YAK ATTACK ARE YOU READY FOR THE WORLDS TOUGHEST MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE?
Yak Attack is a yearly Mountain Bike stage race held in the Annapurna region of Nepal and is considered as one of the toughest high altitude events in the World. A race for tough bodies, tough minds and tough bikes. The race, normally held in March ever year attracts international and local riders, to date, the local riders have always dominated the race as they are better adapted to the altitude, but with each year more and more riders are coming from overseas to compete in this Extreme Adventure. In the five year history of the race, only 8 international riders have completed un-assisted!
To give you an idea of what the race involves, some 400km of Himalayan Trails, 11000 meters of climbing over 12 days of cycling from the bustling city of Kathmandu through tropical valleys and then climbing into the heart of the Annapurna Himalaya crossing the 5600 meter snow covered Throng La (Pass) and then descending the 86 km of rugged single tracks and downhill trails to Tatopani Are you ready for this challenge?
Yak Attack can be taken two ways, one as a personal challenge for yourself and the other as a serious competitor, either way, to complete this gruelling race will be one of the biggest achievements of your life. To enjoy and get the most out of Yak Attack you should be properly prepared. In 2011, Himalaya Single Track rider Santosh Rai completed Yak Attack for the 3rd time, finishing in 6th position overall. For Santosh, the best part of the race is meeting international riders and also the challenge of high altitude riding. Santoshs particular skill is in his climbing strength and technical riding ability which gives him a good advantage when the going gets tough. The hardest part of the race for Santosh is always the first three days with long riding in the heat and long climbs. Santosh is also a tour guide for his own company Himalayan Single Track and he has many experiences cycling around the Annapurna Circuit. Now he is ready to offer advice to you to get you prepared for this Himalayan Challenge.
TRAINING
Four months before the race you should focus on long rides to build your stamina, put the emphasis on long climbs and rough road surfaces. In the first stages of the race there are some long rocky climbs to complete. In the second month of training add an interval training program. You should aim to have good long stamina and climbing power. Its also important to keep improving your technical riding as you will have to cross some difficult terrain and if you can stay on your bike and ride through you will save energy in the long run.
If you can, do some training at altitude to aid with your acclimatization. Remember also, sometimes you will have to push and carry your bike, work into your training program days of carrying your bike uphills and stairs. Find a way of carrying your bike that is comfortable for you. When crossing Throng La it may take you as long as 6 hours of carrying your bike so be prepared.
Think also how you will carry your pack, spare parts, tools, snacks and water, how much will it weigh and train as often as you can with your pack on. Most importantly you should ride on consecutive days and prepare your body to be able to recover and race the next day and day after day after day.
MENTAL PREPARTION
Conditions during the race vary from extremely hot and sunny to very cold and possibly snowy. You should be mentally prepared for all conditions, for hard riding and long days. Consider also that accommodation when you enter the Annapurna region will be simple Tea Houses, no hot water, squat style toilets etc, and this can all be hard to deal with especially if you are in a tired and exhausted state. Never forget that you are travelling and racing in a developing country with different standards and cultures than what you are used too.
Hydration, Food and Sun protection are three simple things that can keep you well during the race. Drink lots of fluid, bring along with you electrolyte and sports relevant powders that you can add to the water to aid your recovery. Food will be lots of local items, rice, noodles, potatoes, you should bring along dietary supplements and high energy snacks to keep you fuelled. Keep in the back of your mind too that there is a possibility that you may get some kind of stomach bug so make sure you consult your travel doctor and bring along a gastro kit.
YOUR BIKE
Himalayan Single Track recommends a light hard tail, not carbon fibre, with high quality components that you are familiar with. There is a ton of climbing in this race and the trails are rugged and brutal on bike and bike parts so focus your bike on being light, easy to maintain and strong. You should be comfortable on your bike. Conditions will also be dusty and gritty which can wear down brake pads and other components. Carry both a wet and dry lube for your bike and also a small brush or like to clean your drive chain.
Most important, know your bike and know how to maintain it. On trail mechanic skills will get you out of a pickle and keep you in the race. At least you should know how to do things like fix a broken change, fix punctures, maintain your gears and brakes and carry all the components to perform these jobs. Nothing worse than putting in all the hard yards in training only to fail in the race because of a bike mechanical problem.
RACE LOGISITICS
The race is held over 12 days. While racing you will only have to carry what you need for the trail. Your main luggage of up to 10kg will be portaged for you. During the first four days there will be vehicle support but after that porters will carry the packs which means they will be arriving at the accommodation well after you. All accommodation and logistics will be arranged for you, you will only have to manage your own meals for the race.
SO YOU REALLY WANT A GO?
Ready for the challenge, you can email us at Himalayan Single Track (info@himalayansingletrack.com) for more details, or directly visit the Yak Attack Website (http://yak-attack.co.uk).
Entry fee for the race is 1595 per person, and includes a wide range of services, from accommodation before, during and after the race, permits and transfers, support teams and prizes.
RACE STARTS 2nd March 2012.
SANTOSHS LAST WORD
Decide your ultimate aim for the race, if you are really serious and want to go for a stage win or podium finish overall, then you should consider coming to Nepal on month earlier for high altitude training and to acclimatize your body to conditions and foods in Nepal.
Yak Attack will be sure to the experience of your life time, make sure to get to know the local riders as well, they will help you along the way and show you some fun during the times in the Tea Houses. One of the main aims of Yak Attack, which is a non-profit event, is to help raise funds for local riders and help them achieve a high status on the international racing stage.
Best of luck and hope to see you in Yak Attack in 2012.

In this ‘How to’ article, Himalayan Single Track ask…ARE YOU READY FOR THE WORLDS TOUGHEST MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE? The Yak Attack.

Yak Attack is a yearly Mountain Bike stage race held in the Annapurna region of Nepal and is considered as one of the toughest high altitude events in the World. A race for tough bodies, tough minds and tough bikes. The race, normally held in March ever year attracts international and local riders, to date, the local riders have always dominated the race as they are better adapted to the altitude, but with each year more and more riders are coming from overseas to compete in this Extreme Adventure. In the five year history of the race, only 8 international riders have completed un-assisted!

To give you an idea of what the race involves, some 400km of Himalayan Trails, 11000 meters of climbing over 12 days of cycling from the bustling city of Kathmandu through tropical valleys and then climbing into the heart of the Annapurna Himalaya crossing the 5600 meter snow covered Throng La (Pass) and then descending the 86 km of rugged single tracks and downhill trails to Tatopani Are you ready for this challenge?

Yak Attack can be taken two ways, one as a personal challenge for yourself and the other as a serious competitor, either way, to complete this gruelling race will be one of the biggest achievements of your life. To enjoy and get the most out of Yak Attack you should be properly prepared.

In 2011, Himalaya Single Track rider Santosh Rai completed Yak Attack for the 3rd time, finishing in 6th position overall. For Santosh, the best part of the race is meeting international riders and also the challenge of high altitude riding. Santoshs particular skill is in his climbing strength and technical riding ability which gives him a good advantage when the going gets tough. The hardest part of the race for Santosh is always the first three days with long riding in the heat and long climbs. Santosh is also a tour guide for his own company Himalayan Single Track and he has many experiences cycling around the Annapurna Circuit. Now he is ready to offer advice to you to get you prepared for this Himalayan Challenge.

TRAINING

Four months before the race you should focus on long rides to build your stamina, put the emphasis on long climbs and rough road surfaces. In the first stages of the race there are some long rocky climbs to complete. In the second month of training add an interval training program. You should aim to have good long stamina and climbing power. Its also important to keep improving your technical riding as you will have to cross some difficult terrain and if you can stay on your bike and ride through you will save energy in the long run.If you can, do some training at altitude to aid with your acclimatization. Remember also, sometimes you will have to push and carry your bike, work into your training program days of carrying your bike uphills and stairs. Find a way of carrying your bike that is comfortable for you. When crossing Throng La it may take you as long as 6 hours of carrying your bike so be prepared.

Think also how you will carry your pack, spare parts, tools, snacks and water, how much will it weigh and train as often as you can with your pack on. Most importantly you should ride on consecutive days and prepare your body to be able to recover and race the next day and day after day after day

MENTAL PREPARTION

Conditions during the race vary from extremely hot and sunny to very cold and possibly snowy. You should be mentally prepared for all conditions, for hard riding and long days. Consider also that accommodation when you enter the Annapurna region will be simple Tea Houses, no hot water, squat style toilets etc, and this can all be hard to deal with especially if you are in a tired and exhausted state. Never forget that you are travelling and racing in a developing country with different standards and cultures than what you are used too.

Hydration, Food and Sun protection are three simple things that can keep you well during the race. Drink lots of fluid, bring along with you electrolyte and sports relevant powders that you can add to the water to aid your recovery. Food will be lots of local items, rice, noodles, potatoes, you should bring along dietary supplements and high energy snacks to keep you fuelled. Keep in the back of your mind too that there is a possibility that you may get some kind of stomach bug so make sure you consult your travel doctor and bring along a gastro kit.

YOUR BIKE

Himalayan Single Track recommends a light hard tail, not carbon fibre, with high quality components that you are familiar with. There is a ton of climbing in this race and the trails are rugged and brutal on bike and bike parts so focus your bike on being light, easy to maintain and strong. You should be comfortable on your bike. Conditions will also be dusty and gritty which can wear down brake pads and other components. Carry both a wet and dry lube for your bike and also a small brush or like to clean your drive chain.

Most important, know your bike and know how to maintain it. On trail mechanic skills will get you out of a pickle and keep you in the race. At least you should know how to do things like fix a broken change, fix punctures, maintain your gears and brakes and carry all the components to perform these jobs. Nothing worse than putting in all the hard yards in training only to fail in the race because of a bike mechanical problem.

RACE LOGISITICS

The race is held over 12 days. While racing you will only have to carry what you need for the trail. Your main luggage of up to 10kg will be portaged for you. During the first four days there will be vehicle support but after that porters will carry the packs which means they will be arriving at the accommodation well after you. All accommodation and logistics will be arranged for you, you will only have to manage your own meals for the race.

SO YOU REALLY WANT A GO?

Ready for the challenge, you can enquire with Himalayan Single Track direct here for more details, or directly visit the Yak Attack Website.

Entry fee for the race is 1595 per person, and includes a wide range of services, from accommodation before, during and after the race, permits and transfers, support teams and prizes.

RACE STARTS 2nd March 2012.

SANTOSHS LAST WORD

Decide your ultimate aim for the race, if you are really serious and want to go for a stage win or podium finish overall, then you should consider coming to Nepal on month earlier for high altitude training and to acclimatize your body to conditions and foods in Nepal.

Yak Attack will be sure to the experience of your life time, make sure to get to know the local riders as well, they will help you along the way and show you some fun during the times in the Tea Houses. One of the main aims of Yak Attack, which is a non-profit event, is to help raise funds for local riders and help them achieve a high status on the international racing stage.

Best of luck and hope to see you in Yak Attack in 2012.

Looks like an awesome undertaking – don’t forget to checkout Himalayan Single Track’s holidays, or our other muchbetter holidays in the Nepali Himalaya.

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