We are thrilled to announce the official launch of the Northcentral University p/b Nepali Tea Traders Cycling Team!
The Northcentral University p/b Nepali Tea Traders has been formed with the sole goal of conquering the Yak Attack, a ten day mountain bike stage race in Nepal. The Yak Attack covers approximately 250 miles over ten days through the Himalayas. The race starts in Kathmandu and climbs northwest into the Annapurnas, a popular trekking destination, finishing in Pokhara, a picturesque lakeside town nestled in the shadows of 20,000+ ft. peaks. Stage nine, the queen stage of the race, tops out at almost 17,800 ft. above sea level, where there is half the amount of oxygen available as there is at sea level. The race is the ultimate test of skill and endurance on the mountain bike and will push riders and their equipment to the absolute limit.
“Its not a race of man versus man, its man versus nature and nature has the upper hand” – Phil Stasiw (UK) 2007 Yak Attack Participant
The team will consist of four riders, two Americans and two Nepali riders.
Robert Burnett, USA: Rob is the founder and visionary of the Northcentral University p/b Nepali Tea Traders Cycling Team. Rob has been racing bikes for the last eight years, mostly on the road, and races for an elite amateur team in Denver, CO. When Rob isn’t racing, he loves to travel, particularly to Nepal. Rob has lived in Kathmandu for a total of about eight months over the last five years and during his time there learned of the Yak Attack and met several of the Nepali competitors. He wants to blend his two passions, bikes and travel, and see how far he can push himself by taking on the Yak Attack.
Thor Loechell, USA: By day, Thor is a mild mannered professional pilot, but by night, Thor is a monster on the mountain bike. Thor has been an avid amateur cyclist for the last thirteen years, with experience on both the road and dirt. Thor might not be the quickest rider when it comes to pure speed, but his endurance and technical skill make him a dangerous competitor. As the stages get longer, Thor will get stronger. The most experienced member of the team, Thor will keep the younger members grounded and focused on getting the best results possible.
Aayman Tamang, Nepal: Weighing in at just 50kg, Aayman might be small, but he is fast, strong and charismatic. He’s also one of the better technically skilled riders in Nepal with the sometimes frightening ability to ride down anything and everything in his path. The once junior National champ is now embarking on his third attempt at Yak Attack, 2013 could be the year for this little power house.
“My dream is to represent my Country as a professional Mountain Bike Rider. I want to be National Champion and also I have a dream to compete internationally in the Asian Championships and beyond. I strive to be the best I can be in Mountain Biking.”
Aayman is an amazing kid, overcoming my obstacles in his life and a very poor background to stand up, change his life and become a charismatic, fun loving mountain bike guide and rider with the potential to be a true champion in the future.
Rajan Bhandari, Nepal: Rajan is a 19 year old rider from the region of Kavre in East Nepal. He started Mountain Biking only a year and a half ago and has already established himself amongst Nepal’s top ten riders. He now works in Kathmandu as a mountain bike guide.
“ At first, I feel a little hard in riding, but my senior riders and other friends help me to improve my riding day by day and to become one of the better riders in Nepal, but for me, there is still lots of things to improve and learn ahead or me! Now I love mountain biking because it has become part of my body and if I don’t ride for a couple of days I feel Sick, it is my passion and my daily life. In the future I don’t want to become a champ but I would like to introduce myself as a good rider. Till now I got support from Himalayan Single Track in my every step of mountain biking and all the stuff I need to ride. ”.
The highlight of Rajan’s riding so far is finishing 3rd in the Lubhu – Lakuri race in January, it was his first time on the podium. He sees the chance to race in Yak Attack as a huge challenge and a place where he can learn and improve his riding skills.
We need to thank our amazing sponsors for all of their help. Without them none of this would be possible!
Northcentral University: Looking to continue your education, but don’t want to be tied down to a campus and a strict schedule? Northcentral University is a fully accredited online university offering graduate and doctoral degrees in a variety of fields from business to education to psychology. NCU’s 1 to 1 student-teacher ratio allow for personalized attention and an incredibly rewarding student experience. Us bike racers are on the go a lot, so if you want to get a top notch education that fits with your schedule, check out Northcentral University. You can find them at: NCU.edu
Nepali Tea Traders: Nepali Tea Traders is a new tea company, based in Denver, which imports tea exclusively from Nepal. All of Nepali Tea Traders profits go to charities in Nepal, so drinking their tea is not only good for you, but it is good for Nepal as well. Tea from Nepal is some of the finest in the world, and it is a great pre and post ride drink! Give Nepali Tea Trader’s premium loose tea a try, it is truly delicious!
Primal Wear: Primal Wear is one of the premier cycling clothing companies in the world. We are happy to say we will be rocking their clothing throughout the event. Primal Wear’s performance clothing will keep us cool and aerodynamic during the first few warm stages of the race, and then will keep us warm in the sub-freezing temperatures on top of Thorong-La Pass at 17,800 ft.
Our other sponsors:
- Ergon: Best grips and saddles around! Super comfortable.
- Golden Bike Shop: Best shop in Colorado to fill all your mountain biking needs.
- Bent Gate Mountaineering: Best shop in Colorado to fill all your mountaineering needs.
- Retul: Best bike fit around. Period.
- Rocky Mountain Bicycles: Killer rides that can tackle any terrain. Seriously. If they can handle the Himalayas, they can handle your local trails.
- Bell Lap Coaching: Want to take your riding to the next level? Work with Steve, he is the man.
- Khumbu Adventure Gear: Outdoor gear straight from Nepal.
You can follow the Northcentral University p/b Nepali Tea Traders cycling team on this blog as they take on the Yak Attack. See video, photos, product reviews and race write ups as the racers travel from Colorado to Nepal. It is sure to be a wild ride, so don’t miss any of the action!