Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 4 (PTI) Biking professionals and aficionados from India and abroad will test their endurance and expertise in the rugged terrain of the Western Ghats as the two-day MTB (Mountain Bike) Kerala gets underway at Mananthavady in Wayanad from December 21.
This year's event will take the riders through a 5-km stretch at an altitude of 3,000 feet that encompasses terrains like dirt, rock and water.
According to a press release, MTB Kerala is the first mountain bike race in India to be featured in the MTB race calendar of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the Swiss-based world governing body for sports cycling and overseas international competitive cycling events.
The success of MTB Kerala has placed the state on the global map of mountain biking, Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said.
This years race will be held in three categories: International Cross Country, National Cross Country Men, and National Cross Country Women.
An added attraction of the event is that it also includes for the first time an additional race for amateurs, titled 'Fun & Thrill Challenge.' Registration starts on December 5 from 10 am and closes on December 10 at 5 pm.
Fun & Thrill Challenge will have separate category for men and women.
Those who reach the first 25 positions in the qualifying round of a 38-km road cycling competition on December 20 will be selected for the MTB Amateur Championship on December 21.
There is no qualification round for women category.
The total entry for men for this segment is limited to 100 and 25 for women on first come first serve basis.
The first three positions in the amateurs challenge round will qualify for the MTB National Category Championship, to be held on December 22.
The winner in the International Cross Country race will get Rs 1,50,000 while the first, second, third and fourth runner up Rs 1,00,000, Rs 50,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively.
The winner in National Cross Country Men race will be awarded a prize money of Rs 1,00,000 while the first, second and third runner up would be getting Rs 50,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively.
As for the National Cross Country Women event, the winner will bag Rs 50,000 while the first three runners-up Rs 25,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000, respectively.
The first three winners of 'Fun & Thrill Challenge' will also be given cash prize, medals and certificates, the release added.
The event is organised by Kerala governments Department of Tourism under the aegis of Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (KATPS), District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) - Wayanad and Cycling Federation of India (CFI). PTI UD BN BN