The Mongolia Bike Challenge returns after a four-year stop due to the pandemic and Ukraine war. Many things have changed in these four years and the situation is certainly not the most optimistic for organizing such a particular event in the steppes of Chinggis Khan.

Willy Mulonia - organizer, tireless traveler and citizen of the world – knows it very well
It won't be easy to restart after four years. Many things have changed after the pandemic: the war in Ukraine, the increase in the cost of air tickets and inflation. It will be a challenge for the participants, but also for all of us who work to ensure that MBC continue. If it was easy then I wouldn't be the only one organizing it.

What has Willy done in these four years?
First of all I learned to build my resistance on the basis of resilience. And then, having so much free time, I went back to studying, earning a Master's Degree at the university. Also with Selle SMP, after 14 years, I have built a relationship of resilience. From the outside it looks like it's just a sponsor of the Mongolia Bike Challenge, but from the inside it's a family relationship. Selle SMP is more than a sponsor, we have grown together over these 14 years and we have both learned what resilience really is. We have also learned that our body is constantly changing and that we need a different saddle that adapts to our changes. This year, for example, I felt the need to increase the perception of comfort.

I have been using Selle SMP since 2006 and over the years I was able to appreciate different models. In each of my new trails, the choice of saddle has become a priority, especially when the journey lasts for days. Selle SMP recommended a GEL saddle to me. In this years I have used the F20, more linear and less shaped than the Dynamic I used before. The one I have now, which is VT20 GEL, is absolutely the perfect one for me now. I've used it in Alaska, Japan, the Atakama Desert and Patagonia and the GEL has never changed. And above all, it never gave me the feeling of cold when I rode in Alaska or hot when I rode in the desert. The saddle also helps me always find the perfect position on the bike. This is very important for my comfort, especially when I ride long distances in extreme conditions.

Do you have any expectations for this Mongolia Bike Challenge 2023, which we takes place from 11th to 20th August?
I'm curious to see people again, the environment I've built over the years and what has changed. These years I have also a new team partially renewed and in which there is also my son Lucas, who is twenty years old. It is the first time he joined me in my professional world which is also my passion. It was his initiative, I never insisted and obviously I'm happy about it. I just asked him the reasons that prompted him to participate and he gave them. It will be a totally new experience especially because I changed too, a lot in these years and I'm really curious to see how will this fantastic adventure continue.

The number 108 often appears in the images we see of the MBC, does it have any particular meaning?
Yes! It is a very important number in Buddhist philosophy and in Mongolia 70% of the population is Buddhist. It indicates completion of a cycle or full circle. It is often associated with meditation, prayer and the practice of chanting mantras. In our case it is the maximum number of participants that we have reached in different editions.

Selle SMP sent home a saddle to try out to all the participants of the Mongolia Bike Challenge: the VT20C GEL, like mine but the shorter version. Over 40% of those who received it at home will have it during the Mongolia Bike Challenge 2023

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