Silk Road Mountain Race 2019

The route for the inaugural PEdALED Silk Road Mountain Race was not easy. As with any new event, there were plenty of unknowns, often exacerbated by the fact that Kyrgyzstan is not a well travelled corner of the world. If you couple all this with particularly difficult weather conditions, we ended up with a seriously tough race. That being said, we also think the challenges involved contributed to the overall experience of those that took part, even for those that were not able to finish. For this reason, we decided not to make the second edition any different in terms of length or difficulty. We had planned to use this edition to explore new, less travelled roads, but due to a change in policy on the part of the Chinese government, we will not able to take the Uzengugush border road that technically enters Chinese territory. This has had quite an impact on the overall race route as it was the only safe way to pass through this area, with numerous dangerous river crossings on potential alternates. We have thus had to revert to last year’s route for the section between Checkpoints 1 & 2. We are disappointed that we are unable to take riders to this beautiful, wild part of the country, but are confident that this route will also be an epic adventure for everyone taking part. We apologize to everyone that was excited to discover this part of the race.The second edition of the Silk Road Mountain Race will follow a 1710 kilometre route with roughly 26,000 meters of climbing. It will again take riders through the remote mountain landscapes of the Tian Shan mountains in eastern Kyrgyzstan. The overall shape of the route is quite similar to last year, with the same checkpoints: Song Kul, Kol Suu and Issyk-Kul. The start will be in Bishkek but unlike the previous year, we will be opting for a grand départ further south of the city. We will implement some traffic calming measures as riders briefly cross the main road on their way out of town. We have moved the finish to Cholpon Ata, a beach resort town on the north shore of lake Issyk-Kul. Finishers will be able to relax and enjoy all the amenities a larger city has to offer. It should make for a great finish location. Riders who are familiar with the 2018 route, will recognise that there are a lot of similarities. Long stretches remain unchanged. There are however, a few notable updates that add up to around 300 kilometres of new tracks. The first new section is the replacement of Tosor pass with Tong pass, essentially a like-for-like swap. The two passes are very similar in length and difficulty but with Tong just breaking the 4000m mark at 4012m. The other new section this year, is the last pass before heading down to the finish line in Cholpon Ata. It will provide one final challenge before riders can finally enjoy a well-deserved beer or two. We hope that you are as excited as we are by the route for the second edition of the Silk Road Mountain Race! Scroll down for a more detailed outline of each section of the route. We’ve split it into sixteen distinct tracks and highlighted the major points of interest and difficulties of each. The following information should give you a better idea of what to expect in the second edition of the race but is still lacking more precise details that will help riders prepare for the race. We will be updating this information in the coming weeks and months so that it is complimentary with the Race Manual. Photography by Tom Hardie & Jdoohanphoto

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    4
  • Distance
    1,059 mi
  • Duration
    133:09 h
  • Elevation
    84,275 ft82,600 ft