The Silk Road Mountain Race follows a bikepacking route based on our own Tian Shan Traverse through the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. It uses gravel, single, double track, and old soviet roads that have long been forgotten and fallen into disrepair. There’s very little tarmac and there may be some walking and at times and there will be great distances between resupply points. The clock will not stop and there will be no prizes.
The race starts on the 14th of August 2020 with a ‘grand départ’ in the evening from Talas, in north western Kyrgyzstan. Riders will follow a 1800 kilometre fixed route that passes through three staffed control points. They will need to get a stamp in their brevet card at each, before finally heading to the finish line at a resort near Balykchy, an old fishing town on the north shore of lake Issyk-Kul, for a well deserved post-race beer or two. To earn a successful finish they will need to complete the course before the end of the after party on the 29th of August.
How tough it will be cannot be understated, but as Mike Hall once said, “Nothing that’s worth anything is ever easy.” This race will be a true demonstration of this sentiment.
For more articles on the Silk Road Mountain Bike Race, follow this link. Here you’ll find Rugile Kaladyte’s 2019 Race Reports, an interview with Lael Wilcox, as well as the rigs of the 2019 Silk Road Mountain Bike Race.