North East India, The land of Seven Sister; Nagaland, the land of head hunters; Kohima, Capital of the state and the Hornbill Festival, a festival to celebrate Naga Culture, the tribes and drinking lots of Rice Beer in Bamboo mugs.
Amidst all of these things, the niche sport of Downhill Mountain Biking has found its place. 4th December 2016 marks the date of the DH race held during the Hornbill festival. Organised by Native Station (A group of Cyclists based in Kohima) this is the 3rd edition of the only Downhill race organised in the north east part of India.
This year saw a total of 35 participants participating in the mens category coming in from United Kingdom, Nepal and India and 2 participants in the women's category.
The organizers from Native station took it upon their shoulders to up the difficulty by changing the venue of the race, the village of Phesama located at a distance of 8km’s from Kohima (Capital of Nagaland). The race track was 2km long - First half a rather flat and mellow pedaling section crossing landslide affected trails and rice paddy fields and the second half a brutal steep and flow Downhill section which had the participants on their heels while tapping the brakes at fairly regular intervals and ended into yet another rice paddy field.
All in all the 3rd edition was one of the craziest and gnarliest so far with a promise of upping the gnar factor next year.
1st Prize - Suman Tamang - S.T. (Team Gnarly, Katmandu, Nepal)
2nd Prize - Shakar Yakthumba (@Gyanodaya team, Katmandu, Nepal)
3rd Prize - Gautam Taode (Giant Factory Off-Road Team, Pune, Maharashtra)
1st Prize - Jordi Basu, Nagaland
2nd Prize - Lunili Awomi (Team Native Station, Nagaland)
1st Prize - Meguo Leo NB Metz Benny Metha, (Team Native Station, Nagaland)
2nd Prize - Apshai Griffith Niangti (Shillong Downhill Race Team, Meghalaya)
3rd Prize - Ronan Bazeley (Shillong Downhill Race Team, TribeFiction Apparel, Meghalaya)
Winners received cash prizes worth Rs.1 Lakh and Starkenn bikes worth over Rs.80,000.