The EPIC 17K, the highest MTB 4-day stage race in India, was flagged off by Sikkim Minister for Forests Environment & Wildlife Management from Mangan in North Sikkim on Tuesday.
This is the highest mountain biking stage race in the country. It has been mentioned that riders would start from an elevation of 300 ft and reach up to an altitude of 17800 ft in the Himalayas where the oxygen levels are as low as 2% to 4%.
A total of 66 participants from various parts of the country and also from Bhutan have participated in this event. On the first day, participants covered the distance of 51 km from Mangan to Lachung at the scheduled time of 7 hours.
However, it has been informed that some elite riders in the competition had covered this distance within 3 hours. Isaac Rai stood first by covering this stage in 2:35:30 hrs, while Shiven completed the stage on second position with timing of 2:42:10 hrs and Innus Ali completed the stage with timing of 2:45:21hrs on third position. All riders halted at Lachung on Tuesday.
The EPIC 17K event is the first of the kind being organized by the North District Administration and is supported by Lachen Dzumsa and Lachung Dzumsa, Hub Outdoors and Mountain Goats. The Indian Army and ITBP and Himalayan Mountaineering Institute have also supported the event.