Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon of the Kona Factory Team will be joining teammate Cory Wallace at the 2012 Mongolia Bike Challenge presented by Orbea. The Mongolia Bike Challenge is an epic, 10-stage XC mountain bike race in the Land of Genghis Khan. Wallace competed in the 2011 edition, finishing second in a hard-fought physical and mental battle. Q & A with Barry Wicks:You guys often race as a team, but the MBC is not a team event. With three Kona teammates there, what is the plan?
Kris, Cory and I have been team mates for quite a while, and really know each other well. Even though MBC is a solo event, we will ride together, and work for whomever is the strongest. Cory, having done the event before, is sure that having team mates will be a good advantage for us, and we look forward to being in the race together. Your teammate Cory Wallace raced the MBC last year, coming second and having a great time at the race. Was he pushing you guys to come race this year?
Cory has been a driving force in Kona committing to the MBC this year. He really enjoyed the experience last year, and showed that we can be successful at it. He has also indicated that even if we don't do well at the race, the experience will be well worth the trip. The MBC is 1400km long with over 14,000 meters of climbing, over 10 stages. How are you guys preparing for such a long, tough race? Are you doing anything different?
We will be racing the Transylvania Epic, BCBR and a few 100 mile MTB races as we get ready for MBC. This will be by the far the longest event I have every done, so I am just trying to ride and race as many long distance MTB events as possible to give myself the best fitness going into it.You both are extremely experienced at the epic stage races. You have won the BC Bike Race and the TransRockies the last few years. Any suggestions for amateur racers who are going to be at the MBC?
I think with any multi-day epic MTB event, you have to go into MBC with the proper mindset. Every day brings about new challenges, both physical and mental, and it is really important to keep a positive outlook. It will be a very physically demanding event, but if you keep in mind that even if you are having a terrible day on the bike, you are still out riding your bike across Mongolia, and that in itself, is awesome, you will be fine. Also, eat all the food you can possibly cram down your gullet. What have you heard about Mongolia? Do you think you can cycle faster than a camel?
I have never been to Mongolia, but have always wanted to since I first watched the film "Long way Round" with Ewan Mcgregor. It looks like an amazing place, with amazing people. I do not think I can cycle faster than a camel. But I am willing to try. What are your thoughts and expectations going into the MBC? Are you excited to try fermented mare's milk?
I am just super excited to experience a new place, a new culture and see a different way of life. It seems that riding bikes essentially through the local people's back yards is a really good way for them to either open up to, or at least breed some curiosity and cross culture exchange. Mountain Biking to me is about adventure, and what could be a greater adventure than exploring Mongolia on two wheels.
The 2012 Mongolia Bike Challenge, presented by Orbea, will take place from July 28 to August 11, 2012.
For more information visit: www.mongoliabikechallenge.com
Contact Chris Ganeff: email@example.com