The next edition of one of the world’s toughest motorcycle challenges will take place in Mongolia, with amateur riders set to battle their way through mountains, deserts and rivers.
The sixth BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy, due to be held in early summer 2018, will pit teams of non-professional riders from all over the world against one another, to complete riding, adventure and teamwork challenges in the sparsely populated wilds of Mongolia.
BMW riders in the UK are invited to attend the qualifier over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend (May 28 – 29) in Ystradgynlais, South Wales, where they will undertake a series of tasks and challenges, which mimic those of the Trophy.
Enduro specialist Simon Pavey, who runs BMW Off Road Skills, where the UK qualifier will take place, commented on the news of the location for the challenge.
“Mongolia is a pretty interesting choice for the Trophy as it’s quite a remote location,” he said.
“It will be amazing for the competitors as it’s not like a motorcycle race, it’s more like a gymkhana – like the Camel Trophy was for four wheel drives back in the day.
“The Trophy is always about having surprises and getting competitors to think, and there will definitely be surprises.”
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Previously, the biennial expeditions have been held in North and South Africa, North and South America and Southeast Asia. In the 2016 event, 19 teams of riders covered more than 1,400km in seven days, through treacherous terrain in brutal temperatures.
Teams from 16 countries, including Argentina, France, Russia and South Korea are so far confirmed to take part in the 2018 event, with an international female team also set to compete following a successful introduction in 2016.
The top performers in each national qualifier will go through to a final, where three will be selected for positions on their country’s team. Meanwhile, the highest-scoring two women in each qualifier will be put forward for an international final, to fight for a spot on the female team.
The chosen riders will then be kitted up and flown to Mongolia, where they will take part in the challenge on GS motorcycles.
To be eligible to take part in the GS Trophy qualifier, riders need only be current owner of a BMW motorcycle, aged over 21 and hold a full motorcycle licence and British passport. A £99 entry fee is required.