Bhutan’s Pelden Dorji Wins the First Asian Enduro Series in Nepal
Bhutan’s Pelden Dorji, 35 won gold in the masters A-category title at the recent Asian Enduro series held in the Nagarkot hills of Kathmandu, Nepal.
By Nima | Kuensel
Bhutan’s Pelden Dorji, 35 won gold in the masters A-category title at the recent Asian Enduro series held in the Nagarkot hills of Kathmandu, Nepal. Pelden Dorji had taken part in the championship individually before.
Completing the series of eight stages, Pelden Dorji finished the race in 28 minutes and 53 seconds. He was ranked seventh overall. 134 riders from 20 countries took part in the competition.
Mountain biking is still at its budding stage in Bhutan
Pelden Dorji said that the sport is still at a budding stage in Bhutan currently. He gave some useful suggestions to take mountain biking to a higher level in the country, hoping that the authorities will take this sport seriously.
Images Source: www.facebook.com/ThimphuMTBClub
“The authorities need to support the sport like any other sports. We need a Bike Park and a pump track for young riders to hone their skills as well as a cycling federation to help riders participate internationally.”
Besides the glory which Pelden Dorji has brought to Bhutan, one of the youngest riders, Tandin Wang Ghaley, 14 secured fifth position in the Under-18 category.
Aims of the Thimphu Mountain Biking Club
Formed by a group of biking enthusiasts from the capital in 2016, the Thimphu Mountain Biking Club (TMBC) took part in the event to give young and capable riders an opportunity to gain exposure and experience.
Another club member, Jigme Thinly said that the sport is played at a recreational level currently.
“The club's aim is to take the sport to competition level. We expect our young riders to be in the Asian games.”
Today, there are more than 20 riders in TMBC. The club organises local races to make the sports popular.
TMBC’s Binesh Thapa, 18, finished 11th in the elite men category. The series was his first.
Seven Bhutanese riders took part in the series. The club spent close to Nu 200,000 to participate in the race.
“It was a new experience. It was tough and challenging. However, I achieved expected the result,” Binesh Thapa.
“I see a big chance when I return in the near future.”
Plans to hold mountain biking races in Bhutan
TMBC intends to host such a series in the country.
“It was also an opportunity for some us to learn how the event was organised in Nepal. The organisers and participants suggested hosting the event in Bhutan as well,” Jigme Thinly said.
Asian Enduro is one of the most popular mountain biking series held in Nepal.
According to the Bhutan Olympic Committee’s regulation, to form a new federation or association for a sport, there should be a minimum of four established clubs.
“We are organising several local races to make the sport popular,” said a club official.
This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the new Bhutan Times.