Tom Thompson set out to test his off-road riding skills as part of the U.S. team for the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy challenge in Mongolia. He was tested and rewarded, as the Durangoan and the American team came home with a second-place finish.
Thompson, 56, teamed with David Vaughan of Florida and Matt Kelley of Ohio for the race that spanned about 1,700 miles over six days of riding through different courses and terrain outside the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.
The American team finished with 286 points. South Africa was crowned champions for the second year in a row with 338 points. France was third, only two points back of the U.S. There were 18 teams from around the world competing.
The podium finish for the Americans was the first time the U.S. has placed since the contest began in 2008.
Challenges outside of riding also counted toward the team score. Challenges included timed competitions that tested bike maintenance and repairs, setting up camp and traditional Mongolian archery.