As the morning grew stronger with the sun-rays cutting through the dense hazy clouds, Bangalore’s Leela Palace had a different atmosphere altogether. As 81 Lycra– clad men & women of all ages stood under the flood lights waiting for the Montra Tour of Nilgiris to kick off. As soon as the chief guest Ashwini Nachappa (one time track and field athlete) was done with the speech, the energetic and enthusiastic cyclist could wait no longer for flag-off. The participants consisted of cyclists from different parts of the world who rode from Bangalore city to Mysore (185 km). The route to Mysore (route map) might seem deceiving with a slight incline as the riders were totally distracted with the beauty of the tour. The different shades of green, the “chatrimara trees(Umbrella shaped)”, the banana cultivation and not to forget the river Kaveri were quite distracting as it kept the minds of participants occupied. The route also had a miniature stretch quite like the Paris- Roubaix which troubled most of the cyclists on road bikes. The day 1 route was scattered over 4 Support stations (SS) and one competitive segment (CS) which served as the perfect start to the tour.
As volunteers loaded the support stations with food and other provisions, these pedal pushers went on deriving pleasure from the mesmerizing scenic view the route provided. With the cool climatic conditions the participants rolled with ease on the smooth black tarmac which never seemed to end. As the sun took center stage some of the cyclists fell prey to fatigue and other pains, but that didn’t stop them from completing Day 1 of the tour. In spite of the tired mind, dropped shoulders and heavy legs these cyclists who for a moment had forgotten to enjoy the view finally had a reason to smile.
Take a look at the race results below:
We also have(Venkateshwara Rao Navanasi) a.k.a“Lord Venky” who will be publishing articles on the 2014 tour on his blog from a cyclist’s point of view.
Note: Follow us on Instagram @velocrush_india and keep yourself updated with the tour.
Picture Courtesy: Ray Photography