At last, the 2012 Genghis Khan Festival is about to begin at the brand new Nadamu Arena at the border of the wide grassland in Xiwuqi. After the official opening ceremony at 13:30, over 200 mountainbikers will take off for the first stage of their 3-day Adventure.
Several last-minute race registrations, particularly from the local areas and from bike clubs in Henan Province, have indeed boosted the number of MTB participants to an all-time high in this year’s sixth edition! Race favourites remain the leading trio of Shanghai-based Team Triace, with Feng Kuan Gao about to defend his overall title from 2011. WTB-Chiru Bikes has entered strong Frenchman Eric Felbabel into the race, and together with teammate Pierre Arnaud le Magnan could give the Triace boys a good run for their money. Of course, after today’s first 63km stage we will know more about each biker’s current form.
In the women’s MTB competition the race seems wide open. Interestingly, over 40 women have signed up for this year’s bike event, spread out over long and short distance!
Xiwuqi – as the entire Xilingol region – has been hit by severe rainshowers this week, but… today it is dry and the clouds have opened up. A blue sky and some sunshine awaits the mountainbikers for their first ride into the grasslands!