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PBCh 5 - Lavasa

Race Report as written for Crank Magazine

Lifecycle Pune Bicycle Championship – 20th Oct 2013 – Hairpins from Hell - Lavasa

The 5th edition of the Lifecycle Pune Bicycle Championship or the PBCh Race was conducted on 20th October 2013. Held twice a year, the PBCh race is well known for being a challenging hill climbing race. Only 12 kms in distance, it pits riders against the winding hairpin bends that rise up to Sinhagad fort and Lavasa. The first 3 editions were only for MTB and Hybrid bikes, it has now grown to include a Road bike category, at least when road conditions permit. The race has always included categories for 40+ age group for men and women, and has seen participation from people in their 60’s. Each edition sees 200 participants race in 8 categories.

At first the PBCh races drew amateur and leisure cyclists in Pune and around, but now attracts the state and national level athletes in addition to semi-pro riders from around the country. It has been interesting see that the amateur riders give the pros a run for their money.

In this edition, Jan Ekern of Norway, a 45 year old with no pro-cycling experience, on a borrowed bicycle, came in 2nd place, beating a slew of India’s top National Road bikers, medalists themselves. First position was won by Dilip Mane of Sangli, who until recently raced on a single speed.  Among the women too, Shradha Rathod who has taken up cycling only 3 or 4 months back, and has no athletic background, trained hard and came second to Rutuja Satpute a National and Asian Games Medalist. Local youngster Aunsh Bandivadekar who came first in the youth category, also not a pro-cyclist, clocked the same time as Husen Kurgu a National level racer who came first in the Open Men category.

It seems certain that the bar of our National cycling scene needs to be raised, before we can expect to match performances internationally. Every race, every opportunity for racers to compete with each other contributes toward that.

Subpages (1): Results - PBCh 5