India's best mountain bikers to take part in MTB National Championship Every year in the city, some of the best mountain bikers from the country take part in the MTB National Championships.
The 15th edition of the competition will see 650 riders from 25 teams battle it out to win the top prize. Organised by the Cycling Federation of India (CFI), the contest is divided into cross-country and downhill segments. Amateur cyclists, who have been selected from their respective states, will also take part in the event. Pranita Sonam, who has won many medals in the past at the mountain bike championship, says she is aiming for gold this year. Sonam will compete in the under-18 category of the competition. “The key to winning is staying focused during the race,” says Sonam, who is from Sangamner, a city and municipal council located in Ahmednagar. Sonam was studying to become a medical doctor before she decided to turn into a professional mountain biker. In the city, mountain biking is evolving into a popular outdoor recreational activity. Amateurs should pursue the sport for health benefits, adds Sonam.
The sport not only improves heart health, but it also reduces stress, improves balance and coordination, and gives you an opportunity to enjoy nature. The MTB National Championships will take place at a resort, which is set amidst rolling hills near Pashan-Sus Road. In cross-country cycling, the hill trail has uneven forest paths. Downhill mountain biking, as the name suggests, involves cycling down steep and uneven terrain with obstacles. “The trail is being readied right now. Over the years, the championship has been organised at multiple venues in Pune,” says Vinay Kumar Singh, a member of CFI. Based in Delhi, CFI was founded in 1928, and has been organising cycling events for many years. Sonam has so far won four gold medals for the state in the MTB National Championships. To prepare for last year’s challenge, Sonam had focused on strength training. That, she says, helped her excel and perform better than her competitors. “Some of my toughest competitors are from Maharashtra itself,” adds the mountain biker. Anybody can attend the event, says Pratap Jadhav, who’s the secretary of the Cycling Association of Maharashtra. “You can attend the race and cheer for the contestants. Refreshments will be available at the venue,” he adds.
WHERE: Sunny’s World, Pashan-Sus Road WHEN: October 25–28, 7 am to 4 pm