September 01, 2013 (Mongolia) – The 2013 version of the MBC took off from under the mammoth Genghis Khan statue in perfect blue-sky weather. It was great to finally be racing our bikes after what has been an epic journey for many of us to get here from the far reaches of the globe.
Day 1 didn’t disappoint as we raced 120 km with over 2,500m of climbing, much of it in typical Mongolian fashion heading straight up grassy Mongolian slopes and then down ripping fast smooth descents. The lead group was sitting around 30 riders as we hit the first steep climb. We punched it up the climb, which brought the group down to 8.
From here we cruised through the vast landscape, dodging herds of goats and watching horses gallop across the countryside. At one point a sharp looking hawk took flight over us nearly causing a big pile up as all of us had our heads up watching the hawk and not the trail.
As we neared the finish the climbs got steeper and the lead group exploded into singles and doubles as we dug deep to find if anything was left in our tanks. Coming over the final climb the riders were welcomed with a stunning view of the mammoth Silver Genghis Khan statue which inspired us to make the last few km to a welcoming finish.
After three years of racing in Mongolia it looks like the organizers have things dialed this year as the racers are all smiles as they devour there endless lunches and lounge around in there Ger huts. It’s going to be a long hard week with over 800km of racing which is surely to fill all our heads with countless unforgettable Mongolian moments.
Off for lunch #3…