Gangtok, June 27: The EPIC 17K, highest MTB four-day Stage Race in India, was flagged off on Tuesday by Sikkim Minister for Forests Environment and Wildlife Management from Mangan at 7:00 am.
This race is the highest mountain biking stage race in the country.
The riders started from an elevation of 3,000 ft and will reach up to an altitude of 17,800 ft in the Himalayas, where the oxygen levels are as low as 2% to 4%.
A total of 66 athletes from various parts of the country and riders from Bhutan are participating in the event.
On Tuesday, the participants rode from Mangan to Lachung covering a total distance of 51 kms. The time for completion of the race was set for seven hours. Issac Rai stood first and completed the stage in 2:35:30 hours.
The participants halted at Lachung on Tuesday and prepared for the subsequent stage of the race.
It may be mentioned here that the EPIC 17K event is the first of the kind being organised by the District Administration in collaboration with Hub Outdoors and Mountain Goats.
The Indian Army, ITBPF and IHCAE havealso supported the event by providing medical facilities and rescue operation for the riders.