KARGIL Abrar bin Ayub of Kashmir has won the Alpine category of Xtreme Moto at the Raid de Himalaya, one of the top ten toughest high-altitude cross-country rallies of the world.
Abrar was riding a Hero Impulse at the Raid. The Alpine category is for new motorcyclists who enter the competition at the Raid de Himalaya. It is part of Raid Xtreme Moto, which is the most severe challenge at this formidable rally.
This is the first time that a Kashmiri has won an Xtreme category at the Raid de Himalaya. Abrar had a lead of 4.49 minutes over his closest competitor, Syed Asif Ali of Team TVS. Asif was riding the scooter N-Torq. Shameem Khan, also competing in Raid Xtreme Alpine riding the N-Torq, ranked third.
This year, the Raid de Himalaya is running its 20th edition. For the first time in its 20-year-history, Raid de Himalaya started from Kargil on October 10 for its race on the highest roads of the Himalayas. A total of 75 teams took the start in Raid Xtreme, comprising Xtreme 4X4, Xtreme Moto and Xtreme Alpine.
Over the last three days, competitors at the Raid have raced in Sankoo, the bowl-shaped valley in Kargil. Racing has also been held on the road towards Umba La, a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.496 meters. From Umba La, the competitors raced towads Drass, called the gateway to Ladakh.
On the second day of the Raid de Himalaya 2018, Abrar and other competitors in Raid Xtreme raced on the highly challenging climb to Penzi La, a mountain pass in the Ladakh region at a height of 4,400 meters. When the competitors were racing at Penzi La, the temperature plummeted to -16 degree Celsius.
Raid de Himalaya is the flagship rally of Indias leading motorsport club, Himalayan Motorsport. Raid de Himalaya is the flagship event of the country’s premier motorsport club, Shimla-based Himalayan Motorsport.
President Himalayan Motorsport Vijay Parmar said the core challenge of the Raid is to promote the spirit of excellence in life, and to achieve against all odds. At the end of the day, without the possibility of an impossible challenge the human being is nothing at all! Abrar is a newcomer at the Raid, but he completely outshone the other competitors. His control of the bike on lose dirt surfaces, and also on ice and snow was unbeatable, said Parmar.
Competitors at the Raid admit that winning this formidable rally is a question that comes later. The immediate target for each day is to ensure that one does not drop out of the rally due to mechanical failure, or personal unfitness or wrong judgment. The difficult roads that the Raid de Himalaya races on wear down both man and machine, forcing the rallyists to drop out.
Abrar will be honoured with the Raid Alpine Xtreme category at the prize-distribution function to be held at Leh on October 14. The Raid Alpine Xtreme Trophy is highly coveted among new-comers at the Raid.
Abrar was among the competitors at the Raid 2018 who raced to Umba La and Penzi La, high mountain passes in the Kargil sector. These two roads are among the most spectacular stretches globally, and are listed on dangerousroads.org. These high mountain roads feature more than 50 hairpin curves and dangerous drop-offs.
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