Himalaya. It is indeed the ultimate maharaja of mountain biking in India and I hope to see Hero MTB Himalaya as the most popular MTB race in the world in coming years”.

World renowned cyclist Sonia Lopez with Hero Action Team

World renowned cyclist Sonia Lopez with Hero Action Team

Apart from India, other countries participating in the 3rd toughest mounting bike in the world are, Nepal, Holland, Bangladesh, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Canada, Belgium, Poland, United Kingdom and Columbia that will be represented at the race. Teams from the Indian defence forces namely the Indian Air Force and the Indian army adventure wing will be leading a stiff Indian challenge with the local boys Devender Thakur and Gurman Reen also having a point to prove.

In this year’s edition of Hero MTB Himalaya, the total vertical climbing of the race will be close to 12500 m over 6 days making it one of the highest in the world. Enchanted by virgin Himalayan landscapes on each day, cyclists will be cycling through a vista so unique and so beautiful it is sure to take their breath away. The race covers forest tracks, rocky paths, apple orchards, pine and cedar forests to ultimately reach its highest point- the mighty Jalori pass situated at a height of 3050 m above sea level.