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24 Apr 2016

Day 1 Bus Ride To Besi Sahar

24 April 2016
Kathmandu

 

Yak Ru – Annapurna Challenge 2016 race participants left Kathmandu early this morning on a bus bound for  Besisahar, the gateway town to Manang. They will rest overnight at the Gateway Himalaya hotel for the night and get ready for the race flag off early in the morning of 25 April 2016.

 

The bus arrived in Besishahar at 3pm and everyone is in the high spirit. Some are seen checking their bikes while the rest are on a much more relaxed mode. Overall everyone seemed calm before the 5 stage grueling race which will take them from Besisahar to Beni via Manang and Mustang covering a distance of 240 kilometers. This is a high altitude race which only the very best may attempt.

 

This years race has attracted participants from Germany, China, France,Macau and Nepal. Severaltop tier Nepali national riders are competing for the coveted title of Yak Ru – Annapurna Challenge 2016 including the defending champion Buddhi Bahadur Tamang.

 

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Day 2 Besi Sahar - Taal

25 April 2016

 

The grueling Yak Ru – Annapurna Challenge 2016 race started from Besi Sahar on schedule at 9:00 am. All together 10 participants took part in this international race where the riders will cross Thorong La pass in Manang reaching the height of 5416 meters. This is the most challenging race organized by an all Nepali organizers. Dawn Till Dusk and NepalSutra have been organizing this race since 2014 annually.

 


The weather remained cool throughout the morning and till the afternoon favoring all the riders. First 10 kilometers of the race was on a mixed terrain of jeep track and some single track until Syange. After that the race continued on the Jeep track till they reached Taal. Nepali riders have done very well in this stage of the race as expected. They have the advantage of familiar terrain and the conditioning. Buddhi bahadur Tamang is leading this stage followed Man Bahadur Thama Magar and Himal Tamata. The international riders gave a good chase with all their might.

 

For the final tally of stage one, please visit http://www.yakru.com/Leaderboard.

 

It is too early to say anything as more difficult sections are ahead of the racers. The stage 2 race tomorrow brings them to height of 2750 meters at Chame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 3 Taal - Chame

26 April 2016

Stage 2

Taal to Chame (Distance 35 KM)/ Altitude 2800 meters

 

Taking advantage of excellent health conditions of the riders, and the good weather in Taal, the race organizers decided to flag off stage 2 Race one hour early at 8:00am. Three Nepal Army riders, Himal, Man Bahadur and Rajendra together with Buddhi Bahadur lead the pack. They were neck to neck until bad luck struck to Himal when his chain broke. It seems he quickly gained the lost momentum and almost caught up with the three leading riders. By the time the front three riders reached 2ndwater station at Timang, Himal was only 5 minutes behind the them.

 

Buddhi Bahadur seemed trailing Man Bahadur and Rajendra up Timang Hill but he showed his prowess as soon as they crossed it and hit the downhill section. He overtook both of the leading riders and flew past them to reach Chame first to claim victory to stage 2 as well.

 

By 11:00 am 6 riders had already reached the finish line at Chame. Everybody reached the finish line safely at 2:00pm. Fabian was not feeling too good so he had to hop on the support vehicle. Overall race results will be released later in the evening during daily briefing.

 

Stage 2 Winners :

First - Buddhi Bahadur Tamang (Rider No 1) with timing 02:17:00

Second -Man Bahadur Thapa magar (Rider No 9) with timing 02:17:30

Third -Rajendra chemjong (Rider No 10) with timing 02:21:30

 


 

For more pictures:

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Day 4 Chame - Manang

27 April 2016

Stage 3 – Chame to Manang via Ghyaru (Distance 32 KM)/ Altitude 3540 meters

The Macao rider Fabian is in bad shape this morning. He’s got combination of dehydration and weakness as he has not eaten properly for the last two days. He decides to hop on the support jeep and continue the journey till Manang.

Rest of the riders continues their third stage race at 8:30am from across the Marsyangdi river bridge in Chame. Buddhi Bahadur, Himal, Rajendra and Man bahadur lead the trail as usual. They crossed Bhratang Bridge in less than 30 minutes. This is an impressive speed considering they are racing in the high altitude now. The weather is cool and the trail is dry so it is perfect for riding.

 

The first four riders reach water station at Pisang in no time. They fork right towards Ghyaru. Now their ordeal starts for the next several kilometers as they have to climb mighty uphill to Ghyaru. Man Bahadur carries his bike and overtakesleading rider Buddhi Bahadur in this uphill section to take the lead and maintain his lead position. Buddhi Bahadur was counting on taking the lead in the single track section of Ngawal but Man Bahadur proved to be too good a competition for the day. Buddhi Bahadur had to be contented with the second position. Himal Tamata trailed the duo and finished third.

 

By 12 noon4 riders had already reached the finish line at Manang situated at 3540 meters above sea level.

 

Stage 3 Winners :

First –Man Bahadur Thapa magar (Rider No 9) with timing 02:31:56

Second – Buddhi Bahadur Tamang (Rider No 1) with timing 02:37:55

Third – Himal Tamata (Rider No 2) With Timing with timing 02:46:00

 

 

 

 

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Day 5 Rest Day

28 April 2016

 

It is a day off for all the Yak Ru riders, they are exploring the beautiful Manang area and interacting with the locals. Few of the riders are resting and preparing for the stage 4.

 

 

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Day 6 Manang - Thorang Phedi

29 April 2016

 

Stage 4: MANANG TO THORONG PHEDI - RIDEABLE 70% - 17 KM, Altitude 4450 meters  (Elevation Gain: 980 meters)

A rugged and inhospitable terrain awaits the riders in this stage. The distance is just 17 kilometers but the riders will struggle to cover every meter. The fittest of the riders crossed Yak Kharka in less than an hour. They were on their way to Thorong Phedi in well under 2 hours.

 

Yan Dahai from China did very well in this stage to complete the race in less than 3 hours. Jeff and Steffen were struggling with the high altitude. Fatigue set in after Yak Kharka and they were moving extremely slow. They both arrived at the finish line after 7 and half hours struggle. Steffen needed immediate medical attention from the race doctor, Sameer Vaidya. He was put on a close watch and medication.

 

Stage 4 Winners:

First – Buddhi Bahadur Tamang (Rider No 1) with timing 01:47:00

Second – Man Bahadur Thapa magar (Rider No 9) with timing 01:48:46

Third – Rajendra Chemjong (Rider No 10) With Timing with timing 01:55:32

 

For more Pictures:

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Day 7 Thorang Phedi - Kagbeni

30 April 2016

 

Stage 5: THORONG PHEDI TO KAGBENI - RIDEABLE 80%, 28 KM, Max Altitude 5416 Meters then down to 2770 meters (Elevation Gain: 674 meters, loss: 1867)
 

Jeff’s condition deteriorated in the morning. A helicopter evacuation had to be arranged to take him back to Kathmandu. A Fishtail helicopter airlifted him to Grande International hospital in Kathmandu. He is in stable condition under the best possible medical care at Grande.

 

This is the fifth and final stage of the race. Racers were ready for the final ascent of Thorong La by 4:00 am. Clad with warm gear, a head lamp and lots of anxiety, riders carry their bikes and hike 5 kilometers up the pass. After that they ride 23 kilometers of sheer downhill to the finish line at Kagbeni.

 

Man Bahadur Thapa Magar and Buddhi Bahadur Tamang have been racing neck to neck throughout this entire race. Man Bahadur took the clear lead up the pass as this was a carry section and this is right up his alley. Buddhi was banking on the downhill section and rightly so as he is the recent national downhill champ. Buddhi could only recover small gap in his lost timing in the uphill section at the downhill section. Although he finished the stage 5 a minute early but he still lost the overall title to Man Bahadur. We have a new winner for Yak Ru – Annapurna Challenge 2016. It is nice to see the title going to different racers every year. We would like to congratulate all the winners and thank every participant for being a great sport.

 

Stage 5 Winners:

First – Buddhi Bahadur Tamang (Rider No 1) with timing 02:43:36

Second – Man Bahadur Thapa magar (Rider No 9) with timing 02:44:26

Third – Rajendra Chemjong (Rider No 10) With Timing with timing 03:36:29

 

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Day 8 Kagbeni - Tatopani

1 May 2016

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Day 9 Tatopani - Kaniyaghat

2 May 2016