Asian Enduro Series MTB Race to be held in Nagarkot from April 6 to 9, 2017
Mountain biking company Gnarly brings the second edition of the edition of Asian Enduro Series with 81 participants from 17 countries. The race will take place in Nagrakot’s hills, east of Kathmandu from April 6 to 9, 2017.
Enduro evolves from cross-country and downhill, with the stamina required for the former and technical skills for the latter. The hype hit mountain bikers hard, and Nepal was no exception. Asian Enduro Series took off last year in Nagarkot, the first ever enduro race in Nepal. As enduro biking grew in popularity, so did the prospect of having races that catered to the sport. Along came Asian Enduro Series, an Asian-level race and also the first enduro race of the country. In its first edition in 2016 more than 50 participants took part and the race concluded successfully. The demand for the race grew and this year, it’s geared to be even bigger, faster and fiercer. Scheduled for April 6 to 9 in Nagarkot of eastern Kathmandu Valley, the first two days (April 6 and 7) of Asian Enduro Series Nepal 2017 will be practice, and second two final races.
“The thing about enduro is that all levels of riders can take it up,” says Gnarly’s co-founder. “From school kids to working professionals, people interested in the sport come from different walks of life. Further, we are eager to add more riders on the trails, and have been actively organizing free group rides through Gnarly’s open community called Squadron. This year, we are excited to have 81 participants, half of whom are international participants.”
Asian Enduro Series this year in Nagarkot has seven stages, each with distinct challenges. Designed for more advanced riders, the trails were identified by experienced riders frequenting the route on weekends. A mix of singletracks and jeeptracks, along with rocky and technical bits strewn in between. All trails start at different points on Nagarkot’s ridge and flow down. Once at each finish line, racers will pedal up on the connecting trails, called liaisons, to the next starting point. By no means a walk in the park, the trails are meant for serious riders with enough experience and skills. Whether or not you feel like participating, flock to the mid hills of Kathmandu to witness what is posed to be a sensational mountain biking race. This race by Gnarly is one you cannot afford to miss!
Event Name: Asian Enduro Series – Nepal 2017
Venue: Nagarkot, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Race Dates: April 6th to 9th, 2017
Stages: 7 in total
Participants: 81 participants in total (39 international; 42 Nepali)
Categories: Elite, Legend, Femenino, Aficionado and Prodigy
Race Day 1 (April 8)
There will be four stages on this day.
RED BULL | Stage 1
LS1: Drive from Hotel Country Villa to Picnic spot, past Army gate, and pedal to Nagarkot Tower for SS1.
SS1: The trail is approximately 2km long and starts out as a wide jeep track, with narrower and technical single tracks that begin after 700m from the start. There are plenty of switchbacks as well which run through the forest on Nagarkot Tower’s back side and ends when you reach a jeep track.
HST | Stage 2
LS2: Pedal from the finish point of SS1, and pedal along the jeep track to reach paved road at a bus stop. Take right uphill from here for a short while, passing houses and farmlands, until you reach a small entrance into the woods on singletracks.
SS2: What this 1.3km trail lacks in distance, it makes up with the challenge it presents through the woods. It is 100% singletracks and has quite a few switchbacks to manoeuvre through the pine forest. Be ready to deal with technical bits on the last section.
Evoc Nepal | Stage 3
LS3: It is approximately 1km in distance from the dam to starting point. Roll on the jeep track and once you reach the paved road, head leftwards (uphill) until you reach a small clearing, from where starts SS3.
SS3: The Special Stage 3 is about 1.8km in distance is quite a fun ride through the woods. Riders need to remember (and it’ll be properly marked), that there’s a split in between. As we go through the technical sections through the forest about 300m, we take the right side of the path for SS3. The rest of the trail will make you storm down! A few pedal section in between will check your fitness but it is fun all the way to the finish line. A few switchbacks by the end of the track.
Sherpa Adventure Gear | Stage 4
LS4: It’s a really tiny bit of 150m only! A short singletrack and a downhill section by the end, cross a small water stream and you’re ready to start SS4!
SS4: We start with a pedal power in the beginning of the stage. The 2.3km trail will gradually meet with a jeep track and finally back to single track passing by small village settlements. Make sure you are ready to tackle some challenges thrown in, which include tight switchbacks, singletracks and rough sections on the way. It gets progressively more challenging as you go farther down. This one’s going to be equal parts tough and fun!
From the finish point of SS4, pedal upwards for a short distance and hop on a shuttle vehicle for a ride back to hotel.
Race Day 2 (April 9)
There will be three stages on this day.
GRAVITY NEPAL | Stage 5
LS5: Shuttle vehicle will take riders from Hotel Country Villa to the picnic spot, whence an uphill pedal to Nagarkot Tower down to SS5 starting point is just a stone’s throw away on the right.
SS5: Just about 2km in distance, this trail will follow the same track as SS3 for a short bit, after which SS5 deviates left. There will be markers to follow. This is a full singletrack so do expect technical section, tree roots, jumps, switchbacks and so forth on the path, until you reach the finish at a small dam.
MaPaani | Stage 6
LS6: This liaison stage is about 1.2km and a lot similar to the ones we rode in earlier stages. Starts out as a jeep track and mingles onto the paved road which takes us uphill. This one’s longer than the rest and demands some fitness. We will ride until we reach the marked starting point of Special Stage 6.
SS6: This Singletrack trail is 3.2km long and is in pure enduro flavor, as described by most riders who’ve ridden here. Famously, it’s known as the Ranger trail, and will check your stamina, strength and biking technique. Single tracks filled with corners, short climbs, jumps, speed sections – you name it! There is a tiny uphill section here, which you can choose to either carry it or ride it! From here, it’s a smash to the finish line!
Pangro | Stage 7
LS7: On paved route on Nagarkot’s main road, pedal up for about 15 minutes to the start of SS7. Don’t forget to stick to the left lane when riding, and watch out for speeding motorbikes. Once you reach Nagarkot Bazaar, take a left turn, and 100m in, you reach the start point of SS7, also called the Eco Trail.
SS7: Along singletracks that follow through the lush green forest trodden mostly by hikers, ride on single track, stairs, technical sections and jumps. There are a few stony stairway on the section, one of which is pretty steep. Quite thrilling but do practice caution. The trail will join back to the jeeptrack, from where you can manoeuvre over some obstacles before sprinting to finish.
Shuttle service will be available at the end of the trail to pick you up and drive you back to the hotel.