Mangaluru, February 3, 2019: Dhanraj Karkera from Team WE R Cycling Mangalore completed the tough Goa-Ooty-Goa 1750km Ultra Spice endurance bicycle race, thereby becoming the first rider from the city to compete and finish this grueling bicycle race. He is also the first endurance cyclist from Karnataka for having achieved this fete. The race was conducted from 26th January 2019 to 31st January 2019.
This was announcing by Team WE R Cycling during an interaction session with Dhanraj Karkera held at Taj Cycle and Fitness in Kankanady this morning.
Ultra Spice is India’s toughest long distance endurance bicycle race. It is organized by Inspire India. In its 3rd edition, the race saw 11 riders taking part. The 1750km solo category saw 5 riders including a lone lady rider Ila Patil.
The race commenced on the beach in Goa and followed the coast crossing Karwar and turning inland at Honnavar. Catching up on the Western Ghat’s at Jog Falls, the route ran through the coffee plantations of Chikkamagaluru, Madikeri, Waynad and took a U turn at the land of tea at Ooty and finished in Goa through the same route.
The riders face a total elevation gain of 22,500mt, passing through four states having varied temperatures from burning 38°c to chilling 8°c, challenging terrains with many major climbs around the Western Ghats.
Flagged off at 7.10am, Dhanraj began to ride in his usual impeccable way, crossing one control point after the other along the route. By 7 pm, he had covered 270km crossing JogFalls and cruising his way towards Sagar. Disaster stuck in the form of dehydration, which threatened to jeopardize his attempt at the race. However, the crew with the help of local government hospital revived him back. He was administered IV fluid, tablets for nausea and vomiting and was made to take good rest.
Recovering fairly well, Dhanraj continued the ride early in the morning but lost 12 crucial hours in the race!! Day Two saw Dhanraj crossing Chikkamagaluru in the day time and Madikeri in the night before taking a break at Irritty, Kerala on the wee hours of Day Two for breakfast. He rode well all through before reaching the base of the monstrous climb at Gudaluru around 7pm. After a quick dinner, he began the assault on the climb, reaching the U-turn point well before the cutoff time of 72 hours. However the tired body took its toll again on him and he had to rest until the next morning before the descent.
Day Four saw him descending the Gudaluru climb in style and pushing beyond his limits. By the end of the day he had reached Madikeri covering around 1150km. By mid afternoon of Day 5, Dhanraj reached Chikkamagaluru and by the end of day he was nearing Sagara. He took a nap again in Sagara and began his final assault to the finish line in the early hours of Day 6, passing one city at a time. Once he reached Honnavar, he was literally racing and making up for all those lost time, covering 190km in 8hours and smashing several KOMs on the way. Finally he completed the 1750km ride and reached Goa around 7pm, to a warm welcome right from 5km to the finish line, with many riders and followers cheering him up all though the way.
Having lost hopes, battling through the health conditions, Dhanraj along with his crew, scripted a unique story in the history of Ultra Cycling in India. His support team, lead by Sudhir Albuquerque, was credited with an award for ’outstanding crewing’ in taking Dhanraj across the finish line.