Photos by Erik Peterson

Stage One of the GENCO Mongolia Bike Challenge presented by Orbea was a 120-kilometer (74.5-mile) loop from the Genghis Khan Statue in Tuv Province with a groan-inducing 3,000 meters (9.842 feet) of climbing. The heat of the Mongolian sun combined with the seemingly endless short steep climbing sections challenged the pros and age-groupers alike.

The defending champion, Cory Wallace, continues his dominance in Mongolia, regaining the Pink Jersey which he has held since Stage One of 2012. He did so in impressive fashion, leaving a talented group of riders at the 90-kilometer mark and solo-ing to a 7-minute victory over his nearest competitors, Mark Frendo (Former Australian Under 23 XC National Champion) and Antonio Ortiz (Selle SMP) of Spain.

In the Elite Women's field, 2013 ABSA Cape Epic Winner, Catherine Williamson (Bizhub-Energas) of the UK put in a strong first-stage performance, giving her a commanding lead of 30 minutes on her nearest rivals American Sonya Looney (Topeak Ergon) and Erin Greene (Endura NZ) of New Zealand.

Stage Two takes the racers 125 kilometers (77.7 miles) to the Khan Khentii area on the bank of the Tuul River via the Zamt Hills to Jalman Camp.