Sofiane Wins Silk Road Mountain RaceJan Heine
A huge congratulations to Sofiane Sehili for winning the Silk Road Mountain Race for the third time in a row! The 1880 km (1170 mile) race goes over long-abandoned military roads in Kyrgyzstan, climbing 35,000 m (115,000 ft) over some of the world’s highest passes. In recent years, it has attracted a veritable who-is-who of bikepacking racers from all over the world. This year, the field included Justinas Leveika, Angus Young, Jochen Borhinger, Manu Cattrysse, Josh Ibbett, James Hayden, Steven Le Hyaric, Adrien Liechti, Sebastian Breuer, Jakub Sliacan and, of course, Sofiane.
A blistering pace saw three riders swapping the lead multiple times: Sofiane, Justinas Leveika and Jakub Sliacan. Justinas dropped back after misjudging conditions and pushing across a high pass in a dark, cold night. Jakub and Sofiane were literally just a few hundred meters apart (as the crow flies) as they climbed Kegety Pass with less than 100 km to go. In the end, Sofiane prevailed and built a commanding lead. Rarely has dot-watching been so exciting!
As in 2021 and 2022, Sofiane raced on Rene Herse 29″ x 2.2″ Fleecer Ridge tires. This year, he chose the Endurance casing for the rough roads of Kyrgyzstan. The photo at the top shows him before the start. We’ll bring an update once we’ve caught up with Sofiane—probably after Paris-Brest-Paris (which starts this Sunday).
In the meantime, a huge congratulations to all racers who are still out there, racing across this inhospitable terrain! (Click on the map below to see the real-time tracking of the racers.)