THE LONG ROAD AHEAD
SILK WAY RALLY BY THE NUMBERS
AS WE REPORTED LAST ISSUE, Canada’s own Aldo Racing has decided to sit out the Dakar Rally in favour of taking their Toyota Rally Raid Tacoma… cough, cough… Hilux… to the freshly revived Silk Way Rally this July. One would surmise that this would seem like an odd choice, to sit out the worlds most famous and arduous marathon rally for a relative startup. However, now that we have a little more information on the Silk Way Rally, we can see why Aldo Racing made the choice they did.
Since leaving its Euro-African home back in 2009, the Dakar Rally has begun to lose its luster. It’s been missing a certain sense of adventure that was linked to the Sahara, and now it seems as though the Silk Way could rise to become the showcase event in the Rally Raid calendar.
After a two-year hiatus, the Silk Way Rally is making a return in a big way. Previous years saw the rally mostly run inside Russia, however, organisers have announced the route for the 2016 edition, and it’s a monster. The rally will now live up to its name, stretching from Moscow, Russia to the Far East with the finish line in Beijing, China.
Rally Raid crews will endure 15-days of competition with a total distance of 10,780 km that will take competitors from the ceremonial start in Moscow’s Red Square, across Asia and the Gobi Desert and on to Beijing. With such an epic adventure in store, Aldo Racing will be up against some of the worlds best, with the Dakar champion Total Peugeot team showing up to do battle.
The route will begin with a transit stage from Moscow to the Russian city of Kazan where proper competition will begin. A prologue to determine the start order for the first competitive stage (Kazan-Ufa) on July 10th, will take place in the city centre of Kazan with the rally then exiting ‘Mother Russia’ and entering Kazakhstan on July 11th. The “Land of Wanderers,” a hilly grasslands region in the north of Kazakhstan will host three stages, with a stop in the futuristic metropole and capital Astana and a much-deserved rest day in the former first city, Almaty.
On July 16th, the raiders will see the vast plateaus, steep canyons and rolling tracks of Kazakhstan morph into the arid deserts of China, with Bortala hosting the first bivouac east of the border. Then, the massive Gobi Desert takes centre stage. With Mongolia to the north and the Qilian Shan to the south, the rally heads east for a weeklong battle, reaching the capital of Inner Mongolia, Hohhot, before the final stage and finish line in Beijing on July 24th.
It all looks to be an epic adventure that may likely rival the iconic Dakar event. Aldo Racing has already begun the great journey to the start ramp in Moscow and we will have all the details as they fight their way to Beijing.
THE ROUTE: 15 stages, 10,780 km
RUSSIA 07 July Administrative checks and scrutineering Moscow 08 July Ceremonial Start Red Square Moscow 09 July Stage 1 Moscow –Kazan 853.35km 10 July Stage 2 Kazan-Ufa 622.17km
11 July Stage 3 Ufa-Kostanay 812.46km 12 July Stage4 Kostanay-Astana 855.69km 13 July Stage 5 Astana-Balkhash 821.10km 14 July Stage 6 Balkhash-Almaty 855.88km 15 July Rest Day Almaty
16 July Stage 7 Almaty-Bortala 610.40km 17 July Stage 8 Bortala-Urumqi 829.35km 18 July Stage 9 Urumqi-Hami 767.32km 19 July Stage 10 Hami-Dunhuang 484.33km 20 July Stage 11 Dunhuang-Jiayuguan 589.69km 21 July Stage 12 Jiayuguan – Alashan 678.46km 22 July Stage 13 Alashan-Wuhai 734.98km 23 July Stage 14 Wuhai-Hohhot 774.47km 24 July Stage 15 Hohhot-Beijing 490.48km