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6 Oct 2017
 
 

Yak Ru Enduro 2017

 

Yeti Cycles Yak Ru

 

Yak Ru Enduro Welcomes Riders
7 October, 2017 
By Wilson Low

 

KATHMANDU - Participants of the Yak Ru Enduro took the first step on their adventure in the world's highest mountain bike enduro today. They started arriving in the bustling city of Kathmandu, capital of Nepal.

 

Tim Parsons, (37), arrived a day early and was eager to stretch his legs with a light spin on his bike . Earlier this morning, he assembled his steed and was out roaming the streets of Thamel district where the event's official hotel - the Dalaila - is located. Tim and Yak Ru marketing director Sunil Sharma rode to a hill west of Kathmandu city to Seto Gumba in the late afternoon.

 

When asked what does he think of his maiden trip to kathmandu, He says "Amazing to see the Nepalese culture first hand and ride past the incredible temples and stunning scenery."

 

On the organiser's side, an advance party, including event director Wilson Low, is already headed to the high alpine town of Manang to do final inspections of the event's trails and to commence route marking.

 

The rest of the Yak Ru participants arrive in Kathmandu tonight. Tomorrow allows participants a chance to do some light sightseeing & last-minute shopping in Kathmandu; and of course attending the official welcoming brief at the GAA Hall where Yak Ru Race medic, Himalayan Medic's office is located.

 

Visit yakru.com for daily news, results, and media.

 

The Yak Ru Enduro takes place in the Manang district of the Annapurna Ranges, Nepal. The 3-day, multi-stage enduro race format allows a truly immersive big-mountain race experience - unlike any other mountain bike event - in a beautiful location amongst some of the highest mountains on Earth.

 

The event features race stages between 3300-4300m elevation on Himalayan alpine & forest singletrack - and includes a variety of steep, technical, flowy & loamy trails.

 

#yakru #enduro #nepalnow #nepalsutra

Harald with Dalaila Hotel owner

 

 

tim parsons on yakru warm up ride

 


 

Day 1 -Travel Day 9 Oct
Kathmandu to Tal

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Day 2 - Acclimatisation Ride Day 10 Oct
Tal to Manang

 

MANANG –Today saw the arrival of the Yak Ru Enduro convoy to the Annapurna Conservation Area. Dry, sunny conditions allowed quick progress from the previous night’s rest-stop at Tal up to the lunch-stop at Bhratang; and thereafter onwards to Humde on the main access road into the alpine.

 

At Humde, it was obvious that riders were itching to get on to their bikes after being squashed – and bounced around – inside 4-wheel-drives for the most part of the morning. With bikes assembled and unloaded, it was time to take in the sights of the Manang valley on two wheels.

 

Passing through quaint little settlements along route to the staging town of Manang, the dry conditions proved to be a bane in the form of billowing dust clouds being kicked up by riders… and even bigger ones by passing motor vehicles. But this fat-tire party was not complaining, instead taking the chance to shoot action camera footage and take pictures of the mountain scenery surrounding them.

 

This acclimatization ride to Manang, though short, is a critical part of the event schedule, providing riders a chance to stretch their legs as well as ‘test the engines’ in a high-altitude setting. Manang itself is an important stopover along the famous Annapurna Trekking Circuit, with many adventurers choosing to stay a day or two extra as ‘rest days’ before pushing on higher into the mountains as part of their acclimatization strategy.

 

Tomorrow, riders will get a chance to explore some old ruins nestled on a prominent alpine ridgeline for their first downhill. This is their ‘warm-up stage’, an untimed descent that makes doubly-sure each rider is dialed in and ready for the rather loose conditions that are coming up on the day’s subsequent stages.

 

From then on, all bets are off as participants hit the fabled Gangapurna Trail – a snaking, switchback-laden masterpiece that – while largely man-made and purpose-built for trekking - provides a unique opening challenge as far as remote backcountry enduros go. Then it’s up to a chorten high above the town where riders further test their mettle in the powdery conditions past farmer’s fields that have been left to fallow for the autumn.

 

About Yak Ru Enduro

The Yak Ru Enduro takes place in the Manang district of the Annapurna Ranges, Nepal. The 3-day, multi-stage endure race format allows a truly immersive big-mountain race experience – unlike any other mountain bike event – in a beautiful location amongst some of the highest mountains on Earth.

 

The event features race stages between 3300-4300m elevation on Himalayan alpine & forest singletrack – and includes a variety of steep, technical, flowy & loamy trails.

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Day 3 - Race Day 1 -11 Oct
Gangapurna

 

MANANG - A very special alpine enduro adventure kicked off for Yak Ru riders today as they scaled their firsts liaison stage above Gangapurna glacial lake.

 

 

At an altitude of 3800m and starting from a high point between some old village ruins and a chorten, the 'Warm-up Stage' was specially picked to allow riders a chance to savour the magnificent Himalayan scenery surrounding them them.

 

Loose, loamy conditions on the warm-up were just a precursor to the real test: Stage 1, the first timed stage. Dropping riders through tight, loose switchback turns before spitting them out along a high-speed ridge line traverse overlooking the glacial lake far below.

 

Next up, the riders got a chance to explore the alpine farmlands just above Manang for Stage 2. The Braken Gompa stage was a combination of rock gardens, flow sections, and loose-over-hardpack singletrack passing below the town's prominent stupa, a popular day-hike spot.

 

The second stage ended literally a couple of minutes' ride back to the event base - the Tilicho Hotel to wrap up a relatively easy day today for riders.

 

The following day will see riders ascend and take on the much talked-about Shiree Kharka alpine, on a race stage touted as the world's highest enduro stage this year.

 


The Yak Ru Enduro takes place in the Manang district of the Annapurna Ranges, Nepal. The 3-day, multi-stage enduro race format allows a truly immersive big-mountain race experience - unlike any other mountain bike event - in a beautiful location amongst some of the highest mountains on Earth.

 

The event features race stages between 3300-4300m elevation on Himalayan alpine & forest singletrack - and includes a variety of steep, technical, flowy & loamy trails.

 

#yakru #enduro #nepalnow #nepalsutra

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Day 4 - Race Day 2 – 12 Oct
Khangsar

 

SHIREE KHARKA - Participants in the world's highest enduro mountain bike race got the chance to make good on the event's tagline today.

 

The morning opened with a 40-minute shuttle uplift along dusty alpine roads from Manang - Yak Ru's base town - to the settlement of Khangsar. Then, an additional 40-minute uphill ride, followed by a brutal 1.5hr hike-a-bike to attain the lofty starting point of Stage 1.

 

And hence the stage was set for a physically brutal race starting at 4300m Kathmandu locals Upendra Rana, (54), and Nirakar, (50), in their first high alpine MTB experience, had this to say about the first stage.

 

("I was gasping for air as I felt something was stuck in my wind pipe, quips Nirakar Yakthumba")

 

High-speed alpine descending above the treeline opened Stage 1; however, it was the lower section - after passing through the ruins of Old Khangsar village - which was the defining physical challenge of the day. Pedally, with multiple blind corners and short, steep gullies amidst pine trees: it tested racers' ability to stay focused in the thin air amidst withering energy and oxygen levels before departing them at the finish line via a series of loose, hoot-worthy switchbacks.

 

The pained, exhausted look on many a racer's face at the finish line told the story of how epic this stage was. A long rest here was in order for almost everyone before proceeding with the liaison to the second and final stage of the day.

 

Stage 2 could not have provided a larger contrast. A short but steep route consisting of high speed singletrack carving through bizarre spire-shaped rock formations that was barely 2 minutes long for most in the hunt for a good timing. It finished in a jagged canyon overlooking the Marsyangdi River; and where finished riders could immediately cross a prayer flag-adorned suspension bridge to view the descents of their compatriots from the opposite bank.

 

Tomorrow, the Yak Ru heads up the trail leading to the hallowed Milarepa cave to kick off the final day of racing in the Manang valley. With more three stages to be contested, the competition for the inaugural enduro champion title of Yak Ru is still running hot!


The Yak Ru Enduro takes place in the Manang district of the Annapurna Ranges, Nepal. The 3-day, multi-stage enduro race format allows a truly immersive big-mountain race experience - unlike any other mountain bike event - in a beautiful location amongst some of the highest mountains on Earth.

 

The event features race stages between 3300-4300m elevation on Himalayan alpine & forest singletrack - and includes a variety of steep, technical, flowy & loamy trails.

#yakru #enduro #nepalnow #nepalsutra #race #gopro #mark3 #canon#MTB

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Day 5 - Race Day 3 – 13 Oct
Milerapa

 

BRAGA - The final day of the inaugural Yak Ru Enduro saw riders taking on the opening uphill liaison on the trail leading to Milarepa's Cave, just a short ride away from the event's staging town of Manang.

 

The cave, located high above the valley floor, is steeped in legend. According to local lore, Milarepa was a saint who, while meditating in the cave, convinced a hunter to put down his bow and arrow, disavow the killing of other living beings, and to pursue a life of compassion. The hunter, instead of shooting the deer he was stalking, shot his arrow towards the nearby glacial moraine, where it fell - and remains supposedly till this day. He then discarded his bow on the cliff face, which is now enshrined amidst a collection of hanging prayer flags above a monastery that overlooked the starting point of today's Stage 1.

 

In this mythical setting at above 3800m altitude, riders dropped into Stage 1 - featuring tricky, pine needle-crusted loam that traversed away from the glacial moraine before finishing in a clearing at a big white stupa. Stage 2 commenced with a steep ride out of the loam into a series of dusty switchbacks and technical rock chutes, before depositing riders at the bottom of the hill, where horses and yaks were among the spectators milling about in the adjacent meadow.

 

A quick pedal brought riders to the settlement of Munji, where a quick pitstop-lunch had been organized for everyone. Meanwhile, officials scrambled to get Stage 3 online - a long, undulating loam and shale singletrack that weaved down from the remote village of Julu. After a 40-minute shuttle to the start, riders dropped in one by one. Pedaling hard to the penultimate finish line, many riders were exhausted by this final burst of effort required of them.

With the last rider down safely, a further pedaling transfer to the day's finish at Lower Pisang remained - a chance to savour one last look at the Manang valley along the way. It was time to draw the curtains upon the racing action for the Yak Ru Enduro. Riders-turned-revellers would turn the evening into a one of celebration and reflection at the adventure they had just accomplished.

 

The following morning sees the Yak Ru Enduro alumni go their separate ways: some opting to hitch up their bikes in their 4WDs to descend the road out of the valley; others opting to mountain bike down that same road (by far the faster and more superior option!); and still others opting to go back up the valley to Manang - and beyond - to explore the high altitude playgrounds of Tilicho Lake and Thorong-La Pass with their bikes.

 


The Yak Ru Enduro takes place in the Manang district of the Annapurna Ranges, Nepal. The 3-day, multi-stage enduro race format allows a truly immersive big-mountain race experience - unlike any other mountain bike event - in a beautiful location amongst some of the highest mountains on Earth.

 

The event features race stages between 3300-4300m elevation on Himalayan alpine & forest singletrack - and includes a variety of steep, technical, flowy & loamy trails.

 

#yakru #enduro #nepalnow #nepalsutra #race #Bike #downhill

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Day 6 - Group Ride Day – 14 Oct
Lower Pisang to Taal

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Day 7 - Return Travel Day -15 Oct
Tal to Kathmandu

 

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Day 8 -Awards Day -16 Oct
Kathmandu