Tuesday, July 5, 2016
The big news out this week, from Race Director Phil Evans, is the release of the new stage details for this years 10th Anniversary Yak Attack,
The rather appropriate tagline for the showdown in The Annapurna's is "Into the Forbidden Kingdom", reflecting the momentous decision to take the race high into the remote Upper Mustang region of Nepal.
10 stages. 350km. 15000m of ascent, and 17 mountain passes above 3600m. The high point, as usual, is the mighty Thorong La at 5416 breathtaking (literally) metres above sea level.
That's right - 17 passes above 3600m.
I'm going to stick my head above the parapet here and suggest that this years edition is probably the hardest mountain bike stage race on the planet in 2016; surpassing even the legendary IronBike for brutality.
Entries currently stand at 74 riders. A figure almost as astonishing as the race stats themselves.
I hope that the race can continue to have a grassroots family feel to it even with the elevated number of entrants this year.
There are plenty of familiar faces returning for second, third, fourth, or more bites at this indomitable cherry.
There is the welcome return to the fold of high profile elites this year including Cory Wallace (Canada), Yuki Ikeda (Japan), and Sonya Ewonus - nee Looney (USA).
Other returnee's include such lovely people as Steve Edwards, Wendy Lyall, Brian Sweat, Paul Cooper, Zoltan Keller, Tania Tryhorn, Sonam Drukpa, Matt Rousu, Pete McCutcheon, Zbigniew Wizner, and Tetsuo Shimoda.
My very dear friend and great adversary Tyler McMahon returns again for his record (for an international rider) fifth consecutive race.
Nepal's great ambassador, role model, six-times National Champion, and five-times winner of Yak Attack, Ajay Pandit Chhetri will of course continue his unmatched and incredible run of having raced in every single edition.
I'm really looking forward to seeing plenty of my old friends, and meeting plenty of new ones too.
Did I forget to mention that I'll be there too? :D
I'm assisting Phil with officiating the race again this year and I can't wait. so much so that I'll be off out to Nepal at the end of September. Keep an eye out for my dispatches before, during, and after, the event.
In the next couple of months I'll be researching all of the riders and I will post my, now annual, prologue, discussing the likely movers and shakers, and highlighting one or two people to look out for.
If any riders wish to contact me with a few details I would appreciate it very much. The best way is via the Chase the Rainbow Facebook page.
Please consider giving your support to NCRR - Nepal Cyclists Ride to Rescue.
You can also follow Yak Attack here:
All of the details for this years event can be found here
You can also follow Chase The Rainbow here:
Thank you for looking.
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