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Cory Wallace wins Yak Attack stage race in Nepal

Canadian climbs a couple extra feet to top podium step at worlds highest mountain bike race

Cory Wallace Yak Attck

Cory Wallace has won a third straight title at the Yak Attack mountain bike stage race in Nepal.

The Canadian was the fastest rider after five stages, beating riders from five different continents. Yak Attack bills itself as the highest mountain bike race in the world. The event tops out at an elevation of 5416 m above sea level.

This year, the Yak Attack changed it’s format slightly. The race shortened to five days, following a “Fast and Furious” theme. While shorter on time, racers still covered a huge distance. The route traversed between Besi Sahar and Tatopani, which is usually a 20 day trek on foot. The total route distance was 200 km, including hour long hike-a-bikes and steep Himalayan ascents.

Other than Wallace, the rest of the podium finishers were local Nepalese riders. After the final stage from Kagbeni to Kalopani, Roan Tamang was second, a total of one hour and 54 seconds behind after five days of racing. Okesh Bajracharya finished third, just over three minutes later.

RELATED: Cory Wallace wins 24-Hour Worlds in Fort William

The stage race win comes just weeks after Wallace defended his 24-Hour Solo mountain bike world championship title. Other than taking place on dirt, that event couldn’t have been more different. 24-Hour worlds took place under constant rain on the other side of the world, in Fort William, Scotland.

The Nepalese race is the final event in Wallace’s competitive season, sending the Canadian into the off-season with another big win.

Before signing off for the year, there’s one final big ride left on Wallace’s list: the Annapurna 24HR Project. The Canadian will attempt to ride the classic Nepalese trekking route, the Annapurna Circuit, in under 24 hours. The objective of the ride is to raise enough funds to keep the Nepal Coaching Center open for another year. Donations can be made through the Project’s GoFundMe page.

Last fall, Wallace completed the Annapurna Circuit in record time. The Jasper, Alta. resident finished the 220 km route, with 6,000m+ of elevation gain, in 23 hours 57 minutes. Repeating the sub-24 hour ride will be no small task, as extreme altitude and wildly variable high mountain weather create unexpected challenges.

RELATED: Cory Wallace completes sub-24 hour Annapurna Circuit ride

Wallace is auctioning off two signed 24-Hour World Championship jerseys to help raise money for the Nepali Coaching Centre. One jersey will go to the highest single donation. The second will go to the donor who comes closest to guessing Wallace’s finishing time for the Annapurna Circuit.

Wallace is no stranger to Nepal. Even outside of his three Yak Attack victories, the Jasper rider regularly trains and rides in the Himalayan mountains known for their extreme elevations.

RELATED: Cory Wallace: behind the scenes on his first Annapurna 24-hour challenge