The Dark Side of Kegeti – Silk Road Mountain Race 2023

The Dark Side of Kegeti – Silk Road Mountain Race 2023

“We don’t come to conquer mountains, we come to meet them. They will always be greater than us. There will always be another one to climb.”


The Silk Road Mountain Race states that it is a serious undertaking that should not be underestimated. It takes place in an environment that’s as tough as it is beautiful. It requires not only the ability to ride big days back to back but also knowledge and experience of self-reliance in a high-altitude, mountainous environment. Although it is definitely a race, the primary concern here is your safety. Riders experience the natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan, and the warmth and generosity of its people. It is an experience that will likely stay with you for a lifetime.


Success to me is peace of mind, which is a direct result of the satisfaction of knowing I made the effort to become the best of which I’m capable. I reached my mental and physical limits many times during the race but "hey, that’s why I came here". Don’t stop thinking of life as an adventure. Choose to live bravely, excitingly and imaginatively. Choose a challenge.

For three years, I trained to take part in the 2021 SRMR but unfortunately, on the 8th day, my bottom bracket froze overnight, the inside expanded, and the bearings popped out. I had to quit and started preparing for the 2022 edition. Again, luck wasn’t on my side. I was the first rider to quit after breaking my ankle on Jiptik Pass. But I try to remind myself that it was a particularly tough and challenging edition of the race which forms my personality as an individual. In 2023 I returned once more, with the goal of finishing the race in 11 days. But having blown my tyres and after arriving at Checkpoint 3 on rims, I had to quickly visit Bishkek to buy new tyres. On top of this, I also got very sick just 130km from the finish line and stopped for 19 hours at a guesthouse where the family took care of me. In the end, however, I made it.

I like to constantly set new goals for myself, the tought of achieving these motivates me. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can do something special and important, how I can achieve my goals, and what it will feel like to achieve them or if I fail.


I used a Ground Carbon FX saddle, which was by far the most comfortable I've ever used, it was a massive help during the race. Saddle sores were not a problem at all and this greatly contributed to my success. If you think that the saddles with carbon rails can’t withstand the load because of the bags, then you are very mistaken.