Faraz Shokri of the Islamic Republic of Iran emerged champion in the International Cross Country section of the fifth edition of the International Mountain Bike Challenge that concluded at the Priyadarshini Tea Environs at Panharakkolly, near Mananthavady in Wayanad, on Saturday.
Faraz pedalled the eight laps of the 4.2-km rough terrain of the Priyadarshini hill slopes that encompass terrains like dirt, rocky and water at an altitude of 3,000 ft, to reach the finishing point in 1.43.09 hour.
Parviz Mardani of Iran came second by covering the distance in 1.44.42 hours and Adisak Tailangkha of Thailand came third.
In the National Cross Country event, Kiran Kumar Raju of Karnataka came first by clocking 1.58.23 hours. Himachal Pradesh’s Devender Kumar came second and Shiven of Himachal Pradesh came third.
The 5th edition of the MTB introduced the challenge for women category. Pranita Soman of Maharashtra came first . Lidya M. Sunny and A.P. Sai Sree of Kerala stood second and third.
Riders from 10 countries participated in the event , an initiative of Kerala Tourism to promote adventure tourism in the State.
The Cycling Federation of India and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) provided technical support .
The prize money of ₹6.5 lakh offered for the winners of the three events is the highest in Asia.
Earlier, P.P. Pramod, State ecotourism director, flagged off the mountain biking events at 10 a.m.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran inaugurated the valedictory function and Ports Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran distributed the prizes.