Organizers announced that registration is open for the 2013 Yak Attack. The 10-day, 400km mountain bike stage race in Nepal has been one of the toughest on its calendar since its inception six years ago. Although international racers have regularly contested the event, Nepali riders have won all six editions.
In an effort to draw more potential international winners, the Extreme World Challenges organizers are offering to refund the entry of the first non-Nepali rider to make the top place on the podium.
Australian rider Peter Butt has been the only only non-Nepali to podium so far with a hard fought third place in 2012, but Nepal National Champion Ajay Pandit Chhetri has had it pretty much his own way for the last three years with victories in 2010, 2011 and 2012. With entries already received from a previous Trans Rockies winner and a top 20 La Ruta de los Conquistadores contestant, things could change in 2013.
The race starts in Nepal's capital city of Kathmandu and traverses the Himalayan foothills for four days before heading off into the the remote Annapurna mountain range, crossing the formidable Thorong La Pass at 5416m above sea level during stage 9. Riders will encounter a temperature range from around +30 degrees Celsius during the first four days to -20 degrees Celsius on day 9, will climb over 12,000m on mud, rock, sand, snow, cross suspension bridges, battle past pony trains, and have to endure the hardships of 10 days racing in a third world country with very few comforts, but nearly all previous entrants describe as "an experience of a lifetime".
International entries are limited to 25 places, are considered on a "first come, first served" basis and are expected to sell out very quickly. Details for registering for the race can be found here.
For those riders that aren't ready to take on the highest mountain bike race on Earth, there are still places left in Yak Attack's little brother, Trans Nepal, a five-day stage race from Kathmandu to Pokhara starting on December 26, 2012 - details about this race can be found here.