BMW GS Trophy - Central Asia
The GS Trophy is heading to Mongolia in June 2018 for what BMW says “will be its biggest challenge yet. With three new teams joining the competition (Australia, India and a second International Female Team), and now with eight days of competition to allow for the huge distances, the sixth BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy, held in Central Asia, is set to break all records.
“For 2018, Mongolia will offer much more in just the one experience as the riders will venture from mountains to the desert via the vast Mongolian Steppe (high-altitude grasslands). The scale for this edition is truly epic”.
Mongolia is both huge (at 1.5 million square kilometres it’s about three times the size of Germany) and sparsely populated – with a population of just 3 million, you’d have to travel to Antarctica to find a less densely populated region.
From Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, to Munich (home of BMW Motorrad) is about 8,250 km by road and track, a journey that typically takes around three weeks, or 13 hours by plane. “It shares its southern border with China, while Russia (essentially Siberia) lies to the north. The plateau sits at an altitude of around 1,000-1,500 m above sea level, and while this will keep the temperatures cooler, the participants should expect anything between 0°C nights through to about 25°C during the day. Conditions can be extreme - high winds and dust storms are not uncommon. And while Mongolia is a surprisingly sunny country (averaging around 250 sunny days a year), summer is the rainy season”.
The Central Asia 2018 event is the sixth staging of the biennial GS Trophy, the previous races took place in South East Asia (Thailand) in 2016, North America (Canada) in 2014, South America (Chile, Argentina) in 2012, South Africa (SA, Swaziland, Mozambique) in 2010 and North Africa (Tunisia) in 2008. This edition will see 18 teams competing, comprising 54 riders. The event begins on June 1, 2018.