Itanagar: Thirty cyclists from across the country ranging from professionals to amateurs will undertake a 124-km journey, spanning eight hours, to take part in the state’s first and longest single-day cross-country cycling competition, Pedal to Pakke.

The Arunachal Pradesh tourism department and the Itanagar Cycling Association officially launched the logo and merchandise for the ‘Pedal 2 Pakke’ cross-country marathon (referred to as an XCM) to be held on April 24.

The cyclists are expected to arrive at the state capital on April 23 and set off for the marathon early the next day from the Yupia tri-junction where they begin their journey.

The director of the Itanagar Cycling Meet, Ijum Gadi, informed that 25 per cent of the route for the marathon is off-road and that around 75 per cent of it is uphill. At its highest point, the elevation reaches 7,000 feet.

Gadi informed that 15 cyclists from outside the state, including Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Nagaland, and Karnataka would be participating in the competition.

Fifteen cyclists from the state will also be taking part, including Ahondo Menjo, who in 2019 won the XCO MTB Challenge at Guwahati organized by the Assam Cycling Association.

Also read: Assam women win 5 medals at National Track Cycling Championships

Three women cyclists have also confirmed their participation in the Pedal to Pakke event.

He also said that initially, they had planned to invite more cyclists, but the surge in COVID-19 figures across the country has dampened those plans.

Gadi also explained that the official logo features the silhouette of a Nyishi man sporting the traditional byopa (cap) cycling.

He said that the logo represents the amalgamation of culture and eco-tourism.

“Arunachal has many beautiful places, and Pakke is one of those that is also very accessible from the capital,” he said when explaining the reason for selecting the place for the first such marathon.

The competitors will have eight hours to reach Pakke to finish the race to be considered for qualification.

Apart from the podium prizes, the competition will also honour the 4th & 5th positions and the ‘most promising rider’ on April 25. The day will also host a recreational cycling hike to create awareness of the environment and a cleaning drive.

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