Luis Leao Pinto is a human machine on wheels, with his legs moving in perfect synchronicity with the bike to get the right momentum to stay ahead of everyone else. World seeded number 9, Luis is also the winner of MTB Himalaya in 2013. The celebrity rider quotient of Hero MTB Himalaya rises by a few notches with participation from such a well renowned professional rider.
The 34 year old lawyer-turned-rider is a Portuguese national champion and ranked 6th in the Europe. A mountain biker at heart, he prefers the dirt roads over tarmac. The mountains have always lured Luis, and the beauty and challenge of the majestic Himalayas brings him back yet again this year.
According to Mr Gaurav Matta, Marketing Manager, Hero Cycles, “We welcome Luis back to Hero MTB Himalaya and wish him best of luck. It is a pleasure to have a renowned and top seeded rider like him to be a part of this race. He is certainly going to be an inspiration to all other participants.”
After winning the title in 2013, Pinto had confessed that although he had conquered ranges from 2,000 metres to 2,300 metres in Europe, but the mighty hills of Himachal Pradesh were very challenging. Cory Wallace, seeded world no. 18, took away the winning title in Hero MTB Himalaya in 2014. Luis Leao Pinto did not participate in last year’s edition.
After winning the national championship in circuit racing (Olympic format) in 2008 in Portugal, Luis exploded onto the international scene. With time and effort Luis gradually started to make a mark against the best in the world. By 2012, Luis had become a common name on the podium. Luis Leao Pinto has taken part and won podiums at most of the renowned races.
Some of the more illustrious victories are podium finishes at World Cup Houfallize, World Cup Laissac, Transportugal, 5 times National XCM (Cross Country Men) champion, winner at Hero MTB Himalaya 2013 and winner at Titan Desert Morocco.
He has also participated and won podium at Andalucia Bike Race 2015, Costa Blanka Bike Race, UCI MTB Marathon Series, winner of trophy at Salzkammergut MTB, La Ruta de los Conquistadores 2014, winner in elite men category MTB Jurmala Marathon 2012 (Latvia), winner at the XCM(Cross Country Men) World Cup, Brasil Ride 2012 winner, MTB Tour of Catalunya 2012 and Endurance H2ote 6h race among others.
This year Luis Leao Pinto will be competing against professional international riders like Pau Zamora, a four time Cape Epic finisher with a best ranking of number 12. Pau Zamora is a Buff Pro team member with participation in Iron Bike, Transpyr, Titan Desert, Transandes and more. Guido Thaler, the 33 year old Austrian, has raced in Trans Alps, BC Bikerace and the Crocodile Trophy. Andreas Seewald is a 23 year old young German professional rider, has been ranked 16th at the UCI Bike Marathon World Championship 2015. A strong contender for the winning podium, Andreas known as Andi will be stiff competition for even the more seasoned riders. Hero MTB Himalaya 2012 winner – Narayan Gopal Maharjan, is making a comeback this year to compete for the King of Himalayas crown.
The 11th edition of Hero MTB Himalaya is proving to be an exciting competition with so such seasoned riders competing against each other. Each rider surpasses the other in terms of experience and competitiveness. But only one will emerge as the champion at one of the world’s toughest races – the Hero MTB Himalaya.