Canadian Marathon MTB Champion and 2-time Genco Mongolia Bike Challenge Champion, Cory Wallace of the Kona Factory Team, will defend his title again in Mongolia during the event's 5th Edition from August 31 to September 7, 2014. Team Genco MBC spoke with Wallace about the evolution of the race and his thoughts on heading back to the Land of Genghis for the fourth straight year.
You had a great year of racing in 2013 winning both the Canadian National Marathon MTB Championships and the Genco Mongolia Bike Challenge. How did your year go overall and what are your goals for 2014?
Thanks Chris, 2013 was a bit of a breakout year for me. After a long winter working up in Northern Canada it took awhile to get the legs going last year but come July they arrived and stuck around.
Towards the end of the year I was beginning to tire out after 70+ race days so it has been a welcome break to be back at work for 6 weeks as a much needed off-season. Having been able to keep my fitness a lot better this year at work I hope to be able to hit my form from 2013 early on and build off the momentum which was created in 2013 and defend my title at Mongolia for a second straight year.
Other than the MBC I will aim at defending my title at the Canadian Marathon Championships and look for a Top 12 at the UCI Marathon Worlds in South Africa.
Was it a difficult decision to come back for your fourth shot at the Genco MBC?
Hell no! I love Mongolia and the adventures which arise every year. Racing the MBC has been a highlight the last couple of years. There really isn't much that compares to getting to hang out with a bunch of like-minded athletes, racing our bikes across a stunning landscape, taking in wild adventures and seeing part of the world a lot of people will never get to experience.
How would you describe the competition at the 2013 Genco MBC and what are you predicting for 2014?
In 2013 there was a drastic increase in the competitiveness of the race. In the first couple of years there were only 2 or 3 guys really in contention for the win. At the start of last year's race there looked to be between 8-12 guys that could win a stage and were in contention for a GC podium spot. I expect 2014 to be even more competitive and will be looking forward to racing against some of the best mountain bikers in the world this year at the Genco MBC.
The race has changed a bit since the first edition you raced in 2011. How would you describe the MBC to both fellow pros and high-level amateurs who may not have heard about it - and why should they come in 2014?
In the first couple of years there was certainly a higher degree of uncontrollable adventure, which I relished but it did take away a bit from the bike racing. This past year the race seemed to simmer down a bit and become more focused on the pure racing side of things and also included a few more luxuries such as yurt camps, a couple days without moving camp, and some cool touristy attractions mixed in. In 2014, I expect the race to be dialled as it is moving into its fifth year and the wrinkles of the past seemed to be ironed out now with the newly-designed course which takes place in a more controllable environment. That being said, it is Mongolia, and anyone with a sense of adventure and a passion for cycling should not miss this opportunity to take part in an unforgettable trip. Bike racing is the focus of the MBC but what the racers experience outside the racing side of things in inexplicable until one experiences it themselves.
Thanks, Cory. We are all looking forward to seeing you back Mongolia next summer!
The 2014 Genco Mongolia Bike Challenge will take place this August 31 to September 7, 2014.
Registration is Open and there are Limited Spots available - GENCO MBC 2014 IS NOW 75% SOLD OUT
For more information, visitwww.mongoliabikechallenge.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org