Today the Int. GS Trophy continued its journey south through Mongolia in the direction of China. Although the overall distance was half of yesterday’s opening stage, 80 per cent of the riding was in variable and challenging gravel and sandy conditions, with the Gobi Desert ‘steppe’ testing the skills of the participants.
Feeling the heat.
With temperatures warming up considerably today and approaching the mid-30s, today’s first stage took the competitors through scenic, undulating and often wide plains towards the first special stage — Camel Head — a trials challenge which took place among impressive rock formations. There, the teams rode and walked their R 1200 GS Rallye bikes across various sections of a tight, twisting course — all against the clock of course.
A 30-kilometre liaison through deeper sand and rutted tracks followed, providing the team riders and accompanying journalists with plenty of riding challenges. There were a few falls along the way to the second special stage, which took place on a dry lake bed shimmering in the Mongolian heat. This ‘start-and-stop-challenge’ was a lot more exciting than its title suggests, as it required all three team members to power-slide their GS bikes around a timed and staggered slalom course, before coming to a stop in a marked box on the lake bed.
After this second special, the riders rode to a lunch stop before continuing their journey approximately 75 kilometres south-west to the village of Dalanzadgad, where soon after they rolled up to the Camp Gobi Oasis, took a welcome shower to wash off all the day’s dust and pitched their GS Trophy tents for the night. Tired, but elated, Team France’s Olivier Fayat summed up the day.
Olivier Fayat, #143, Team France
Creating special memories.
"It was a great day for us in Mongolia today,” he said. “The first special stage was technical but rewarding — you really had to concentrate all the time and be really precise with the throttle and clutch control. The second special was great fun for me in the dust, as there was lots of drifting involved and as I’m the kind of rider that likes to slide, I found it sensational."
A comment from BMW Motorrad.
Unfortunately, a few riders have fallen today. Each received immediate attention from the professional medical team at the event. They have been transferred to hospital.
The photo contest has been postponed for 24 hours and the voting will start at 23:59 Mongolia time (17.59 CEST) on 5 June.