Route 99: the perfect TT road through the grasslands

Route 99 is the name of the brand new tarmac road that connects the highway Xilinhot-Xiwuqi, just outside Xiwuqi, to the Mongolian Yurt Camp. The road cuts through the grassland and is characterised by the colourful lines in the middle separating the lanes and its super smooth surface. Cyclists are going to love this. It is the perfect Time Trial course – except if there’s a headwind :-). No fewer than 30 kilometers against the clock by yourself, even in professional cycling’s Grand Tours they do not often include that kind of TT distance anymore. In Xiwuqi, in Inner Mongolia, it will be a premiere on Saturday afternoon, 1 July. 

Route 99 is being promoted heavily for tourism to get a glimpse of the traditional Mongolian grasslands without actually entering them. The West Ujimqin banner is indeed relying on tourists to increase the economic situation and living standards of its citizens, but also wants to protect the grassland eco system, which in the recent decade has come under threat from ever progressing desertification of the land due to lack of rainfall. 

Cyclists in the TT will start 300 metres off the highway near the toll station. From there it’s 30km full gazz to the finish at the southside of the Mongolian Yurt camp. The course has one minor and gradual hill right in the middle, where the timing checkpoint will be located. But if the wind permits, this is the kind of course to break your average speed record. A strava record will also be set for sure. 

The finish location is a great place to relax after the TT, as well. Many people may remember the Mongolian Yurt Camp as the finish of Stage 2 in our previous Genghis Khan MTB Adventure, and the bonfire parties on Saturday night. In post-covid recovery times, the bonfire party will need to wait another year, but nevertheless you will enjoy spending a bit of time at the Camp following your TT race. You are even encouraged to take the shuttle bus back to Xiwuqi town after the race, so by all means have a beer. 

Check out the competition regulations, timetable and more on our cycling section: