The Sahyadri Classic has two distances and four total categories.
- 4 Ghats Challenge – Open Men (Competitive, prizes for first 10 finishers)
- 4 Ghats Challenge – Men Masters (Competitive, prizes for first 10 finishers)
- 2 Ghats Challenge – Open (Recreational)
- 2 Ghats Challenge – Women Open (Competitive, prizes for first 5 finishers)
4 Ghats Challenge
This distance category at The Sahyadri Classic is 190 km in length with a total elevation gain of 3420m. The cut-off time is 14 hours from the start. Only the climbing time is measured with the descents being a neutral zone.
The Sahyadri Classic begins before sunrise at the base of Pasarni Ghat. With an average gradient of 5% for the first 10km, the Pasarni Ghat is perfect among the four climbs to start the event. The road after the ghat has a gentle with gradients averaging around 3% mark. After reaching the top (the T junction of Mahabaleshwar), the times are noted down for all participants, and are frozen for the descent through Medha Ghat due to safety regulations. This gives time to recuperate and focus on the technical descent. The total distance of Pasarni ghat until Mahabaleshwar T junction is 29km. The elevation gain for this section is 751m.
The participants will be able to rest once at the base of Medha (kelghar) Ghat. Until it’s time to start the climb again! Each participant will have to start this climb within one hour after the recorded time at the top. Medha (Kelghar) Ghat is about 18km in length with an average gradient of 4%. The elevation gain for this section is 670m.
Again, the descent to Tapola is not timed. This is the most beautiful of the four climbs with breathtaking views of the Koyna backwaters. The refreshment station in Tapola lets participants know that they are halfway through the event. It is recommended to stock up on reserves as the ascent of the Tapola Ghat, is known to be a hard one. With the total distance of 27.5 km, this is the second longest climb of the event with a total elevation gain of 730m.
The final climb of the four is the mighty Ambenali climb. The longest of them all, this 32 km climb has an average gradient of 4%, with a total elevation gain of 1266m. It ‘s a beautiful image to see all these cyclists battle their way up, with tired legs, but hope and determination in their heart. The flats around Pratapgad, which marks the midpoint of the climb, is a welcome relief after which the road ascends towards Mahabaleshwar.
2 Ghats Challenge
The 2 Ghats Challenge follows the same format to that of the 4 Ghats Challenge. The total distance of this category is 90 Km and has an elevation gain of 2021 m. Again, only the climbing time is measured with the descends being a neutral zone. Cut-off time for this category is 8 hours.
The 2 Ghats Challenge starts at the base of Pasarni climb and follows the route to the Mahabaleshwar T-Junction. The total distance of this section is is 29km and has an elevation gain of 751m.
After Pasarni, the participants descend down to Aad village, through the Ambenali ghat. We have our check point at the village, where participants can recuperate and get ready for the longest climb in Maharashtra, the Ambenali Ghat. The total distance of this climb is 32 km with an elevation gain of 1266 m.