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DOT WATCHER PREDICTIONS CHINA: X-Trail Altay Expedition

1st – Kiwi a little French.
2nd – Haglof Silva.
3rd – Estonia.
4th – Next Generation
5th – AMK

All you need to know about ARWS CHINA by Dot Watcher: Craig Cook.

All the hype and excitement is probably justified with the best field of the year gathered outside of the World Champs due to be held in less than two months.

There has been a huge response to the ARWS demonstration race in China this year, X-Trail Altay Expeditionl. The 25 international spots sold out within a week. Obviously the incentives offered helped but when you give adventure racers the opportunity to race in a remote wilderness seldom seen by the outside world it will almost always sell it self. The natural beauty and landscape of the Altay mountain no doubt caught the attention and imagination of many when the promotional video was released.

Even more amazing than selling out the event with speed, is the calibre of teams that it has attracted. This may have something to do with the $50,000 usd on offer to the top finishers and is a good signal to other sponsors and race organisers around the world that if you offer rewards the best will come.

Being a slightly shorter 4 day race it will be an ideal last hit out for teams before Australia but don’t expect them to take it easy with prize money on the line the pace should be red hot. Some of these teams will know that if they go fast enough they may finish in 60hrs so only two nights out in the wilderness. They will possibly go without sleep but if they get into a third night then sleep strategies will become very important.

Haglof Silva were second in the World Champs last year in what was one of the toughest World Championship races ever. In the two World Championships prior to that they were running in the top three when a Mountain Bike crash took them out both times.

Tecnu and AMK ( Adventure Medical Kits ) are the top two USA teams and recently had a close battle at Cowboy tough with AMK coming out on top. They also won the Maya Mountain Adventure race in Belize at the start of this year.

Estonia – This team finished 5th at the World Champs last year and were the real surprise package. They were one of only 5 teams to make it out of the swamp of death even if it was with a little help. It will be very interesting how they go this year and this race should be a great indicator.

Kiwi little bit French – These guys don’t enter anything without the intention of winning. They have all been racing and winning stage races in China for years. Most of them have been racing in China for the last month so will be used to the food and conditions. Marcel was a World Champion with Nathan Faa’vae back in 2005. Just not sure how much Navigation they have done lately.

Next Generation are a young New Zealand team that finished only two hours behind AMK at Godzone this year so look out for them. Being a younger team the shorter distance and increased speed may suit them. Denmark and Russia being European teams should be strong on the Navigation, so look for them to be in the mix if things go wrong up front.

Fun Fact – Aaron Prince ( Haglof Silva ) and Daniel Jones ( Kiwi/French ) are both second generation adventure racers with their parents also being great athletes. You can’t beat experience when it’s in the blood.

Hopefully the top Chinese teams will be up in the mix to make things interesting and create more awareness and excitement locally. The shorter distance is what makes this race a little unpredictable but I will do my best.

Follow the race live – via www.arworldseries.com – starting September 25th

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