For the first time this year, Silk Way Rally, a 5,000-kilometer race across Russia, Mongolia, and China was open to motorcyclists. The bike class attracted all the stars – Sam Sunderland, Kevin and Luciano Benavides, Andrew Short, Adrien van Beveren, Laia Sanz, and many other Dakar heroes and heroines. Sunderland won the Silk Way Rally followed by Andrew Short coming in second and Adrien van Beveren taking third place.
Cross country navigation rally scene is exploding all over the world, with new rallies cropping up in each continent including Africa, South America, Europe, and now, Asia. Silk Way Rally may not be the Dakar, but it’s a serious runner-up in the category of tough, grueling multi-day rallies out there. Treacherous Gobi dunes, Siberian forests, the boundless plains of Mongolia – Silk Way Rally offers diverse and challenging terrain as well as some otherworldly landscapes.
An American may not have yet won a Dakar, but Andrew Short made a big splash during the Silk Way placing second. “Yesterday was amazing but today was even better. I rode with a big heart and a lot of passion. Finished 2nd overall at the @silkwayrally ! Great opportunity for me to lead out the whole stage for the first time since I started Rally. This event was amazing and the whole rally community is something special! Big thank you to the whole team for their hard work and this opportunity”, Short said in his Instagram post yesterday.
Silk Way Rally organizers were offering free entry to female competitors this year, hoping to attract more women riders. It worked – all three Dakar women were competing: Laia Sanz (who placed 13th overall), Dakar malle moto finisher Anastasiya Nifontova, and Dakar finisher Gabriela Novotna all made an attempt in competing for the White Tiger.
Featured Image: Silk Way Rally