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An Interview with Cory Wallace

Team MBC met up with Cory Wallace of the Kona Factory Team at the Vancouver Bike Show last weekend. Cory has committed to race the 2012 Mongolia Bike Challenge after a 2nd place finish at last year's event.

First of all, congratulations on winning the 24 hour race in Old Pueblo a couple of weeks ago. What can you say about that race? Is the win a result of a big winter of training?

The 24 hour race in Old Pueblo was a great start to the year.  It is the largest 24 hour event in the USA and it created a 3000 person tent village in the middle of a cool desert that we raced around on a 16 mile loop.  The course was non-technical, but pretty sketch as there were Cacti all over the place just waiting to make pincushions out of us riders.  I managed to get the WIN in the solo division.  It was hard as I only had 2.5 weeks of training in my legs since November.  I paid for the effort and am still recovering from tendonitis in my achilles tendon and wrist.

You recently committed to the 2012 Mongolia Bike Challenge. How did you decide to come back this year?

There was no question about coming back to Mongolia this year.  It is a highlight of my racing career and something I will never forget.  I feel lucky to be heading back there this year to ride again.   Seeing camels stumble through a dust storm, the huge sand dunes of the Gobi Desert and riding along beside a herds of wild horses are images sketched into my mind for good.  I am excited about seeing the 5 new stages for this year's race.

You have two teammates coming from Kona, Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon - are you excited to have your teammates there this year?

It is going to be great to have my teammates over in Mongolia for the race.  It is cool to think what they are going to experience.  Having strong teammates at the race is very important.  Last year Craig Richey, Thom Skinner and myself demonstrated what can be accomplished if you work as a team as we almost upset Marzio Deho.  I'm looking forward to riding with my teammates and making sure that the strongest Kona rider at the race has the best chance possible at standing on top of the podium at the end of the race in Karakorum. 

You came second last year - would you say you have some unfinished business in Mongolia?

I try not to get to caught up in the past. Last year was last year, this year is this year.  This year I will be going to Mongolia with the mindset of having one of my teammates, or myself, coming away with the victory. Having done the race last year and coming so close to winning it, I think I gained a lot of knowledge and experience which can help us prepare and have a good shot at the title this year.

Six months after MBC 2011, what are your reflections on last year's race?

The memories from the race haven't faded a bit.  The more I think about last year, the more excited I get about heading back there this year...except for the plane flight home after the race!  That was a bad memory as the jet-lag crippled me for over a week after I got back.  This year I will try staying awake the whole flight back so when I get to Canada I will be completely exhausted and hopefully be able to get back into a normal sleep cycle.

You are one of the favorites to win the 24hr World Championships this year.
What is your season looking like for 2012?

2012 is looking great as I will be racing for the Kona Factory Team again and tackling epic races around the world. The first goals of the year are the BC Bike Race and The Mongolia Bike Challenge.  In September. the World 24 Hour MTB Championships are being held in Canmore, Alberta. I am really excited about this as it is in my own backyard and all the best 24 hour racers in the world will be there.

How are you going to prepare for the 2012 MBC - I am sure a win is on your mind there.

Preparation for Mongolia is already well under way.  It is top secret.  It does include a lot of riding and some mental toughness training.  Other than that I will be keeping it just between my teammates and me until after the race.

Thanks for the chat, Cory. Have a good ride today and see you on July 28 in Ulaan Baator!

cory @ bcbr
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