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Pokhara has played host to the first-ever international enduro mountain bike race in the region, marking a departure from the traditional location of Kathmandu.

After three years of meticulous preparations, the Pokhara Enduro race triumphed as "a resounding success." The event took place at Mahaprabhu Dham in the Arba Hills from November 23–25. It featured 56 riders from 11 countries, competing across seven categories. The sheer spectacle left participants and spectators spellbound.

“It was a symphony of emotion, determination, and fun,” Ted Singh Basant, a Singaporean rider, said of the event, which merged the thrill of the ride with the beauty of Pokhara.

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The Pokhara Enduro race has merged the thrill of the ride with the beauty of Pokhara.                                  Photo: Ted Singh Basant/Facebook

Basant pulled out of the race after injuring his right wrist in a crash during a practice session. He felt a bit let down for not running, but the stunning scenery soon quelled his disappointment.

“It's not just about the race,” he continued, gladly embracing the event’s inviting motto: Come, Play, and Have Fun. “It's also an exploration of the inner self, a journey of self-discovery amidst the grandeur of nature."

Pokhara Enduro is Dawn Till Dusk's second major international event, following Yak Ru, the world's highest enduro mountain bike race. The Yak Ru trails, spanning nine stages, cover altitudes between 3,200 and 4,100 metres in the challenging Manang area.

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Driven by an unwavering spirit of adventure, the organisers transformed the race into a platform for showcasing grit and triumph. With expansive mountain vistas and varied terrain, Pokhara presents just the perfect setting for an event that guarantees both challenging and breathtaking landscapes.

“People from across the world who love thrills came together, making it more than just a competition,” said Chhimi Urken Gurung, the managing director of Dawn Till Dusk.

Set in a more relaxed environment, Gurung explained, Pokhara Enduro can cater to a larger number of thrill-seekers without exposing them to the same level of risk as the unforgiving terrain in Manang.

Also Read: Cranking up bike tourism

From the meticulous planning that went into crafting the trails to the adrenaline-pumping moments on the rugged paths, every detail of the event was a stroke of artistry. Each of the six trails prepared for the event, ranging from just under 1 km to 2 km in length, has its own unique set of challenges.

Behind the scenes, volunteers emerged as the unsung heroes, driving the success of the event. Their generosity, according to the Pokhara Enduro organisers, from trail building to logistics and medical support, played a pivotal role in realising the event's objectives—community development, economic empowerment, and inspiring a new generation of riders.

Volunteers were a key cog in the wheel during the three-day event.

Race Day

The atmosphere was charged on race day as a large crowd of spectators added to the festive ambience, eagerly observing the cyclists navigate the intricate course.

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A sizable number of onlookers heighten the joyous atmosphere at Mahaprabhu Dham in the Arba Hills.

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As the first riders embarked on the challenging trails, the rhythmic hum of wheels replaced the initial crunch of tyres.

A long dry spell, coupled with intensive test runs, had transformed the once loamy and gripping surface into arid and powdery dirt tracks. That had erased the defined grooves and paths that riders used to rely on, forcing them to read the trail in real-time and make split-second decisions. However, the trails still beckoned with the promise of adventure, albeit with a new set of hurdles to negotiate tight turns and navigate through challenging sections.

Also Read: A tale from Arba’s thrilling trails

One of the most notable challenges facing the riders was the choice of lines on steep descents and technical switchbacks. Consequently, they had to hone their adaptability and resilience, learning to read the ever-changing surface beneath their tyres.

Emerging from the rugged Arba Hills in a cloud of dust, the bikers garnered cheers and applause from the captivated audience.


Indonesian enduro rider Rama Teguh Ady Pratama in action during the race.

Indonesia's Rama Teguh Ady Pratama dominated the Elite Male category to win the title. He completed a loop of five trails, including Pro Trail in the prologue a day earlier, in a remarkable 9 minutes and 59.52 seconds.


Rama demonstrated exceptional skill as he manoeuvred through the demanding trails in sync with his bike and the challenging terrain.

“I’m thrilled to come out on top,” he said, reflecting on his achievement. “The course was demanding, but I felt in sync with my bike and the terrain."

Trailing Rama by over 7 seconds in the prologue a day earlier, UK rider Christopher Keeling made a concerted effort to narrow the deficit. However, his attempts were in vain, and he ultimately settled for second place, with Nepal's Prachit Thapa Magar securing the third position.

Learning Curve

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The Masters 'A' and 'B' categories unfolded across two legs, with Rajan Bhandari and Suraj Panday emerging victorious. Bhandari showcased dominance in the Masters 'A', completing the course in 11:21.06, securing a lead of over 25 seconds at the top. Mangal Lama followed in second, and Kunga Woesar in third.

Masters 'A'1702058678.jpgIn the Masters 'B' class, Suraj Panday skillfully employed his downhill expertise, securing a comfortable victory by finishing the loop in 12:18.39. Rabi Karki claimed the second spot, with Nayan Manandhar completing the podium.

Masters 'B'1702058702.jpgNotably, the event showcased a groundbreaking moment with the inclusion of e-bikes, adding a unique dimension to the race.

In this pioneering competition held on a specially crafted 2-km route known as the Bijuli Trail, Prashanna Gautam claimed the top spot ahead of Viswash Modi.


Prashanna Gautam finishes on top of the podium in the e-bike section of the race.

Laxmi Magar showcased her prowess in the Women’s Open category, winning the race with a convincing lead of more than 90 seconds. Mingma Sherpa came home second, and Singapore's Eevon Chia stood third.

Magar praised the event’s overall atmosphere and the riders’ camaraderie. “The enduro community is like a big family, and events like these bring us together."

Women Open1702065014.jpgIn the Junior Male category, Nepal's Beepul Thapa triumphed over the race favourite, Elijah Steward of the US.

Junior category winner Thapa shared his experience, saying, “Competing alongside international riders is always a learning experience. Such events help the development and recognition of the burgeoning Nepali biking community.”


In the Veterans Male category, Singapore-based Nepali rider Lal Bahadur Ale claimed the top spot.

Ale had been itching to participate in a cycling race in Nepal because of the allure of the stunning scenery and difficult terrain. The Syangja native, participating in only his second enduro race, was thrilled with the achievement. “I was careful not to throw caution to the wind, but winning the title came as a bonus,” he said. Ale had earlier competed in the Singapore Open Enduro in late October.

Sulochan Rajbhandary and Saisab Pradhan displayed admirable skill and determination to finish as the first and second runner-up, respectively.

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Lal Bahadur Ale negotiates a sharp turn during the Pokhara Enduro race.


Beyond the medals and accolades, the Pokhara Enduro race has left an indelible mark on the landscape of adventure sports.

The authorities have noticed that the event’s objectives align with their own plans to establish Pokhara as the official adventure capital of Nepal.


Pokhara Mayor Dhanaraj Acharya has pledged the necessary support to develop Arba as an adventure sport hub. Photo: Pokhara Enduro

Addressing the event’s inauguration, Pokhara Mayor Dhanaraj Acharya declared: “Pokhara Enduro is a celebration of our city's commitment to fostering adventure sports. It has set a shining example of how sports can inspire positive change and leave a lasting legacy far beyond the finish line.”

For now, Mahaprabhu Dham has regained its tranquillity, with the Pokhara Enduro trails emerging as a pilgrimage for thrill-seekers on two wheels.

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*E-bike: 1. Prashanna Gautam (NEP) 13:45.70; 2. Vishwas Modi (NEP) 16:14.86
*Elite Male: 1.  Rama Teguh Ady Pratama (IDN) 9:59.52; 2. Christopher Keeling (GBR) 10:16.97; 3. Prachit Thapa Magar (NEP) 10:36.13
*Masters ‘A’ Male (30-39): 1. Rajan Bhandari (NEP) 11:21.06; 2. Mangal Lama (NEP) 11:48.99; 3. Kunga Woesar (NEP) 12:10.29
*Masters ‘B’ Male (40-49): 1. Suraj Panday (NEP) 12:18.39; 2. Rabi Karki (NEP) 13:11.89; 3. Nayan Manandhar (NEP ) 13:18.47
Junior Male (12-18): 1. Beepul Thapa (NEP) 8:25.77; 2. Elijah Steward (USA) 8:43.56; 3. Deepesh Thapa (NEP) 9:12.68
Open Female: 1. Laxmi Magar (NEP) 9:53.48; 2. Mingma Sherpa (NEP) 11:25.31; 3. Eevon Chia (SIN) 15:35.36 
Veterans Male (50+): 1. Lal Bahadur Ale (NEP) 11:10.05; 2. Sulochan Rajbhandary (NEP) 11:22.05; 3. Saisab Pradhan (NEP) 11:36.39
(* Include prologue times) 

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