Newport adventurer taking on Himalayan bike trek
11:50am Monday 4th March 2013 in Gwent news
NEWPORT adventurer Richard Parks began his latest challenge on Saturday – The Yak Attack, thought to be the world’s highest mountain bike race.
Just four weeks after returning home from an unsuccessful attempt to ski solo to the South Pole, Mr Parks set off on a 248-mile journey through some of the most brutal terrain on earth.
Comprising of 11 stages through the Himalaya mountain range in Nepal, The Yak Attack sees riders endure a total altitude gain of 12,000 metres from moving up and down in the highlands.
As well as the risk of suffering altitude sickness, they must endure conditions ranging from the hot, dusty lowland foothills to the snow-covered, oxygen-thin Thorong La pass.
Mr Parks, riding a specialised Epic Marathon Carbon 29 mountain bike will climb to a height of 5,416 metres – roughly the height of Everest Base Camp and just 400 metres lower than the total height of Mount Kilimanjaro.
He completed the first stage from Shivapuri to Nawakot in two hours and 49 minutes on Saturday as he competes against a field of 33 riders. In the build-up, he had been working with Sport Wales physiotherapist Nicki Phillips to recover his fitness after the South Pole challenge.
The pair completed a week’s acclimatisation in Nepal before the race started. Before setting off on Saturday, Mr Parks said: “It’s my first competitive mountain bike race, I am excited.
“I’ve been feeling stronger every day and although I wish I had another month before the race, I am confident I have done everything I can to recover in such a tight turnaround from Antarctica.”
You can follow his progress on Twitter through @richardparks