First Teams Cross Finish, Some Struggling, One Way Off Course in India
Now, four weeks into the race, apparently only a handful of teams have crossed the finish line in Ulan-Ude, Russia.
According to our observations of Mongol Rally's Garmin map, No Prob-Llama finished first followed by U Lunn Bataar, which is an all-woman team from England. Next in were Don't Panic, Mogluicous Timber Twats, Team Mangolia, Crazy Cows, Team Lemon on a Pear and The Magical Beasties. Team Ladybirds' car broke down before Ulan Bataar but they were allowed to finally cross the finish line. Team Cable Lions arrived just today. Almost all of these teams experienced numerous mechanical failures as evidenced by the photos above!
Even though the finish line is in Ulan-Ude, which is in Siberia, Russia, it seemed to be a rite of 'passage', if not a downright requirement, to make a dash through Mongolia. It is the 'Mongol' Rally after all!
All of these teams came through Mongolia except for Magical Beasties and Team Cable Lions, which instead chose the more northern route along the Siberian highway. The rest of the teams all entered far western Mongolia from the Altai region of Russia.
The next group of teams are all still 'stuck' in Mongolia. That list includes Los Bad Hombres who are at the border waiting to re-enter Russia and Holland's Next Top Model who are in Ulan Bataar, apparently waiting for the Russian Embassy to give them a visa.
Team Flying Kiwis took an unusual detour through Mongolia and are currently en route between Ulan Baatar and the Russian border. Looking back, Crazy Cows may have taken the most interesting route, having meandered way off the beaten path through north Mongolia and up to Lake Khovsgol.
9TyTeam and Frog King will be next to enter Mongolia as they are waiting at the western border with Russia.
Now many teams have made it into Central Asia with many taking the route through Turkmenistan's Darvaza gas crater (AKA, the Gates Of Hell Crater). Team Mongol Mongrels even hired a band to play there and had a concert!
Although there was a lot of branching off, many teams chose routes through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and north into Kyrgyzstan. Only a handful have made it beyond that.
Perhaps the most interesting and unusual path taken is that taken by the Fiesta Vikings. They have chosen to go through Iran, Pakistan and India and are currently the city of Patna and Nepal's border. No other teams have gone through Pakistan, India or anywhere near this.
In other news, poor Only Fools and Hummus, with their 3-wheeled car have only made it as far as Georgia. They have had numerous mechanical problems and say they drove for 750 miles with a blown head gasket and, in late-breaking news, were getting it replaced. The good news is they seem to be having a blast. They are partying a lot, learning salsa dancing and drinking something called chacha!