2015 winner Lhakpa bows out of Raid de Himalaya on Day 1
Kargil, Oct 10 : Lhakpa Tsering of Team Polaris, one of the favourites to win the title, dropped out of the 20th edition of the Raid de Himalaya with an electrical failure here on Wednesday.
The first day's stage took the over 200 competitors to Sankoo, and Umba La, one of the higher mountain passed at an elevation of 4.496 meters.
From Umba La, they all headed to Drass, the gateway to Ladakh.
For the first time in its 20-year-history, the Raid began from Kargil and will cross some of the highest stretches in the Himalayas. A total of 75 teams are competing in the Raid Xtreme, comprising Xtreme 4X4, Xtreme Moto and Xtreme Alpine.
Sri Lanka's Sarfraz Junaid and Akhry Ameer, who were driving a Nissan pick-up truck that was shipped all the way from Colombo, also dropped out due to a mechanical failure.
"The Sri Lankan pair probably didn't realise how tough the Raid is," Vijay Parmar, the president of Himalayan Motorsport who organise the event, said.
In the Raid Xtreme Moto, Natraj of Team TVS is leading the bikers, with Vishwas at second spot. Jatinder Jain from Nagpur, riding a KTM 450, was placed third.
Jatinder is a regular in the Indian National Rally Championship (INRC). He is competing at the Raid for the first time.
In the Alpine category for Raid Xtreme, the scooters dominated the scene. Syed Asif Ali, riding a TVS N-Torq, was leading after Day 1.
The two amputee bikers, Ashok Munne of Nagpur and Vinod Rawat of Mumbai, too successfully completed Day One of the Raid.
The Raid de Himalaya will end at Leh on October 14.