After a decade of hosting rally car races, the Silk Way Rally included motorcycles for the first time in 2019. Unfortunately, the event couldn’t follow up the maiden moto race in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the organization is intent on remedying that absence in 2021.
Scheduled for July 1-11, 2021, this year’s registration has been open since March, 2021. Organizers also hope to broaden the field with its new G-Moto Challenge for privateer racers as well as waiving fees for all-women teams and teams with crew under 30. With the Rally fast approaching, the Silk Way recently released the fully detailed 2021 route—and it’s a doozy.
Starting in the Russian city of Omsk, the rally will proceed east to Novosibirsk and Gorno-Altaisk. The Russian leg will only comprise 329 timed kilometers (204 miles) of the 5,500-kilometer (3,417-mile) route. Once in Mongolia, the competitors will face stages between 340 kilometers (211 miles) and 540 kilometers (335 miles).
The 2021 rally will also include a marathon stage, where riders will have to repair their race rigs without the aid of a support team. During this segment, the tech and support teams will stay at a different location from the riders, eliminating opportunities to service the motorcycles before the next stage. Along with the marathon section, this year’s rally seems to include several loop stages where riders will begin and end at the same bivouac.
After ten days of traversing “forests, steppes, deserts, sandy tracks, and wadi crossings”, racers will cross the finish line in Mongolia’s capital city of UlaanBaatar. Podium ceremonies will take place on July 11, 2021, coinciding with the country’s Nadaam festivities. Similar to 2019, the Silk Way Rally will also qualify as an FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship round, which should attract some of the best enduro riders in the world.