First UK rider conquers Himalayan Challenge for Spinal Research

Spinal Research supporter James Griffiths became the first UK rider to complete the epic Tour of the Dragon bike ride - a 268 kilometre mountain bike race over 4 mountain passes in the inner Himalayas of Bhutan.

This year’s race saw 43 participants start, of which only 22 finished.  James completed the course in 15th position in a time of 15 hours 14 mins 35 sec.

James tells us; “Many of the competitors where Nepalese, Bhutanese or western residents (expats) that were acclimatised to the altitude.  It was by far the toughest race I have ever taken part in – both brutal and magical in equal measure.  From the 2am start, to the descent from Yutong La Pass in the dark and in thick cloud with poor visibility, to the final harrowing 4 and ½ hour 2000m ascent of a climb up Dochu La pass in 38 degree heat!!”

James chose to take part in this event to raise funds for us as his mother suffers from a spinal cord injury. So far he’s raised over £2,500 to help us continue their pioneering research.

If you would like to hear more about this extreme challenge and other adventures you can have in this most beautiful of Himalayan Kingdoms, why not join us for an evening of stories at Live the Adventure on Friday 16 January.  For more information please click here.



James minutes after completing the Tour of the Dragon.

James Griffiths minutes after becoming the 1st British Rider to complete the Tour of the Dragon mountain bike race.


Crossing the line after 15 hrs and 14 minutes of riding.

James Griffiths on the finishers podium.

James Griffiths on the finishers podium.


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