So close…

A group of Bangladeshi cyclists share their ‘near achievement’ of winning a tough cycling race in the Himalayas with Ahmed Shatil Alam

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Riding on the growing popularity of cycling in the country, a group of Bangladeshi cyclists trekked the lap of Himalaya in India to participate on one of the world’s toughest cycling competition at an elevation of almost 50,000 feet.

The cyclists-consisting of Tanvir Ahmed, a student from University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, bicycle technician M Alauddin and businessman MahadiHasan- participated at the 13th edition of the event and experienced a journey to the lap of mother nature in the Himalaya.

Considered to be one of the toughest races in the world, this competition is not for the faint hearted as it takes riders through the unexplored parts of the Himalayas, bustling towns and villages, across streams – all set amidst the beauty of the mighty Himalayas, shared Tanvir while talking to New Age Xtra.

He, however, shared that in the competition, the cyclists failed to achieve any significant success as they suffered major accidents. The competition is an eight-day long race that starts and ends in Shimla via Manali and Dharmashala in Himachal Pradesh in India.

During the race, Tanvir and Alauddin faced two severe accidents. ‘We almost brought a good news for the country as Alauddin was in a good position at the last phase of the competition.But just 10 kilometres from the finish line, he had an accident which broke his right leg,’ shared Tanvir, while adding that Alauddin is currently under treatment.

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Tanvir could not finish the race as he had to give up on the fourth day after suffering an ankle injury.On the other hand, Mahadi’s fingers on his right hand were displaced.

‘I was injured right before the start of the race and I tried my level best to continue the race. But as hiking was also a part of the race, I could not move with my injured ankle,’ said Tanvir.

The race, which included hiking above 40 kilometres, each participant needed to hike about 6.5 kilometres daily on the rocky slopes. ‘This was especially difficult for Bangladeshis,’ said Tanvir.

Around 93 participants from 27 countries, mostly from Europe, attended the 650 kilometres long race. Alauddin ended up in the 46th position. ‘We were unlucky as we had good preparations, but due to the accidents we could not be succeed,’ said Tanvir.

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The journey of attending the race had begun few years back with another Dhaka based engineer and cyclist Abdullah Salman Siddique, who had participated and touched finish line with prestigious result among all 65 participants in 2014’s edition of the tough competition, which is included as one of the Olympic disciplines.

Talking to New Age Xtra, Salman shared that for getting good result proper training is a must, which the Bangladeshi cyclists lacked.

‘Bangladesh can bring success on the discipline at Olympic, but for thatwe need to prepare some cyclists from now on with better training,’ he said.