Shimla 27-09-2015: The much awaited and coveted race – Hero MTB Himalaya 2015 was flagged off today from The Ridge at Shimla by the honourable Chief Guest Sh. Sudhir Sharma, Honorable Cabinet Minister of Housing, Urban Development, Town & Country Planning, Government of India. The Chief-of-Staff, Lt. Gen R. Dhawan, Army Training Command, Mr. Gopal Krishna – Business Head, UT bikes and Mr. Mohit Chauhan, President HASTPA were present at the event for the flag-off ceremony. While delivering the speech at the flag off Sh Sudhir Sharma said, “It is commendable what HATPA has done. I have always dreamed of making Himachal Pradesh the one stop for adventure sports. And with Hero MTB Himalaya, we have seen a surge in people taking interest in mountain biking.” Sh. Sudhir Sharma is also looking at implementing cycling tracks in cities in Himachal Pradesh. Lt. Gen R. Dhawan expressed his appreciation for HASTPA at having started mountain biking in India, to promote eco-tourism in India. He was very impressed with Hero MTB Himalaya being one of the strategic partners in the UN Global Goals program to help deliver the goal of quality education in the far away regions. I wish Hero MTB Himalaya the very best for a successful race.” On the eve of the race, HASTPA organised a rider presentation for all the participating riders. The organsisers explained the route to all riders and addressed all queries regarding the race. The 88 riders assembled at the Ridge after riding from Hotel East Bourne. India’s own first professional riding team – Hero Action Team were the first to lead the way. Day 1 route - named Bhalkus Epiphany will extend from Mashobra via Bhekalti to Gadakuffer , which will cover a distance of 86 kms out of which 71kms fall under the competitive section. The race takes the riders through Sanjauli, Narkanda, Sitapur, Baikhalti, Sarog, Dharmpur, finally ending at Gada Kuffer for the camp for Day1. We have world class riders like Luis Pinto , Catherine Williamson racing at the event. They have set a benchmark for the rest and we are sure this event will be a class apart. We wish good luck to all the competitors, may the fastest rider win. says Mohit Sood - (President) HASTPA.