You really want to race your cycle and are wondering which are the best cycle races in India? Search no more, we have put together a list of some of the best cycling races that the country currently has to offer!
Cycle Races in India
One of the best ways of bumping up your fitness on a bike is to start racing. Getting out every morning and riding your heart out is all very nice, but more often than not, you will plateau out soon and get frustrated at not improving.
Racing gives you a goal and an objective. To improve over your previous race, to beat the nearest competitor, to push yourself out of your comfort zone. The best part, you aren’t alone in this madness. You will find every single participant as crazy about cycling as you are, else they wouldn’t be out there!
Cycle racing in India is growing. The cycle community is organising races across the country. These are some of the best races currently in the country. Go try them out!
Cycle Races in India: Ultra Endurance
Ultra Spice Race
The Ultra Spice race starts and ends in Goa. There are three categories, 600 km, 1000 km and 1750 km. These races are a qualifier for Race Across America. You can race this solo or in a relay team. This race is in January. 2019 was the 3rd edition of this race.
Learn more about the Ultra Spice race on Inspire India’s website.
The Great Himalayan Ultra
The Great Himalayan Ultra starts and ends in Leh, and loops around Dras. The race is 600 km long and is also a qualifier for Race Across America. This is one of the highest ultra races in the world and has a total climbing of more than 10000 metres. Acclimatisation is mandatory for this race.
Read more about the Great Himalayan Ultra race on Inspire India’s website.
This 600+ km ultra race starts in Pune and finishes in Goa and the route follows the Sahyadri range. You can race either solo or in a team relay for this event. The solo racers qualify for RAAM. This race is in November every year.
Read more about Deccan Cliffhanger on Inspire India’s website.
The Shivalik Signature race starts in Chandigarh and goes around Punjab clocking a total of 615 km. There are multiple categories for the race, but solo racing is most coveted, since those finishers qualify for RAAM. The race has been conducted once and the second edition will be soon. The first edition was in April 2018.
Know more about Shivalik Signature on the Bharat Alacrity website.
The Ultra BOB race was the first ultra race in India. The race starts in Bangalore, goes up to Ooty and ends in Bangalore, covering a distance of 610 km. This race is also a RAAM qualifier. The race is in February and is open for multiple categories, including solo and teams.
Read more about Ultra BOB on the Ultimate Bike Race website.
Cycle Races in India: Road
Tour of Nilgiris
Arguably the best cyclosportive in India. TfN has organised a ride every year since 2008. The route goes through three wildlife sanctuaries in the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and is in December every year. For a week you will be riding through the beautiful Nilgiri Mountains and in company of some of the strongest riders in the country.
Or as race organiser Deepak Majipatil says, “Very very less race and lot of touring”.
Find out more and participate on the TfN website.
Mumbai-Pune Cycle Race
A race with history. The Mumbai-Pune race finds its origins way back in 1946, when the race was 200 km long. Now the route is shorter but no less competitive. There were years when the race wasn’t organised and fell out of favour. But now it is back and attracts some of the best in the country, including from the government sports divisions. The race is generally in March.
Read more about it on the CFI website.
The Nandi Epic is the feather in the cap of the Bangalore Bicycle Championships (BBCh) annual season. It is roughly a 100 km ride with the end climbing up the 7 km 5% Nandi Hill on the outskirts of Bangalore. This race attracts some of the best climbers and if you consider yourself one, it is a must-do to see where you stand against the best.
BBCh organises both MTB and Road races every month throughout the year.
For more details check the BBCh Facebook Page.
MVS Cycling Carnival: Criterium
A race held in Coimbatore at the Kari race track. This is criterium style racing at a purpose built track. This track usually sees automobile racing and it is fantastic that the folks of Coimbatore decided to take bicycle racing there as well.
You can read more on the MVS Cycling Carnival Website.
Tour of Glory
Another multi-stage race around Bangalore, the Tour of Glory is relatively newer on the racing circuit with a couple of races under their belt. This is a 4 day race in October, starting from Bangalore and heading to the Western Ghats.
You can read more about them on the Tour of Glory Website.
One of the few events organised in this part of India. The Ahmedabad Cyclothon has been on since 2013. It is a 2-day event with both racing and casual rides for leisure cyclists. Racing comprises of a 100 km, 50 km and ITT race.
Know more about the Ahmedabad Cyclothon on the JP Sport website.
The Champions Sportive are multiple races held in 9 different cities around the country for the last couple of years. The cities covered under this are Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. The season finale is held in Goa, where the best from various cities compete with each other!
Read more about the Champions Sportive on their website.
The Masters Championship was an idea to bring out the competition in middle-aged cyclists. The age categories start from 35 and goes up to, well till whatever age anyone wants to race! Like many other races, Bangalore has taken the initiative to be the path-breakers and the race will have its second edition in 2019.
You can check out more about this racing scene on the Masters Championship Facebook Page.
The Impossible Race
This race is held in Gujarat around Polo, an abandoned and ancient city in northern Gujarat, roughly 160 km away from the state capital of Ahmedabad. The race is 115 km loop along forest roads.
More details on their Facebook Page.
Cycle Races in India: MTB
MTB Himalaya is the best XC MTB race this country has to offer. It is the toughest in the country by far and sees participation from experienced riders from around the globe. The race has been conducted every year since 2005 and is generally in October in Himachal Pradesh. It is a 9 day race covering approximately 650 km.
Read more on MTB Himalaya’s Website.
MTB Shimla is organised by the same Hastpa team who do the MTB Himalaya. This is a smaller, shorter and relatively easier race. It is a good introduction to mountain biking for the ardent amateur racer. It is in April and is an appetiser for the main race!
Check out more on the MTB Shimla’s Website.
Read about racing MTB Shimla 2017!
Held in the northeastern most state of India, Arunachal. This race is in November and has had two successful iterations. The 7 day race sees riders covering 700+ km through gorgeous locales.
You can read more about MTB Arunachal on their website!
The MTB Kerala race has had 5 editions already. The race is usually in December. The two day event is located in the Western Ghats. It is raced by top riders.
Read about this race in Kerala on their website.
In 2017, MTB Sikkim was a two day race with mostly local riders participating. The race was a four day event in its second iteration. Riders participated from Nepal and Bhutan as well. The race ends at Gurudongmar Lake which is at a whopping 17000 ft! Claimed to be the ‘highest’ race in the world, it would be quite a fun do to attend.
MTB Uttarakhand has been held in the state in the month of April for the past 5 years and is a mountain biking stage race. It is a week long race organised by Uttarakhand Department of Tourism and supported by CFI. Racers from various countries participate in it.
You can register for this race on the CFI Website.
MVS Cycling Carnival: Enduro
Part of the MVS Cycling Carnival. This is the MTB half of the racing. The race is Enduro style, where you only race the timed sections. The rest is free ride. The rider with the minimal aggregated time is the winner.
8 timed stages maketh the winner. This is an annual race in Coimbatore.
You can read more on the MVS Cycling Carnival Website.
NorthQuest Challenge Ladakh
A 60 km race above 3500 metres in and around the city of Leh. This race is organised by the CFI and is as much a test of acclimatisation to the altitude as it is to endurance. The race has seen two editions so far.
Read more on the NorthQuest Challenge’s Website.
Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival
A proper festival for MTBers, with races for every category. This event has had four previous editions with participation from some of the top riders of the country. The event is in October in and around the mountain town of Manali. They organise a XC, Enduro and Downhill race on three consecutive days.
Read and register on the Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival Website.
Himalayan Trails n Dust MTB Challenge
The XC race which has been on since 2011. The organisers claim that this is the most technical XC race currently in India.
Himalayan Enduro Championship
The Enduro race will be held in Gulaba near Manali and is a first of its kind in the area.
Himalayan Downhill Mountain Bike Trophy
A downhill race held on a ski slope! Ski Himalayas Mountain Bike Park hosts this world class race.
Bangalore Mountain Festival
The Bangalore Mountain Festival is trail fun for mountain bikers as well as for trail runners. Its held in January and includes a 35 km XC race. It is located on the outskirts of Bangalore.
Read more about this Mountain Festival on their website.
MTB Mysuru is a mountain biking race held in this heritage city of Karnataka for the last couple of years. This race is in January and is a 8 lap XC race, with each lap roughly 3 km long.
Know more about MTB Mysuru on their website.
Goa International Mountain Biking Challenge
Goa plays host to the GIMBC race; which spans three days every October. This is an XC race. A technical track is built for the race. This is an attempt to bring world class MTB racing to the country.
You can check out GIMBC’s Facebook page for more details.
MTB Meghalaya is organised by the same people who host MTB Nainital. This 3 day race saw its first iteration in October 2018. The race starts and ends in Shillong going through the scenic Khasi Hills.
Read more about MTB Meghalaya on the Walk to Himalayas website.
Mokokchung Mountain Bike Festival
December 2018 was the 3rd edition of Mokokchung Mountain Bike Festival. It is conducted in Mokokchung, Nagaland. And organised by the local Trail Hounds Cycling Club. It is a downhill event which sees riders from the northeast participating along with some strong downhill riders from other parts of the country as well.
Stay updated about the next race on the Trail Hounds Facebook page.
Kohima Downhill Race
The Kohima Downhill race is part of the Hornbill Mountain Festival in Nagaland. Native Station organises the race in Viswema village. This race is in December.
Find out more about this race on the Native Station website.
Mechukha Bike Downhill Championship
The Mechukha Bike Downhill championship is conducted in the town of Mechukha, Arunachal Pradesh. This 2 day event is in November. 2018 was the second iteration of this downhill race. The organisers promise a bigger, longer and more difficult tracks in the years to come!
Read more on the Mechukha website.
Aravalli Trailhunters in a Delhi based community MTB race club. They conduct monthly races. But their season finale held in December is the race to look out for. Some of the top MTB talent participates in the finale from around the country.
Keep up to date with the club’s race schedule on ATH’s Facebook page.
Walk to Himalayas organises this 2 day race. Uttarakhand is the host for this race. The race is in April.
Find out more on the Walk to Himalayas Facebook page.
MTB Polo is a three day stage race covering 150 km through Polo an abandoned and ancient city in north Gujarat.
Find out more on the MTB Polo’s website.
Check out this article with all the Amateur Races in India organised by Cycling Communities.
Have you ridden or know about any cool cycle races in India that we have missed out? Let us know in the comments below and we will add it to the list!