After 60 per cent of competitors pulled out

The 2015 Yak Attack was won by Ajay Pandit Dixit after 60 per cent of competitors pulled out following the Nepal earthquake earlier this year.

The Yak Attack is known as the highest mountain bike race on Earth and it is also one of the hardest. The nine-day stage race takes place in the foothills of Nepal’s Himilayas and tops out at the Thorong La, the world’s highest mountain pass, at 5,146 metres (17,769 feet) above sea level.

The riders have to cope with altitude sickness as well as temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees Celsius.

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This year 60 per cent of riders pulled out due to the Nepal earthquake in April. The earthquake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and left killed nearly 9,000 people. This meant only 29 competitors took to the route this year

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Speaking to AFP, Phil Evans, the race organiser, said: “Many were put off by the quake. But we decided not to cancel the race because it would have sent out a negative message about the country.”

The race was won by Nepal’s nation champion Ajay Pandit Dixit. He said: “This is a difficult race and we cycle over a natural route. Even professional riders find it challenging.”