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Indian Army officer sets Guinness World Record of fastest cycle journey from from Leh to Manali

NEW DELHI: Indian Army Lieutenant Colonel Bharat Pannu set a Guinness World Record for the fastest cycle journey from Leh to Manali.

He cycled the hilly terrain in 35 hours, 32 minutes, and 22 seconds.

Pannu, who spent 20 days training in Ladakh before attempting the record, began his journey on October 10 from Leh.

“This record had never been attempted before, and I had a 40-hour cut-off period to make it into the books. The landscape was unforgiving, with 40% of the roads in poor condition and the low temperature at night putting our ability to cross the finish line within the cut-off time to the test,” Pannu said.

At Sarchu, he experienced the coldest temperature of minus 12 degrees Celsius.

He said that owing to the freezing temperatures, it was difficult to keep the handlebar straight, and braking on the downhill portions of the road was risky.

The route includes four high-altitude passes (Taglang La, Nakee La, Lachulung La, and Baralacha La), with the highest being 17,480 feet and a total elevation gain of 29,200 feet.

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“ Since the Guinness authorities decided not to allow to take the newly constructed Atal Tunnel, which would have cut the distance by 40 kilometres, I had to take the longer route through Rohtang Pass,” he added.

The Lieutenant Colonel’s accomplishment was praised by the Additional Directorate General of Public Information on social media.

Earlier, Pannu made history by winning the first edition of the Virtual Race Across America (vRAAM) 2020 in July of last year.

The RAAM is a 5000-kilometre transcontinental race from the West Coast to the East coast of the USA.

Pannu came in third place overall, covering 4086 kilometres in 12 days and climbing 71,000 metres in total elevation gain.

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