An epic three days of mountain biking over some of the most exciting and gruelling terrain in the world, the Tour of the Karakoram in Pakistan is being promoted to help victims of last October's earthquake that destroyed much of the area and killed thousands of people.
Organised by former Marco Polo Cycling Team member Nathan Dahlberg, all funds generated from the race will go to the Kaghan Memorial School Project of the Kaghan Memorial Trust. This school is being built in Balakot, one of the areas worst-affected by the earthquake, where thousands of children were killed when their schools collapsed on top of them.
To be held from September 1-3, 2006, the Tour of The Karakoram is a combined mountain bike stage race and bike tour. 20 invited riders will participate in the three-day race that will cover 250 kilometres on dirt, paved and track only roads, crossing the Babusar Pass at more than 4,100 metres above sea level (that's 13,600 feet!). A further 20 tourists will cover the same distance, and any others who are game (read: mad - ed.) enough can also tackle the race.
Organisers warn this is not a trip for the physically, mentally or culturally weak, and a documentary for British television will also be filmed during the race.
Daily prizes for the first three on each stage
King of Babusar pass and special prizes for second and third up the pass
King of Karakorums for the overall winner and prizes for the first 10 on overall classement
Special prizes for oldest, most combative, best sportsman
More information: tr.nelson.co.nz/tour_of_the_karakorum.htm