The 2012 Mongolia Bike Challenge presented by Orbea gets under way this Sunday, with the race running from July 28 to August 11. The event is an epic, 10-stage mountain bike race in the Land of Genghis Khan. It starts in the heart of the Mongolian capital, Ulaan Baator, and continues for 1400 kilometres to its finish next to the Erdene Zuu Monastery in Karakorum.
This year’s Mongolia Bike Challenge will be another tough race as top professional and amateur racers from around the world will battle with it out through the rugged, beautiful and majestic landscape of Mongolia. Over fifteen countries will be represented this year, including for the first time, top riders from China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Last year’s runner-up, Cory Wallace from the Kona Factory Team, will be back and looking for the overall win this year. He will be joined by two of his teammates, stage racing veterans Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon who have three BC Bike Races and two Trans Rockies victories as a team.
Challenging for the podium will be Canadian Carter Hovey of Team MBC Racing powered by Orbea-SMP. Hovey, a former Canadian National Team rider and Trans Rockies winner, has been in good form of late, with an excellent showing at the BC Bike Race this year. In fact, three of the top six BCBR finishers will be competing in Mongolia.
The international mountain bike stage racing duo of Pau Zamora and David Rovira of Team Buff International will also be looking to do well in Mongolia. Rovira is a world champion adventure racer and the pair have raced a number of multi-day stage races in the last few years including Cape Epic and Titan Desert.
Marcel Hagener of Team Chiru-WTB is another former Adventure Racing World Champion who will test himself in Mongolia. He will be joined by top Malaysian mountain biker, Razif Salleh, who just finished 2nd at the Singapore National Mountain bike championships.
The Mongolia Bike Challenge, known for its long distances and accumulated climbing as well as its remote and rugged nature, is also known for its and stunningly beautiful route and tight organization. The third edition is sure to test and reward professional and amateur riders alike over its ten stages this summer.
Coverage begins July 28 on the Official Mongolia Bike Challenge Race Website: www.mongoliabikechallenge.com and on MarathonMTB.com