Huang Tianyi wins windy Cyclo Xiwuqi!

Huang Tianyi won the inaugural edition of Cyclo Xiwuqi, a 124 km long race through the grasslands around the town of Xiwuqi. The course is basically flat, but the strong winds made it very tough and competitors reached the finish one-by-one instead of the anticipated group sprint. The first 70 km were indeed mostly a battle against a fierce head wind. One rider, Chen Yunqi, was not bothered by it and went on the attack on his own after about 30 km already. He would ride half a minute ahead of a group of some 20 riders, but he was punching himself out and looked visibly tired as he finally turned onto route 99 to begin the last 50 km with mainly tailwind. Huang Tianyi timed his move much better, and caught up with Chen Yunqi almost immediately and left him standing on a short uphill section. Chen Yunqi could not respond anymore and lost terrain very quickly to Huang Tianyi, who steamed to the finish in Xiwuqi town to take the victory in 3h44’25”. Chen Yunqi held on to second place more than five minutes later. Zhang Junjie was third and took the KOG crown with an impressive performance one day after winning the Grassland 50k run. The women’s Cyclo Xiwuqi saw Cui Qian take top honours with a spirited ride that included a tumble. The KOG participant did not let it hurt her and won the race by nearly 2 minutes over Annabelle Ji. Zhang Siyuan was third. For a moment it looked like Cui Qian could also win the Queen of the Grasslands competition, but the leader after the first day, Xu Meiling, managed to push in the final kilometres and save her crown by finishing 5th just over 10 minutes behind: enough to keep an advantage of nearly six minutes in the KOG ranking. Wang Lidong won the KOG competition in the MTB category with a comfortable margin over the others. Bi Jiaojie was strongest in the same category for women.