After a three-year hiatus, the 10th edition of the Enduring Friendship Mountain Bike Challenge was held today. 148 cyclists from Bhutan and India participated in the competition. The participants competed in two categories.
In the 65-kilometre category, Kinley Tenzin bagged the first prize. Tashi Namgyel and Tshering came second and third respectively.
And in the 100-kilometre category, Sherab Gyaltshen came first. Tshering Dendup won the second prize and Norbu stood third.
All of them received cash prizes.
The youngest participant was a 10-year-old boy while the oldest was Nim Gyaltshen who is 66 years old.
“I have a great interest in cycling and I participated in a lot of cycling competitions in 2012. Today, the DANTAK cycling race was a great experience. I wanted to compete in the 100-kilometre race but as I had a backache, I did the 65-kilometre race instead which was a pleasant one,” said Nim Gyaltshen.
There was no women’s category this time. According to the Bhutan Olympic Committee, to have a women’s category, there should be at least ten women participants. However, there were only eight this time.
Of the eight, four of them participated in the 65-kilometre race while the other four competed in the 100-kilometre category.
“I feel very proud because it is the first event I am taking part in. It’s been 17 years since I graduated from school and so this is the first time I am participating in sports again, which is a cycle race, so that is a very great event for me,” said Man Maya Darjee, a participant.
According to Brigadier Jaswinder Singh the Chief Engineer of Project DANTAK, the event highlights the friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and India.
“In Bhutan, we have a lot of bicycle enthusiasts and in this era where everything has gone digital, it is difficult for people to get out, so for us to have an outdoor event, an event where the limits are challenged and where there is person to person contact signifies one of the best event we have held.”
The Bhutan Olympic Committee and Project DANTAK organised the event.