Race Information

RACE ON

2018 EDITION RACE ON

Stage Chronicle:

Today marked day zero of the 2018 Mongolia Bike Challenge with racers from 22 countries assembling for the official rider briefing at the Bayangol Hotel in Ulaanbaatar. Ahead of them are six days of racing through the wilds of one of the most beautiful places on earth, at one of the most challenging MTB events on the planet.

The Italian MBC founder Willy Mulonia said today:

We have designed a course that every biker may desire with mountain passes, unspoiled rivers and vast open plains.

With the 2019 edition marking the 10-year Anniversary, he also reminisced about what this event means to him:

I am a competitive person by nature and always liked racing. However, a few years ago with a growing family it became harder and harder to achieve. So this event was brought to life nine years ago to satisfy this animal inside of me. I made the plunge into organising this race and it is my way of giving into this racing passion of mine.

This year the MBC presents shorter stages and brand new routes. Starting tomorrow, Sunday 12th August, the participants will experience a wide variety of terrain in the incredible beauty of the Mongolian landscape and the land of the mighty Genghis Khan.

In total, over 600 km and more than 9,300 metres of climbing lie ahead and the first stage will be a marathon from Ulaanbaatar to the Geo Mandal Ger Camp in the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, where the event will be based for two nights. After the second day, which will mark the Queen Stage with the most elevation to cover and with start and finish at the Ger Camp, the race will head towards Tuul River with a very remote stage finish. Stage four will take the event to Steppe Nomad Ger Camp, South West of the Capital for a short, reovery time trial on day five. For the grand finale the racers will arrive at the majestic XIII Century Ger Palace on day six.

The Khans to watch out for this year include title defender from 2017, Elijus Civilis from Lithuania and Nicolas Raybaud from France, who returns for his second MBC also. Antonio Ortiz from Spain and Ryan Standish from the USA as well as Alex Malone from Australia complete the international elite field. Six solo female competitors will be at the start line, presenting an impressive line-up.

At the end of the rider briefing Willy Mulonia had three pieces of advice for his riders to take with them out onto the race track:

I want you to remember three things when you race with us: firstly, enjoy it. Secondly, enjoy it! And thirdly, spread your experience!

VIDEO

Stage Gallery:

Description:

MBC 2018 REGISTRATION & OPENING CEREMONY

This evening saw the official registration and opening ceremony with pre-race briefing for the 2018 Mongolia Bike Challenge. Hosted by our sponsor hotel, the Bayangol Hotel, the 2018 participants collected their race numbers and instruction for the race, along with information for Stage 1. 
In essence, the opening ceremony allows us to welcome these inspiring people into the MBC family!

Let’s get the party started!!!

Overview

Departure:
Arrival:
Distance: Km
Daily Climb: m

Difficulty

Climb Awards: 1
Technical Challenge: Low
Physical Challenge: Low

Race Timing

Start Time:
Max. Allowed Time:
Last Arrival Time:

Classifications:

Stage Chronicle:

Stage win for title defender Civilis and Race Lead for Standish

The 2018 Mongolia Bike Challenge rolled out of Ulaanbaatar for the ninth time today and for the racers from 22 countries what lies ahead is a journey across some of the most magnificent landscapes on Earth - over 600 km and more than 9,300 metres of climbing through the wilds of Central Mongolia and the land of the mighty Genghis Khan.

The first stage was a 105 km marathon from Ulaanbaatar to the Geo Mandal Ger Camp in the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, where the event will be based for two nights. The elevation profile had almost 2,000 meters of climbing on the menu and right from the start the peloton settled into a steady pace.

Decisive move by Standish at Grand Prix Mountain classification

Early on a lead group of 13 riders with all the Khan racers as well as some Master and Sports class competitors broke away from the main group. The lead group got reduced to nine riders across beautifully rolling hills on approach to the first Grand Prix Mountain (GPM), which offers time bonuses to the top three across the classification point. There, in a decisive move, the US-American Ryan Standish took the first so-called King of the Mountain title ahead of Elijus Civilis the title defender from Lithuania and Frenchman Nicolas Raybaud.

It was this group of three that then tried to attack after a rocky descent with Antonio Ortiz from Spain, Piotr Kozlowski from Poland and Alex Malone hot on the chase. The fierce chasing unfortunately resulted in a flat tyre for the Australian whilst Ortiz and Kozlowski caught up and remained in the lead group.

After a tough battle and several strong attacks by Nicolas Raybaud as well as Ryan Standish, it was Elijus Civilis who claimed the first stage in a sprint finish by one second in 4h09:28 against the Australian-born cross-country and marathon specialist from the USA, Standish. Civilis was happy about the stage win and because of the GPM time bonus it was Ryan Standish who put himself in the overall race lead by nine seconds ahead of Civilis. He will head out onto stage two tomorrow wearing the MBC Khan leader jersey.

Standish said that he had been looking forward to the race all year: I am used to short races where you arrive on friday and practice the course, race Saturday and Sunday, then leave straight away, so I am really enjoying this experience. It is great to see more of a country and really get to know the other competitors!

With a gap of 35 seconds, Nicolas Raybaud crossed the line in third place, arriving in a group of three with Master 1 racer Piotr Kozlowski (+37 sec) from Poland who placed fourth overall and won his category. In the Khans, Spanish racer Antonio Ortiz placed with overall (+40 sec) and fourth in the category and Alex Malone from Australia was the fifth Khan across the line, finishing in 7th place overall (+18:11).

XTERRA Amateur World Champion leads female classification

In the women’s in was Caroline Colonna from the USA who came in first clocking in 5h38:37 for a top 30 spot overall. The XTERRA Amateur World Champion from 2010 who has been racing as an XTERRA Pro for the last seven years only this year decided to focus on mountain bike stage racing and said that she was looking forward to this completely new experience. In second was the German Brigitte Jenkner (+23:49) ahead of the Australians Pippa Bell (+69:55) and Melissa Roberts (+69:56).

The competitors and crew are now resting in the comfortable Ger Camp set-up and enjoying this magical spot beneath the starry skies of Central Mongolia ahead of the Queen Stage tomorrow. With 120 km and 2,750 verticle meters it will demand everything of the riders with the most elevation to cover, before they return back to the Geo Mandal Ger Camp for the second night.

 

Photos: Paolo Martelli

Stage Gallery:

Description:

  • WE ARE GOING TO SLEEP IN A GER CAMP.
  • BED AND "HOT SHOWER"
  • 3G COVERAGE

Overview

Departure: Ulaan Baatar Down Town
Arrival: GEO MANDAL GER CAMP
Distance: 105Km
Daily Climb: 1930m

Difficulty

Climb Awards: 1
Technical Challenge: Low
Physical Challenge: Medium-High

Race Timing

Start Time: 9:30
Max. Allowed Time: 10 H
Last Arrival Time: 7:30 pm

Classifications:

Stage Chronicle:

Ryan Standish defends overall lead

Today our competitors raced a 120 km marathon that marked the Queen Stage of the 2018 Mongolia Bike Challenge. They had to conquer 2,750 vertical meters, the most climbing in a day on the stage plan.

Right after the start the first highlight of the day awaited the racers - a small silver sparkle on the horizon that finally presented itself as the magnificent statue of the mighty Emperor Genghis Khan. At 40 meters high, the statue was an amazing sight and motivation to attack the first major climb of the day.

At the 25 km mark, a breakaway group of five had established itself - leading the charge were race leader Ryan Standish in the pink leader jersey and Elijus Civilis in the blue leader jersey of the teams classification. With them were Antonio Ortiz (ESP) and Nicolas Raybaud (FRA) as well as the Belgian Master racer, Dekeyser Stijn. Two racers were hard on the chase - Alex Malone (AUS) and Piotr Kozlowski (POL) caught up just before the first of two Grand Prix Mountain (GPM) spots. Both Elijus Civilis and Ryan Standish collected a total of 50 time bonus seconds, with the US American defending his overall race lead. Both claimed one GPM win as well as a second place. Nicolas Raybaud and Antonio Ortiz each picked up 10 seconds.

Two Khans dominating the first two stages
So in the overall classification this means a 47.9 second lead ahead of the Lithuanian Civilis for Standish, who also took out the stage win of stage two in a race time of 5h24:05.9. Civilis (+38 sec) and the Spaniard Ortiz (+1:48min) placed second and third today.

Standish said today that he had felt strong on the steep climbs, but that Civilis had an advantage on the flat sections. I am confident about tomorrow, but will have to keep a close eye on Elijus on day four, which is said to be quite fast - and flat, he admitted.

While the overall gap to Civilis is rather narrow, Ortiz is third by +3:37 minutes. Nicolas Raybaud has a gap of 7:26.9 min to make up and fellow Khan racer Alex Malone from Australia is in sixth overall (+37:35.5 min). In fifth is Master racer - and category leader - Piotr Kozlowski from Poland.

In the female classification it was Caroline Colonna who crossed the finish line in first, after 6h56:36.8 of racing, increasing her overall lead to a comfortable 1h38:14 ahead of the half-way mark of the event. The German rider Brigitte Jenkner is second overall in the female field ahead of the two Australian riders and Annemarie Ottingh from the Netherlands.

The marathon today was a loop towards the Nagalkhan Uul nature reserve, which is located in the South of the Geo Mandal Ger Camp. The 3074 ha nature reserve part of the Khentii mountain range and protects the surrounding forest steppe. The riders were able to replenish food and drinks at three feed zones to conquer a punishing elevation profile, which included three major climbs and rough, rocky descents with mellow. By the time our warriors reached the rolling hills towards the finish they would have truly experienced what this race is all about – a tough challenge set within epic, natural beauties.

Next race update on Wednesday
Tomorrow the peloton moves on North to the banks of the Tuul River, a sacred stream for the locals. It will be a challenging stage set within the characteristic Siberian tundra landscape of this area, racing in the Khan Khentii National Park where nomadic families and their herds have settled in the valleys. A real treat to ride here, which comes at a price - the area is so remote that it doesn’t offer any phone reception and the organisers will be able to provide a race update again on Wednesday from Steppe Nomad Camp. Stage four promises to be fast, but long. With 143 km the longest on the stage plan and covering very remote landscapes and paths that are only used by the locals and even then, infrequently - adventure racing at its best!

Stage Gallery:

Description:

The Mongolia Bike Challenge shows racers very quickly what this race is all about – a tough challenge set within epic, natural beauties. The track varies between fast and smooth to rough and somewhat technical. 
 

  • WE ARE GOING TO SLEEP IN A GER CAMP.
  • BED AND "HOT SHOWER"
  • 3G COVERAGE

Overview

Departure: GEO MANDAL GER CAMP
Arrival: GEO MANDAL GER CAMP
Distance: 120Km
Daily Climb: 2750m

Difficulty

Climb Awards: 2
Technical Challenge: Medium
Physical Challenge: Very High

Race Timing

Start Time: 8:30 am
Max. Allowed Time: 10 H
Last Arrival Time: 6:30 pm

Classifications:

Stage Chronicle:

Americans increase overall leads, stage win for France

Today we experienced an incredible 117 km race with Nicolas Raybaud from France claiming the stage win after more than 2000 meters of climbing and a lot of river crossings. It was a challenging stage set within the characteristic Siberian tundra landscape of this area, racing in the Khan Khentii National Park to our remote Tuul River Camp.

The day started with the group riding together. The atmosphere was relaxed, riding under sunny skies and surrounded by wide open meadows. Soon, two riders attacked the field: Alex Malone and Nicolas Raybaud charged ahead and at one point had a considerable lead ahead of the main group of chasers, which included the rest of the Khan category with race leader Ryan Standish (USA).

There were two GPM points to collect time bonuses and at the first one Raybaud and Malone picked up 30 and 20 seconds, respectively. By the second GPM and after tough riding, the chasers were able to catch up and Ryan Standish and Antonio Ortiz took the two top time bonuses. Elijus Civilis and the Spanish Master 1 rider Pedro Torres Villalon picked up 10 seconds each also.

The countryside is spectacular, there is nothing like it in the world! - said one of the Master 2 riders as he replenished food and drinks at a feedzone. The riders enjoyed the rolling hills, the majestic views across wide-open meadows that were covered in colour wildflowers. Throw in the countless river crossings and it was a day on the bike to remember for a lifetime.

But make  no mistake, it was still a brutal day in the saddle that demanded everything of the riders. It was Nicolas Raybaud who had the strongest legs at the end of the stage, crossing the finish line at Tuul River Camp in first after 5h08:24. Just under three minutes behind him was his fellow attacker from earlier in the day, the Australian Alex Malone and the three Khan racers Standish, Civilis and Ortiz arrived together after a bit over two minutes.

Overall standings: two Americans increase overall leads

In the women, XTERRA Amateur World Champion and now pro-racer Caroline Colonna from the USA proofs to be the strongest this year, arriving as the first female at Tuul River. After three stages she has a comortable lead of the German Brigitte Jenkner.

Ryan Standish was also able to increase his lead in the Khan category thanks to the time bonus. He will go into the fourth stage with a lead of almost two minutes ahead of Civilis, however, said that he believed that his Lithuanian challenger was very strong on the flat sections, Elijus is strong, he knows his way around, he’s done it before. I have done well on the steep climbs and technical sections, however, on the flats, Elijus I think performs very well, so I will have to watch him closely tomorrow to defend the lead.

We are now resting at the banks of the Tuul River, a sacred stream for the locals. The ride tomorrow will be fast, but long. With 143 km the longest on the stage plan and covering very remote landscapes and paths that are only used by the locals and even then, infrequently - adventure racing at its best!

Stage Gallery:

Description:

Another challenging stage set within the characteristic Siberian tundra landscape of this area. You are now racing in the Khan Khentii National Park where the valleys are full of nomadic families and their herds.

  • TONIGHT WE ARE GOING TO SLEEP IN OUR CAMP.
  • DON'T FORGET YOUR WARM SLEEPING BAG AND MATTRESS
  • NO 3G COVERAGE + NO WI-FI...ENJOY YOUR STAY :) 

Overview

Departure: GEO MANDAL GER CAMP
Arrival: TUUL RIVER
Distance: 117Km
Daily Climb: 2110m

Difficulty

Climb Awards: 2
Technical Challenge: High
Physical Challenge: High

Race Timing

Start Time: 8:30 am
Max. Allowed Time: 10 H
Last Arrival Time: 6:30 pm

Classifications:

Stage Chronicle:

Standish holds on to overall lead, claims second stage win

With 143 km today the longest stage was on the Mongolia Bike Challenge menu and it promised to be a fast one. It covered very remote paths heading South and leaving the Khan Khentii National Park for Steppe Nomad Camp, which is located in the beautiful Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve, approximately 130 kilometers South East of Ulaanbaatar, on the banks of the Kherlen River.

The first third of today was a steady but gentle 300vm climb to the highest point of the stage plan at just over 1800m above sea level. What followed was a fast and flowy descent to the finish.

Today there was only one GPM classification and Elijus Civilis claimed the 30 second time bonus ahead of overall race leader Standish and Spaniard Antonio Ortiz. At the finish these three Khan riders as well as Piotr Kozlowski (Master 1) sprinted for the line and it was Stanish who was able to claim the stage win in 4h55:07.4 ahead of Ortiz (2nd), Civilis (3rd) and Kozlowski (4th). Nicolas Raybaud came in fifth overall and as 4th Khan today with a gap of +4:38 ahead of Alex Malone (+13:07).

Progress results with two stages to go
The female leader Caroline Colonna finished in 6h17:05.8 today and records a total race time of 25h28:57.4 with Brigitte Jenkner from Germany placing second overall in 28h59:07.2.

The MBC also offers a team classification - the race time of three riders is added up and compared among participating teams. With two stages to go it is the Baltic Vikings Team of Elijus Civilis (LIT), Piotr Kozlowski (POL) and Daniel Tegin (SWE) who are leading by 48:30 minutes ahead of the Katusha Spanish team around Antonio Ortiz and by more than 2 hours ahead of the Swiss team Toro.

In the overall category progress results we see a strong Piotr Kozlowski from Poland leading the Master 1 classification by 43 minutes and places in fifth place outright after four stages. Alessio Bonetti from Italy is the Master 2 leader with a total race time of 23h48:45.8 as of today and the Veteran leader is Spaniard Santiago Remartinez Escobar in 22h15:49.2 - both riders have claimed four category stage wins in a row. The Sport classification is headed up by the three Swiss Toro team riders who are only separated by mere seconds.

Individual time trial tomorrow for recovery
Overall, Standish clocks in a total race time of 19h40:15.3 and goes into the time trial stage of tomorrow with a 58.9 second lead ahead of Civilis. It has been hailed as a recovery stage with a distance of 37 km and 400 m of elevation to cover. The riders will be able to enjoy a sleep-in in the comfortable luxury gers of Steppe Nomad Camp before the race start at 10 am. They will then be released on to the race circuit in 1 minute intervals in reverse order of the general classification: a furious chase and a thrilling race against the clock.

Stage Gallery:

Description:

The difficulty in today’s stage is the long distance. With 143km, Stage 4 is the longest stage of the MBC. No tourists visit this area so the trails are used only by locals and even then, infrequently. BTW this will be a really fast stage. 

  • WE ARE GOING TO SLEEP IN A GER CAMP.
  • BED AND "HOT SHOWER"
  • BAD 3G COVERAGE + POOR WI-FI

Overview

Departure: TUUL RIVER
Arrival: STEPPE NOMAD GER CAMP
Distance: 143Km
Daily Climb: 1150m

Difficulty

Climb Awards: 1
Technical Challenge: Low
Physical Challenge: Medium

Race Timing

Start Time: 8:30 am
Max. Allowed Time: 10 H
Last Arrival Time: 6:30 pm

Classifications:

Stage Chronicle:

Ryan Standish wins time trial stage and increases overall lead on the climbs

The second-last stage of the MBC 2018 was a 37km fast and furious time trial today that was peppered with rolling hills and two brutal climbs that forced many a rider to unclip and step off. Those steep ascents played right into court of overall race leader Ryan Standish who is a cross-country endurance specialist and with his light statue excels on such elevation profiles, crossing the line as the fastest racer in 1h21:56.8. The 25-year old US American who was born in Australia was able to increase his overall lead to 2:25.8.

The title defender Elijus Civilis from Lithuania was the second-fastest today (+1:26min) and remains in the comfortable second position overall ahead of the last stage tomorrow. The 36-year old is a strong rider with powerful legs on the flat sections.

With three more GPM time bonus spots tomorrow, however, this stage race is far from over and Civilis still has one more race ahead of him to shake the lightweight racers off his wheel. This stage racing is a really unique experience because you cannot win it in a day, but you can easily lose it in a day, Civilis had said earlier this week. In the teams classification he does have a comfortable lead though together with his Baltic colleagues Daniel Tegin from Sweden and Piotr Kozlowski, the Master 1 leader from Poland who clocked in the fourth-fastest time today and currently sits in fourth place outright as well. In fifth in the time trial today was Sportsman Arnaud Sottas from Switzerland.

One Khan rider who certainly got his fair share of the fickle nature of stage racing was Nicolas Raybaud who broke his derailleur not far after his time trial start and returned to camp to have it fixed while the clock kept ticking for him. He headed back out on track and finished the stage, however, had to accept a considerable loss of time.

Overall in the Khan category, Antonio Ortiz from Spain is in third (+6:38.8) ahead of Raybaud (+57:38.3) and the Australian Alex Malone (+1h01:27.9).

The fastest female today was the overall leader Caroline Colonna and in second was the Australian Pippa Bell with a gap of only 12:14 minutes. Melissa Roberts came in third (+32:41 min) ahead of the German Brigitte Jenkner (+50:06 min) and the Dutch racer Annemarie Ottingh.

Caroline Colonna will head out onto the last stage with a comfortable lead of +4h20:15.9 ahead of the experienced MTB endurance racer Brigitte Jenkner, who suffered today but held onto her second place overall. Annemarie Ottingh from The Netherlands came in fifth today and holds that spot also overall.

A chat with Ryan Standish and Elijus Civilis

On the eve of the final stage we found some time to chat with the two riders who have dominated the race, race leader Ryan Standish and Elijus Civilis. We learned that whilst racing against each other all day, that they have become close friends and are truly embracing the comradely spirit of this event.

Says Ryan, My highlight has been getting to know everybody who is here at this event and especially Elijus - we have shared a room and spent so much time together on the bike, I really enjoyed how he is sharing his insights to each stage with me. I have really enjoyed the scenery, but also the people here. He added that the racing had been hard, but fun, because it's always close and so many sprint finishes with him!

Elijus Civilis agreed, It sometimes takes a couple of years until you become really good friends with someone and really get to know him. But here, you spend 24-7 together and always on the bike too, it is like a fast-track to getting new friends. I enjoy that a lot.

Of Ryan specifically he said that from the beginning he had seen him as his main challenger. He was a really consistent rider, Civilis said about Standish. He is very professional and mature and what I like about him is that he is not selfish at all. He never misses an opportunity to chatting to someone, even today at the time trial! Once he had caught up to me I tried to stay on his wheel and I saw him chatting to almost every single rider that he passed! This is a really nice thing to do.

Civilis concluded that he enjoyed this second MBC of his a lot, because at the pointy end of the field there were so many riders of similar level. It brings a lot of drama and I think this also helps us becoming better cyclists. You really learn how to apply race tactics, I like that a lot.

The final stage tomorrow will be a 88km marathon that will challenge the racers with 1000m of elevation from Steppe Nomad Camp to the mighty XIII Century Ger Palace.

Stage Gallery:

Description:

We are proud to announce this stage as our Time trial Stage
This will start at 10 am, seeing the last rider on the GC setting off first, in ascending order in 1 minute intervals, with the first rider on the GC setting off last. The course is mostly fast double track, with a total of 400 mt gained over the route. There will be no refueling station along the course, so be sure to take what you need with you.

This stage is relatively short but should not be taken lightly. We will finish again on the STAPPE NOMAD GER CAMP

  • WE ARE GOING TO SLEEP IN A GER CAMP.
  • BED AND "HOT SHOWER"
  • BAD 3G COVERAGE + POOR WI-FI

Overview

Departure: STEPPE NOMAD GER CAMP
Arrival: STEPPE NOMAD GER CAMP
Distance: 37Km
Daily Climb: 400m

Difficulty

Climb Awards: 1
Technical Challenge: Medium-High
Physical Challenge: High

Race Timing

Start Time: 10:00 am
Max. Allowed Time: 3 H
Last Arrival Time: 1:00 pm

Classifications:

Stage Chronicle:

Congratulations to all!

All our warriors have arrived at the XIII Century Ger Palace after an epic final stage and Ryan Standish and Caroline Colonna are our 2018 Winners!

The atmosphere in the peloton was relaxed as it rolled out of Steppe Nomad Camp and a group of 12 riders was leading the way. The Central Mongolian surrounds, which have become so familiar over these last few days put up one last challenge, muddy roads and headwinds had to be endured as well as tough climbs. In the end as each of the riders raced towards the finish, flanked by proud local horsemen and finally realising what they had accomplished at the sight of the mighty Genghis Khan Palace, even the toughest couldn’t contain their emotions.

One racer who was particularly elated was Antonio Ortiz who had raced so well all week and today finally achieved his ultimate goal of winning a stage. Claiming two of the 10-second time bonuses today he came across the line with 3h19:13.1 and seven seconds ahead of Ryan Standish. The title defender from last year Elijus Civilis came in third (+41 sec) today ahead of Alex Malone (+12:10 min) and Nicolas Raybaud who lost some time again today to back luck - a flat tire set him back and he finished with a gap of half an hour behind Ortiz.

The two dominant riders of the 2018 event, Standish and Civilis had fought all day and raced hard. The two had become close and said ahead of the final stage that they really enjoyed the close racing at the pointy end of the field. The top three of today, Ortiz, Standish and Elijus, proofed that you can go hard and still embrace what this race is all about - at the last feedzone with about 10km to go, they stopped and celebrated together with a soft drink toast.

Standish and Colonna take consistent race leads across the final finish line

After six days of racing it was Ryan Standish who claimed the line honours and overall Khans race win in a time of 24h20:32.8. He admitted that on the way to the XIII Century Palace he had given everything to hang onto Civilis and that he didn’t leave anything out on track. At the finish today he said that it had been an incredible experience, which left him exhausted yet very impressed by the achievements of his fellow riders too.

You know the win is awesome, but I think the biggest thing for me was to try something new and ride here for a whole week competitively, meet so many new people and make friends along the way. It is a great effort, I completed close to 30 hours on the bike and some of the riders here spent a lot more than that on the bike, so huge respect to them also.

In the end it was only +2:29.6 that separated Standish from his room mate for the week and runner up, Elijus Civilis. In third in the Khan category is the Spanish racer and final stage winner Antonio Ortiz (+7:11.2) ahead of the Australian Alex Malone in fourth (+1h14:31.0) and the French racer Nicolas Raybaud (+1h32:08.0) who was riddled with bad luck again today: flat tyre at a rocky descent. He said that he would still take fond memories of this MBC back home with him:

My favourite stage was the one to Tuul River, yes I won that day, but I really enjoyed spending time with the other riders. We were cut off from the outside world, so everyone came together as a family.

After a total racing time of 31h48:02.8, the overall winning female of this year, Carolina Colonna, was emotional at the finish too,

I have imagined the arrival at the finish for so long. My only plan this year was to just finish, so being to do the whole thing is amazing and I feel like I have been really consistent. My body stayed strong and motivated and happy, it is very satisfying and a huge accomplishment for me. It is amazing and awe-inspiring, it lifts your spirit! You just realise that human nature is so powerful when you see how people do it all.

Caroline also encouraged more female riders to participate at adventures like this. She explained that a female body was made to endure a lot of pain and doing this race was something that a lot of women could achieve.

The female runner up is Brigitte Jenkner from Germany (+5h12:59.8) ahead of Pippa Bell (+9h09:22.0) and Melissa Roberts (+10h06:19.0) from Australia. Annemarie Ottingh from The Netherlands is in fifth (+12h42:16.6).

Congratulations to all finishers and category winners

One of the most outstanding racers of the 2018 MBC was Master 1 rider Piotr Kozlowski from Poland. Not only did claim the victory in his category, but placed fourth in the overall line honours as well with a gap +40:17.7 to Khan Winner Standish. Together with Elijus Civilis and Daniel Tegin he also takes out the Teams Classification with a combined racing time of 77:43:52.60 for the Baltic Vikings.

Arnaud Sottas from Switzerland is the Sportman Winner in 26h45:38.1 and the Italian Alessio Bonnetti wins the Master 2 classification in 29h31:12.7. Santiago Remartinez Escobar from Spain is the winning Veteran in 28h03:19.8.

It was a very tough day in the saddle, but it seems that the riders who started as competitors on day one, finished as a big family together on day six. So whilst being tired and exhausted and in pain, the marathon today was also a celebratory ride - celebrating the spirit of this event, celebrating each others achievements.

Celebrating life.

Stage Gallery:

Description:

This evening is our reward banquet. We will crown our Champions and award the Official Finishers with the Mongolia Bike Challenge.

  • WE ARE GOING TO SLEEP IN A GER CAMP.
  • BED AND COLD SHOWER
  • NO 3G COVERAGE + NO WI-FI...ENJOY YOUR STAY :) 

Overview

Departure: STEPPE NOMAD GER CAMP
Arrival: XIII CENTURY
Distance: 88Km
Daily Climb: 1000m

Difficulty

Climb Awards: 3
Technical Challenge: Low
Physical Challenge: Very High

Race Timing

Start Time: 8:30 am
Max. Allowed Time: 6 H
Last Arrival Time: 2:30 pm

Classifications:

Description:

What an incredible journey the Mongolia Bike Challenge 2018 was and it was an absolute privilege to share it with our rider from 22 countries! One of them could not have summarised it better - may we share this beautiful sentiment, which so wholeheartedly embraces the spirit of our event:

People from all over the world come together without even speaking the same language, we speak the same cycling language. It has been amazing!

Thank you, Elijus Civilis, for this wonderful conclusion about our event, we could not have summarised it any better! As we are all travelling back to Ulaanbaatar, we would like to once more congratulate all of our riders and our 2018 Winners from the USA: Khan Winner Ryan Standish and our Female Winner, Caroline Colonna. You have been outstanding leaders all week and are true Champions.

Looking back at the 2018 Mongolia Bike Challenge adventure
What an adventure it was - over 600 km and more than 9,300 metres of climbing through the wilds of Central Mongolia and the land of the mighty Genghis Khan!

The first stage was a 105 km marathon from Ulaanbaatar to the Geo Mandal Ger Camp in the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, and at the front of the race after a tough battle and several strong attacks by Nicolas Raybaud (FRA) as well as Ryan Standish, it was Elijus Civilis (LIT) who claimed the first stage in a sprint finish by one second in 4h09:28. Yet, because of the GPM time bonus it was Standish took over the overall race lead by nine seconds ahead of Civilis and would hold onto it until the final finish line.

Day two was the Queen Stage and right after the start the first highlight of the day awaited the racers - a small silver sparkle on the horizon that finally presented itself as the magnificent 40m-high statue of the mighty Emperor Genghis Khan. The marathon took us on a circuit through the Nagalkhan Uul nature reserve, which is located South of our first base for two nights, the Geo Mandal Ger Camp. Standish kept a narrow lead in the Khans with a strong Master 1 rider marking his spot on the leader board: Piotr Kozlowski from Poland took the fifth place among the Khan riders in the line honours progress results.

In the female classification, Caroline Colonna from the USA established herself as the strongest rider this year, increasing her overall lead to a comfortable 1h38:14 - as an XTERRA Amateur World Champion and now Pro Racer she said it was the most divine event she had ever done. With six consecutive stage wins, she is our 2018 Female Khan Victor and with a huge smile she said about her first MBC:

The Mongolia Bike Challenge is back-breaking, it is devine and it is exceptional. It is a true adventure in self-discovery!

Day three was our River Crossings Stage, set within the characteristic Siberian tundra landscape of this area and racing in the Khan Khentii National Park to our remote Tuul River Camp. It was there that Nicolas Raybaud had a dream come true he said and that even though he was riddle with bad luck and mechanicals this year, he would take fond memories of this second MBC back home with him:

My favourite stage was the one to Tuul River, yes I won that day, but I really enjoyed spending time with the other riders. We were cut off from the outside world, so everyone came together as a family.

The fast fourth stage covered very remote paths heading South and leaving Tuul River and the Khan Khentii National Park for Steppe Nomad Camp, which is located in the beautiful Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve, approximately 130 kilometers South East of Ulaanbaatar, on the banks of the Kherlen River. Standish, Civilis and Ortiz really established themselves as the strongest contenders for the Khan Victory that day and it was them as well as Master 1 racer Kozlowski who sprinted for the line with the overall leader claiming it.

On day five everyone enjoyed a sleep-in in the comfortable luxury gers of Steppe Nomad Camp ahead of the time trial race start at 10 am. The riders were released onto the race circuit in 1 minute intervals in reverse order of the general classification: a furious chase and a thrilling race against the clock ensued.

The race course was peppered with rolling hills and two brutal climbs that forced many a rider to unclip and step off. Those steep ascents played right into court of overall race leader Ryan Standish who is a cross-country endurance specialist and increased his overall lead to 2:25.8 minutes.

So on the last day the atmosphere in the peloton was relaxed as it rolled out of Steppe Nomad Camp and a group of 12 riders was leading the way. The Central Mongolian surrounds, which had become so familiar over these last few days put up one last challenge, muddy roads and headwinds had to be endured as well as tough climbs. In the end as each of the riders raced towards the finish, flanked by proud local horsemen and finally realising what they had accomplished at the sight of the mighty Genghis Khan Palace, even the toughest couldn’t contain their emotions. One racer who was particularly elated was Antonio Ortiz who had raced so well all week and today finally achieved his ultimate goal of winning a stage. Standish and Civilis claimed second and third, respectively.

The two dominant riders of the 2018 event, Standish and Civilis had fought all day and raced hard. The two had become close and said ahead of the final stage that they really enjoyed the close racing at the pointy end of the field.

Standish and Colonna take consistent race leads across the final finish line
After six days of racing it was Ryan Standish who claimed the line honours and overall Khans race win in a time of 24h20:32.8. He admitted that on the way to the XIII Century Palace he had given everything to hang onto Civilis and that he didn’t leave anything out on track. At the finish he said that it had been an incredible experience, which left him exhausted yet very impressed by the achievements of his fellow riders too.

You know the win is awesome, but I think the biggest thing for me was to try something new and ride here for a whole week competitively, meet so many new people and make friends along the way. It is a great effort, I completed close to 30 hours on the bike and some of the riders here spent a lot more than that on the bike, so huge respect to them also.

In the end it was only +2:29.6 that separated Standish from his room mate for the week and runner up, Elijus Civilis. In third in the Khan category is the Spanish racer and final stage winner Antonio Ortiz (+7:11.2) ahead of the Australian Alex Malone in fourth (+1h14:31.0) and the French racer Nicolas Raybaud (+1h32:08.0) came in fifth.

After a total racing time of 31h48:02.8, the overall winning female of this year is Carolina Colonna:

This is very satisfying and a huge accomplishment for me. It's amazing and awe-inspiring, it lifts your spirit! You just realise that human nature is so powerful when you see how people do it all.

The female runner up is Brigitte Jenkner from Germany (+5h12:59.8) ahead of Pippa Bell (+9h09:22.0) and Melissa Roberts (+10h06:19.0) from Australia. Annemarie Ottingh from The Netherlands is in fifth (+12h42:16.6).

Congratulations to all finishers and category winners
One of the most outstanding racers of the 2018 MBC was Master 1 rider Piotr Kozlowski from Poland. Not only did claim the victory in his category, but placed fourth in the overall line honours as well with a gap of +40:17.7 to Khan Winner Standish. Together with Elijus Civilis and Daniel Tegin he also takes out the Teams Classification with a combined racing time of 77:43:52.60 for the Baltic Vikings.

Arnaud Sottas from Switzerland is the Sportman Winner in 26h45:38.1 and the Italian Alessio Bonnetti wins the Master 2 classification in 29h31:12.7. Santiago Remartinez Escobar from Spain is the winning Veteran in 28h03:19.8.

In conclusion we are so proud that the riders who started as competitors on day one, finished as a big family together on day six. It was our reward to be celebrating the spirit of this event together with our riders and the crew, celebrating each others achievements.

Celebrating life.

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