Every year the Mongolia Bike Challenge continues to grow and expand into one of the Worlds longest and hardest mountain bike stage races. This was my fourth trip over here and was by far the best organized and most racey event of them all. In the first couple editions the MBC took place down in the Gobi desert and around the the Khangai Mountains. The scenery and adventures of these editions was unreal, but the race was at the mercy of mother nature with floods, dust storms, snow and other unrully weather, often making it more of a survival challenge then a bike race. Last year the organizers changed the route to the central eastern part of the country, through some great national parks and the enormous steppe lands. Here the weather is a more stable, the logistics easier with tourist camps surrounding the area and the scenery still spectacular golden grasslands, spectacular rock outcroppings and a wide open feeling of freedom that only a few places in the world can offer. Again last year some troubles were run into with flooding rivers and cold weather but changes were made and for the 5th edition the organization had a well layed out plan with backup plans in case of sever weather.
From day one things rolled pretty smoothly and the 75 racers of the 5th edition of the MBC were treated to 900 km of great racing through one of the Worlds great nomadic landscapes with the Mongolian culture evident and inspiring around every corner. Crystal clear rivers, roaming camels, rolling grassy hills, zippy antelope, countless herds of sheep & goats, wild stampeding horses, snakes, local Mongols living there Nomadic lives, every day was a slow moving national geographic movie which kept us entertained every step of the way. More at corywallace.com