The last day of the tour of Nilgiris brought in a lot of excitement among the riders as well as the organizers and volunteers. As the riders gathered at the start point to kick of the lowest cycling distance for the day, there was enthusiasm as well as the excitement that just could not be avoided. With the cool chill at the base of Valpari flagging off the riders, they made way to the notorious Valparia, that offered a breathtaking view of tea estates, silver oaks and more.
Right after climbing the first 15 kilometers, the riders descended the 40 hairpin bends of the 12km breathtaking climb to head to their final destination – Pollachi. With no competitive segment and just 74 km to cruise, the riders displayed their skills until they reached the base of Aliyar dam. Plenty of them also halted at certain hairpins that open the sky as well as the view below. The venue served as the ideal spot for riders to click pictures before they get back to their normal lifestyle. From there onwards, it was a flat road towards the scenic Sakthi River Resort where the closing ceremony would be taking place.
With the speedy and technical downhill, it got difficult for us to keep up with the fast riders. Besides, getting pictures were also becoming a task. It was good to see the riders chatting, laughing and pedaling their way. From tomorrow things will change as they all will head to their respective cities and get back to their usual life. Clicking pictures and making the best out of their last day was all they were looking forward to. They halted wherever they wished. They filled their bellies with some amazing filter coffee and also tried out the Todi drink.
However, the scenic tour did not end this way. Many riders had insisted the organizers for a team time trial. As it was not a part of the competitive segment and did not contribute to the overall grand standings, quite a few riders formed a team of four. A 5 km stretch was marked as the competitive segment where a team of four would race against time. The rule also permitted one rider to be dropped on their way to the end point.
Very few riders teamed together with their friend to form a team. The goan’s got together to form the Goan express while the Bangaloreans and others formed their own teams. It was quite thrilling to watch Indian riders belonging to different age groups battling it out over a 5 kilometer stretch for nothing. Some managed to sync in well while the others just tagged along or were forced to drop out. As we took the last bend and headed to the resort, we too decided to keep our responsibilities away and enjoy some Todi.
We quickly got off the road and enjoyed some Todi along in a neatly handcrafted coconut leaf. The entire presentation added extra flavor and built a lot of excitement for first-timers. Once done enjoying the lovely drink, we rode to the resort and had a lovely lunch sitting by the side of the river( river name). after the tour of Nilgiri, riders were done jumping in the pool, many of them got together to enjoy their meal.
Following the meal, riders wrapped up their bikes and suited up for the closing ceremony. After the ceremony, many of the riders used the tour of Nilgiri transport and headed their way to the Metropolitan city – Bangalore. With a cool off party waiting at the night, plenty of riders were excited to have a good evening. Besides, the race results were also something that riders and, friend and family members were looking forwards too.
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Take a look at the final results of the tour of Niligirs 2015 given below.
- Under 35
- The first place was an easy call and was secured from day one by current three-time champion Nils Eigil Bradtberg. there was a fierce battle between two young Indians and was finally secured by Vinayak Gaonkar. The podium was completed by a 21-year-old Rajat Subhra Roy who is also a part of the Pune Wolfpack amateur cycling team. He is certainly our favorite and a guy to watch out for.
- Master’s Category:
- the top three riders put on a consecutive show in the overall standings. with Bikey Venky in the lead, we are delighted to have Mumbai’s Preet Singh in second followed by Sumit Kumar.
- Women’s Category:
- Just like her husband, Richard (above 45 Category) The blue jersey was dominated by Belinda Viegas in the women’s category since day one. Her ability to contaminate people around with happiness and strong endurance abilities formed the perfect package. The second place was filled by Divya Chandran and third by Chua Bee Geok Kazay from Singapore.
- 45 and above:
- First place was secured byRichard Mueller who also retained the blue Jersey. The second place was taken by Russell Bell who celebrated his victory by taming Valparia on his 70th Birthday. Aijaz Ahmed finished third right behind him.
Day 1: Bangalore to Mysore
Day 2: Mysore to Madikere
Day 3: Madikere to Sultanbatheri
Day 4: Sultanbatheri to Ooty
Day 4: The Kalhatti Climb
Day 6: Ooty to Palakkad
Day 7: Palakkad to Valparai
Picture Courtesy: R.A.Y Photography