Fabien Barel Invitational starts in Nepal

French freeride philanthropy

Every year the Fabien Barel Invitational brings a handful of the world’s best riders to race one another across uncharted terrain. The goal is to raise funds for that region’s humanitarian needs. This year’s event, Urge Nepal, is on now in the Himalayan Mountains.

The idea was hatched three years ago by former downhill world champ Barel and Fred Glo, and was first run last year in Kenya. Ten riders participated and each brought a donation to race.

The Kenyan event took place over three days and culminated with a descent from the foothills of Mount Kenya. The beneficiary was an organisation called ACORD, for which the racers raised €10,000 to develop a water system.

French enduro downhill racer Sam Peridy was one of the inaugural year’s participants. The Scott USA sponsored athlete went a step further by auctioning his custom built Ransom after the event and donating the proceeds.

The second edition of the Fabien Barel International is in Nepal this year, which touches a special chord with Peridy, as his adopted son Tony is from an orphanage in Katmandu, Nepal. Peridy adopted Tony three years ago.

To raise funds for this event, Peridy and Scott have another custom painted bike ready to go. It’s a Scott Genius with SRAM XX group and custom paint that’s dedicated to Tony, whose birth name is Aassish. This year proceeds gained from the bike’s auction after the event will go directly to Tony’s former orphanage.

Urge Nepal runs from 26 February to 8 March. Thirteen riders are in attendance, including Nicolas Vouilloz, Sabrina Jonnier and Darren Berrecloth. All of the participants and their sponsors brought gear to the event for auction at Urgenepal.com.

Half of the proceeds will go to the Urge, MTB for Nepal association, which plans to set up a mountain bike school in the Himalayas. The second half goes to the Les Amis De Children’s Home, which sets up schools for children in Nepal. The fundraising goal is, once again, €10,000.

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