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5 Reasons to Follow the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia

Teams of GS riders from around the world battle it out in daily competition.

Published on 05.24.2018


BMW GS Trophy Mongolia 2018 Adventure Motorcycle
Courtesy Dimitrios Tournas

BMW Ambassador Shawn Thomas and I will be riding across Mongolia with two teams: the USA Men’s team and Team AusAmerica, one of two International female teams in the event, this one made up of one Aussie rider and two Americans. Here’s a look in alphabetical order:


Matt Kelley: When Matt was five-years-old he got on a blue Benelli Buzzer and won a flat track race his first time on course. Since then he’s raced in every imaginable type of two-wheeled category: road, supermoto, MX, flat track, drag racing, grand prix, enduro, vintage, even ice racing. He might be a tad competitive. In fact when Matt met his teammate Tom the first time it was when the two were battling head-to-head and the Midwestern Qualifier in Missouri. After three days of competition, Tom took the win by one measly point, which drove Matt crazy. So crazy, his wife Cinda took it upon herself to arrange for Matt to fly to California, borrow a friend’s GS and try again at the West Coast Qualifier. Smart lady. (Photo Courtesy: Dimitrios Tournas)

Julia Maguire: The women’s teams are both technically “International Teams” though there are two Americans on one team and two South Africans on another, making both slightly lopsided. But does Julia go all third-wheel amid the hubbub surrounding her U.S. teammates? No way. She’d probably deny it, but she’s undoubtedly the strongest rider on her team. She’s very proud to be representing Australia, as well as the fast-growing international community of female ADV riders. “Promoting women in motorcycling is really cool and I hope this inspires them to give it a try,” she says. As for her personal GS Trophy journey she says it’s been a wild ride already and she’s excited to arrive in Mongolia. “What a cool part of the world to have an adventure with 100 of our newest friends.” (Photo Courtesy: BMW Motorrad)

Bettina Nedel: While many of the competitors have been riding in the dirt since they were tots, Bettina didn’t ride off-road until 2014. “I bought a dirt bike and taught myself how to ride it, and then about a year later I bought a KTM 690 and rode a couple of technical trails. It lit a fire under me. I really liked the challenge.” Shortly after, she stepped up to a 1200 GS. Bettina’s take-no-prisoners attitude “I’m a never-give-up kind of girl” brought her through to win the Midwestern Qualifier and then her seat on Team AusAmerica. “This is the first chapter in my adventure book,” she says. “In some ways I don’t feel like I belong there because I don’t have a big history of riding around the world. But what an amazing way to begin!” (Photo Courtesy: Bex Becker)

Jocelin Snow: If you take your eyes off Jocelin you’re certain to lose track of her. Her energy is otherworldly and serves her well as a business owner and ADV advocate. While she has a long history riding and racing motorcycles, her relationship with ADV bikes is fresh. She bought a 1200 GSA, trained like crazy, and 8 months later she was winning the West Coast Qualifier, which sent her on her way to South Africa to compete for a spot on the Woman’s International Team. She has a knack, but also raw determination, something she shares with her teammates. “I don’t see any of us ever — under any circumstance — throwing up our hands and saying ‘Ah man, that’s just too hard.’ If we were working on the same challenge for five days and nights I don’t see us quitting. That’s how strong we are.” (Photo Courtesy: Jacob Junn)

Tom Thompson: Tom says he can’t stop pinching himself as the trip to Mongolia draws near, but then again, he probably pinches himself all the time living as he does in Durango, Colorado, on the doorstep to some the best motorcycle riding in the world. Trials-style riding is Tom’s magic power and he’s been riding competitively since he was 12. One day Tom watched a guy ride up on a brand-new 1200 GSA with all the gear and the panniers and he was afflicted. He’s happy his BMW turned out to be a good performer too. “Sometimes I take it up [rocky trails] in the mountains here and I can’t believe it when I’m looking down from the top. It’s crazy. The harder I push it, the better it seems to work.” (Photo Courtesy: Dimitrios Tournas)

David Vaughan: David is the Sand Master among the Americans, roosting effortless over dunes and across bottomless drifts thanks to his daily trainings in Florida (Maybe when you don’t have mountains or corners, riding in sand becomes fun?). This talent will come in handy as his team traverses Mongolia, where we’ve been told the route features sand, sand, and more sand. David learned about the Trophy when his wife Courtney discovered a post on instagram and urged him to try out. “She thought my skills were pretty good and pushed me into it.” This trip will be David’s first time out of the country, an adventure beyond his wildest dreams. “My team and I have talked about it, and the way we see it, we’ve already won and the event itself is the prize.” (Photo Courtesy: Dimitrios Tournas)


VIDEO: Each competitor will ride a custom-equipped R1200GS Rallye Bike.

The GS Trophy Adventure starts June 3 through 10, 2018. Stay tuned for updates!

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

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Author: Jamie Elvidge

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2 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Follow the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia

    • The best way to keep up with the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia is to stay tuned to the advpulse social media channels for updates and links to daily videos and reports June 3-11. Sadly the event will not be televised, though it would make a super fun-to-watch reality show!


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