Laxmi & Pradhan win the Manali-Khardungla Cycling Championship
Ms Laxmi Magar from Nepal and Mr Purn Bahadur Pradhan from the Indian Army were announced the winner of the Manali-Khardungla Cycling Championship (MKCC) 2015, which was organised by Northern Escapes and Cycling 4 Change. Chief Guest Mr Nawang Rigzin Jora, MLA - Leh, and Guest of Honour Air Commodore S. Manikanthan, AOC, Leh awarded the winners at a glittering event held at hotel Skittsal in Stok, Leh. Ms Laxmi Magar has been three-time Women's Mountain Biking National Champion of Nepal.
A total of 63 participants competed against each other amidst challenging conditions and tough terrain and crossed 500 km distance in the high Himalayas in 9 days pedalling all the way from Manali to the world's highest motorable pass Khardung La (18,380 ft) in Ladakh. The first runner up in men's category was Mr Ramesh Ale, while Makhan Singh was the second runner up. In the women's category, Ms Angela Aldrich ended up as a runner up. It was a spectacular show of courage, endurance, grit and determination. Half of the participants were from the Indian Army, Air Force and Indian Navy. The event was supported by Red Bull, Bonn Biscuits, GoPro and Fortis Hospital. Cycling 4 Change Founder and Race Director Anil Uchil pointed out, "The Manali-Khardungla route is both aspirational and highly inspirational for the global cycling community. Participating in the MKCC is something that every rider would be extremely proud of, for all of their lives."The title winner Ms Laxmi Mager said, "While hundreds of individual and group cyclists have been undertaking the gruelling journey every year, it was with MKCC 2014 that a race was organized on the circuit for the first time. The Manali-Leh-Khardungla highway stretches over 500 kilometres predominantly comprised of paved roads, with stretches of sand, gravel and rocky terrain thrown in for good measure. MKCC takes the riders through the ever-changing and incredibly dramatic landscapes with steep and constant changes in gradient. The race passed through the world's highest passes, four of them being above 15,000 ft leading to its grand culmination at the World's Highest Motorable pass - Khardungla."