The Tour of Nilgiris has finally come to an end after the muscle wrenching Kalahatty and Valparia climb passing through the beautiful countryside, paddy fields, hundreds of coconut trees and a huge lake full of lotus flowers.The sprawling tea gardens with the cool weather served as perfect sign off for the tour.
Nils Eigil Bradtberg successfully defended his Tour of Nilgiris title. Ironman, Dipankar Paul finished second in open men category with a four second lead while the Dutchman, Walter De Kok finished third.
The Tour of Nilgiris not only managed to get cyclists from different parts of the world, but also managed to bring in different cultures of cycling under one roof. Besides, the tour also managed to build bonds of friendships between fellow cyclists. Some cyclists who happen to meet at the tour and shared cups of tea have gone back home and are training buddies now.
Besides the scenic view riders also battled against time in the competitive segments of the Tour of Nilgiris. This year the tour had a total of three competitive segments (Race) check out the results below.
Vivek Radhakrishnan emerged victorious with can impressive performances throughout the tour in the Men’s Masters. His impressive run put him in second position overall after Nils. Vivek was the fastest Indian national on the tour. Shankar Jayaraman finished second in master’s followed by fellow blogger and cyclists Venkateswara Rao Navanasi who finished third.
In women’s category Vicki Nicholson successfully defended her Tour of Nilgiris title followed by Namu Kini and Hemal Shah in second and third place respectively.
Tour of Nilgiris Highlights:
TheTour of Nilgiris route was well planned stretching over 950 km starting from Bangalore and ending at Munaar.On comparing to last year, TfN 2014 had more of climbing and less number of competitive segments.The end of the tour certainly managed to bring in some mixed feelings. It seemed the riders were relieved to have finished the tour, but at the same time they seemed to have a hard time digesting the fact that vacation time is over.Some of those who didn’t manage to meet their targets might come next year to achieve their goals.
The local Hero:
In 2013, Rakesh Rana who comes from a small village in the hills of Kumaon, Uttarakhand placed himself in the top ten finishers. This year Rakesh came with bigger aspirations as he finished 6th in the Men’s category on a road bike.
Everyone had their own way of enjoying the tour. Some wanted to finish in the top ten while a few wanted to improve their standing compared to the previous year. while most of them wanted to enjoy and simply complete the tour. we are so about those few who didn’t manage to complete the Kalhatty will be coming next year with better equipped legs and mindset to make it a home run.
Also read account by Venkateswara Rao Navanasi on his blog here.
Courtesy: RAY Photography