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PressClub South Africa · Article.

Team South Africa victorious again in BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy

Synopsis of Day 8. Location: Chingisiin Khuree, near Ulaanbaatar (N47o48.625’ E106o48.942’) Weather: Sun, 23oC Course: 299 km, Camp Hoyor Zagal to Chingisiin Khuree Terrain: 70% gravel, 10% sand, 20% paved Tests: SP20‘MonsterTrial’ Top three teams: 1 South Africa, 2 USA, 3 France

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Chingisiin Khuree, near Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. After eight days and 2,350 km the 2018 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy has reached its conclusion back where it began, at Camp Chinisiin Khuree near Ulaanbaatar. And it’s Team South Africa for the second time (having won the 2016 edition in Southeast Asia) who are the champions, having confidently protected the lead they brought into the final day. Team South Africa's victory lap continued with their arrival at  Johannesburg's OR Tambo International airport early on Tuesday, 12 June. 

 

Back in Mongolia, Day 8 could have been something of an epilogue, but instead was yet another testing day. It started early, too, with breakfast at 5.30 am to ensure the teams were away promptly at 7 am with nearly 300 km ahead of them, much of it on gravel trails with occasional sand sections. Technical conditions as ever, evidenced by a few falls, showing the ride is never over until the destination is reached.

 

Once at Chingisiin Khuree the GS riders faced the final hurdle, the ‘Monster Trial’. Here all three team members entered the extended challenge together and riding against the clock rode over various banks, ditches and along a dried- up river bed before taking on three sub-sections which further tested their bike handling skills. These included a full-lock maze section and a GS Trophy favourite, the ‘elephant turn’ (maybe a camel turn given this is Mongolia!) where the riders have to spin turn their GS a full 180 degrees.

 

With a 43 point advantage going into this test, for Team South Africa the win was theirs to lose, albeit with triple points available they could still be beaten. But being such a well-drilled team this wasn’t going to happen, and true to form they put in an excellent performance, fast, slick and accurate – and calculated, each rider forfeiting two points in the maze when they dabbed (put their foot down) to ensure safe spin turns. It was a performance worthy of champions, albeit they were beaten by Team France who blazed to their second day win to come within two points of overturning Team USA for the runner-up position.

 

So while Team South Africa again took the winners’ trophies, and Teams USA and France the runners-ups’ trophies none of the GS riders left empty handed as each rider was given the radiator covers from their GS to take home. No ordinary covers, these had been 3D printed in aluminium and machined with their rider number and name integrated into the design. A memento to remind them of eight of the most exciting days in the wilds of Mongolia, an amazing country, on the incomparable GS, an extraordinary motorcycle. 

 

Quotes:

Mark Dickinson, Team South Africa: “It was a good day today. We trained as hard as we could before we came to the event and that has paid off over the days and especially today in the final trial. But equally importantly we’ve had fun and while the whole BMW GS community is like a family we’ve made some especially great friends while we’ve been here. And with the GS Trophy it doesn’t end at the chequered flag, we’ve been exchanging addresses and social media contact information all week and I know we’ll be in touch and making visits on each other in the years to come. We’ve all shared this special experience and that’s created a bond between us. It’s been a great event, and to win again makes it perfect.”

 

Stefan Boshoff, Team South Africa: Team SA, the Team Eurafrica ladies and the marshals all arrived back in Johannesburg this morning.  We were blown away by all the support, flags waving, balloons tied to the handrails, people shouting!  The GS community all around South Africa supported the team throughout this campaign with enthusiasm unmatched by any other team.  It was so great to sweat it out and give our best every day knowing that thousands of eyes and ears were following every kilometre of the way. We had an incredible time riding the bikes, seeing amazing places, making friends and fighting for points. Bringing the Trophy home is perfect reward for a great effort by the entire GS community of SA. We could not have asked for any better! Thank you BMW Motorrad SA for making it all happen!!

 

Linda Steyn, Ladies team Eurafrica: When speaking to some of the previous participants they all tell you that it’s a once in a lifetime journey that will change your life. It is all they said and so much more!! The spirit of the GS community is truly amazing. You get to ride with a different team and marshal every day and by the end of the ride you are friends for life! Not once did we (the ladies team) feel like we did not belong, but more than once the men would say how much they respected our riding abilities.

The setting in Mongolia was absolutely perfect for this event. The riding was challenging between special stages, but absolutely breathtaking. All in all a very tough event for us ladies, but absolutely stoked that we all made it through with only minor bumps and bruises! The support from home (SA riding community) really helps on the difficult days! Thanks BMW Motorrad international and BMW Motorrad SA for making this trip possible!!

 

Eugene Fourie, Team South Africa: Wow! The Ultimate Adventure of my lifetime. Mongolia far exceeded my expectations and it was an honour to experience it with like-minded riders from across the globe. These where eight long days in the saddle through some of the harshest and most remote landscapes in the world. Lots of memories and stories to tell. There are no words to describe our appreciation for BMW Motorrad South Africa, our families and local supporters that made this achievement possible. The GS definitely takes you anywhere, in more ways the one!

 

BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2018 Central Asia. Final standings:

1 South Africa 338

2 USA 286
3 France 284
4 Latin America 246

5 Mexico 236

6 Korea 221

7 UK 196
8 Germany 193

9 Russia 171
10 Australia 170
11 Argentina 162

12 Southeast Asia 155

13 China 144

14Canada 137

 

Find all information about the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2018 Central Asia at the dedicated website www.gstrophy.com.

Find press material on BMW motorcycle, Original BMW Motorrad accessories and BMW Motorrad rider equipment in the BMW Group PressClub at www.press.bmwgroup.com.

 

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In 2017, the BMW Group sold over 2,463,500 passenger vehicles and more than 164,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2016 was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.

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