Cory Wallace is the living manifestation of a Terminator sent from the future to destroy us all with his insane feats of athleticism. Don’t believe me, well the long time Kona Pro Endurance racer jumped straight on a plane after finishing third in his seventh Mongolia Bike Challenge and headed to Bhutan to compete in the 158 mile one-day Tour of the Dragon race.
Cory Wallace wins the 7th edition of the Tour of the Dragon on 3 Sept 2016 with a time of 13 hours 2 min 5 secs. With road construction and monsoons, this year’s race was the most gruelling. Podium finishers took 1-2 hours longer than usual and from 47 riders, 20 gave up, and only 15 riders made the 6pm cut off time at Dochula pass.
The 158-mile race across Bhutan includes three mountain passes over 10,000 ft, brutal mud, a solid dose of rain and to really add insult to injury, a 2 am start. Reflecting on the race Cory stated “It’s challenges like this that really bring one’s soul to life”. Well, it must have brought Cory to life because he went out and won the thing in a time of 13 hours 2 min and 5 secs, and from 47 starters, 20 gave up, and only 15 riders made the 6pm cut off time at Dochula pass.
Making it to the start line of the race wasn’t without its challenges though. After landing in Bhutan, Cory discovered that he’d arrived without his bike, it was missing in action somewhere else in Asia. Luckily for him, the raw beauty and peacefulness of this mysterious Kingdom kept him occupied “I’ve landed in heaven and am pretty distracted at the moment”. The bike re-appeared after a few days, leaving Cory only 28 hours till the start of the Tour of the Dragon, but both the bike and Cory’s diesel engine were raring to go.
After the race, Cory got to take in the sights of Bhutan on a recovery ride with friend Jigme Thinley. The day only got better from there for him though after receiving an invite to visit the Prime Minister at his personal residence. “It’s pretty cool when the PM and Prince of a country are both avid riders and have both respectively finished the Tour of the Dragon during past years”