Unfortunately, due to the Corona situation, many mountain bike races in India could not take place in 2021 either.
I missed these events a lot, not so much interested in competition as in the exchange with other mountain bikers and great routes in unknown regions.
Finally in June 2021 it was time for the first race in a long time. The Grey Ghost MTB Challenge in Keylong was only a short one-day race, but it was in one of the most beautiful areas of the Indian Himalayas: in the high mountain state of Lahaul behind the Rothang Pass.
Our group from Shimla was quite successful and more importantly we had a lot of fun!
The next race sounded even more promising to me: the three-day one Ultimate Ladakh Challenge seemed like the perfect race for me: the race would be at an altitude of between 3000 and 5500 meters and the queen stage on day three was scheduled up to Kardung La (5300m), one of the highest motorable passes in Ladakh.
Unfortunately, the race was different than announced. For the female participants, the stages were shortened to a fraction. Unfortunately, the short sprint stages were not for an endurance athlete like me.
In addition, the local Ladakhi women were not only better adapted to the height than I was, but also had real power!
Even though some things went terribly wrong on the part of the organizers (courses, announced prize money), I still had a lot of fun and enjoyed seeing the new generation of female cyclist!
In the end, however, I drove to the Kardung La in Leh with a new best time of less than 3.5 hours and was able to do one in the three days of racing 2nd place and a 1st place.