Mangalore Boys from WE R Cycling Club outperform in 645km Ultra Cycle race, ‘the Deccan Cliffhanger’
‘The Deccan Cliffhanger’, India’s most popular & toughest ultra cycle race, is an annual 645 Km (400 Mile) bicycle race from Pune to Goa, organised by Inspire India. Riders who complete the race distance of 645 kms in 32 hours, qualify for the Race across America (RAAM), the world’s toughest cycle race
The 6th edition of this Ultra Cycle race, saw racers from across the country taking part in this mega event. 47 racers under the SOLO category, and more than 100 riders in 28 TEAM categories consisting of 2, 3 & 4 member teams were flagged off on November 24 2018, by two Everest Summiteers of Pune, Ms. Aparna Prabhudesai and Mr. Kishor Dhankude, both of whom have also raced in Deccan Cliffhanger team in 2015.
WE R Cycling Club, Mangalore which is in the forefront of cycling for health, fitness & joy, also encourages a culture of competitive cycling, with a goal to elevate talented local cyclists to the national & international cycling stage, and participate in races, brevets, tours, etc. This year 1 solo rider, Dhanraj Karkera and 3 riders in the team category consisting of Navin Kotian, Harivijay Kudva & Venkat Dhiraj represented Mangalore from WE R Cycling Club. The 3-person Team clinched the podium position by clocking the fastest timing of the 6th edition at 22hr 41min 35 secs. The solo rider Dhanraj Karkera cruising almost at 28kmph for almost 80% of the ride, had to abandon the ride around 150km to the finish line due to indigestion & upset stomach.
The 3-person team of WERC planned well and worked on the rider’s abilities & strengths. Harivijay Kudva the youngest rider of the team also known as ‘Mountain Goat’ rode on the rolling terrains and big climbs of Kambadki, Pasarni ghats en-route. Navin Kotian the speed gun of the team never allowed the speed to fall below 30kmph. Despite getting caught in a little fall on the Bhilar ghat downhill, Navin was riding like a bullet covering distances quickly before the crew was ready for changeovers. The dark horse of the team, Dhiraj Venkat keeping his cool head was a firefighter and rode the max distance amongst the 3, covering the rough roads, flats & crazy downhills of Chorla Ghat. This team was ably supported by the crew members Ashok Lobo, Mubeen Shaikh, Shivananda Rao & Sarvesha Samaga helping the rider exchanges, nutrition, hydration and rider care including driving duty along the route. The team was trained under the coach Gratian Govias from Chennai.
In spite of having spent enormous time on training, practice and hard work in achieving this hard-fought success, standing on the Podium, the team credited 99% of this success entirely to the crew!!
Out of the 47 solo racers, 32 finished the race, however, only 15 finished in RAAM Qualification timings. Rest 15 did not finish the distance. Among the 28 teams, all finished the distance but 3 finished outside of their time limit.
SOLO MEN – Ashwin Govindsamy, Chennai ( 22hr 56min 32secs), Chaitanya Velhal (24 hrs and 14mins 57secs) followed shortly by Kabir Rachure (24hrs 17mins and 46secs). Others to qualify for RAAM this year include Köken Uzuntaş, Bharat Pannu, Balasaheb Wakchaure, Sundaram Narayanan for RAAM 2018, Sumit Dakhawe, Chandrakant Harpale, Satish Sharma, Abhishek Avhad, Akshay Deshpande, Krishna Prakash, Parth Raichura.
SOLO Women – Solonie Singh Pathania from Pune, (35hr 09mins and 50secs) followed by Jyoti Patel Diwani from Nagpur (37hrs and 06mins).
TEAM –3 person Team WE R Cycling, Mangalore (Navin Kotian Harivijay Kudva, Venkat Dhiraj @ 22hr 41min 35secs), 4 person team, Ghatache Raje, Sangamner (Nilesh Wakchaure, Amol Kanawade, Vijay Kale and Sharad Kale Patil @ 22hrs 42 mins) followed by Royal Puranders, (Devidas Hole, Manohar Tanpure, Sharad Akhade, Vishwas Tupe @ 22hrs 49mins 30secs).
The first All women’s crew and racer team AWCAR with Meera Velankar and Jain Shonaya finished in 34hr 39min 10secs having had a great experience on the road, facing the challenge of this race with courage and enjoyment! Adventures beyond Barriers tandem team of 4 visually impaired and 4 sighted racers finished the Deccan Cliffhanger having had an absolutely great time for 29hrs 38mins 13secs.