I figured I'd place this info in a thread of it's own. Originally posted at my other thread, detailing how I managed to bring my bike from NY to Mongolia without incurring a single baggage fee!
As requested, here are some select photos from the race. I actually found a post here on MTBR advertising this race in 2007. Glad it's still kicking!
It's a 3-day stage race covering distances of 45, 45, 85km. On the first two days, there are beginner races that cover 20-25km only...
I met up with my brother in Suzhou where he's working--it's about 2h from Shanghai. He's a cat 1 roadie, and managed to very randomly meet the Specialized manager for all of China on his first ride in China. Anyway, they hit it off, and now they're both on the Specialized amateur cycling team there. There's a team shot below.
Because I was traveling with the team, and the team has a manager, I definitely didn't have to deal with ANY logistics with this race--meals, transportation, hotels, etc, were all arranged by the team manager and/or the race organizers.
We loaded a ton of bikes in the Specialized van in Shanghai, and headed to the airport. Most of the guys were using bike boxes as their shipping containers. Note how tiny my suitcase is! I felt like a pro traveling around with this entourage...
After a transfer, we finally made it to Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia. The airport was tiny and felt like something out of Indiana Jones. They were in the process of building a much more modern terminal right next door though. Evidence that we were traveling off the beaten path: Our flight crew hadn't even heard of Xilinhot!
We then took a bus the ~2 hours to Wujimqin--aka Xi Ujimqin Xi. Our bus driver got a speeding ticket on the way...he was not happy!
The hotel almost all the racers stayed at was surprisingly nice given how remote the area is. They do hold (world cup?) XC ski races there in the winter, so I'm sure that has something to do with it.
We took an evening spin...
The next morning, we took a spin to prepare for day 1--45km, which started at 1pm following an opening ceremony at a pavilion they set up just for the race.
I strapped my camera case to my stem/steerer tube. I came to experience Mongolia, not to suffer!
These girls were smokin
Me and my bro at the start:
We had a police leadout (by all-female motorcycle cops!) that took us one lap around, then we were off!
Me leading the charge (I think they all dropped me eventually...) Thanks to the photographer, Limon Tou (lemon head). For that matter, all photos with "qqride.com" on them are his.
From my perspective:
Day one finished at a touristy mongolian yurt village, complete with Mongolian wrestling, archery, horse back riding, and lamb roast feast.
That's a bathroom in the foreground...In which all but one of the urinals was cracked. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that until I started feeling a splash on my feet...
They were blasting Michael Jackson (who passed away that week) absurdly loud here.
Probably the most incredible moment was when someone was passing me, we had a quick chat. I'm originally from Buffalo, NY, and currently live 1h away in Rochester. Of all the places to meet a fellow Buffalonian, I would have never guessed it would be on the trail in Mongolia! Especially considering there were fewer than 10 Americans at the race, Buffalo fielded a good chunk of the American contingent. Let's go Buffalo!
Anyway, I finished day 1 way behind the leader...Eric, from Specialized, got 3rd for the day.
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