Mongolian riders keep winning in this year’s Genghis Khan MTB Adventure,as Tuguldur Tuulkhangai dashed to a bold and courageous solo victory in stage 2. Attacking already in the very first kilometre, Tuulkhangai left his rivals behind and never looked back. After 43km he arrived solo at the Mongolian Yurt City with a five-minute lead!
Beautiful and warm weather for the shortest of the three stages, but the wind had to be reckoned with. Two thirds of the route went through previously unexplored grassland terrain. Heading the peloton at the starting line at Xiwuqi Cultural Square were the two yellow jerseys in the competition, Altanzul Altansuckh (men) and Solongo Tserenlham (women), following their wins on the first day.
Last year, Feng Kuan Gao made a similar move on the second day to lay the foundation for his overall victory in the MTB Adventure, but Tuulkhangai’s performance was even more impressive as race favourites such as Wang Lei, Feng Kuan Jie and Eric Felbabel were doing all they could to reel him back in. Instead, the Mongolian rider gradually disappeared from view. Yesterday Tuulkhangai suffered bad luck as his chain snapped with 10km to go while being part of the leading group. He eventually lost 18 minutes, which of course puts him out of contention for the overall win. By dominating stage 2 he showed everybody what he is made of.
Meanwhile, yellow jersey Altansuckh managed to stay with Feng Kuan Jie (Team Triace) and Eric Felbabel (Team WTB-Chiru) and thus remains leader in the overall ranking in the same time as Feng Kuan Jie and Felbabel. It will be a great battle in tomorrow’s final and longest (100km) stage! Pre-race top favourite Wang Lei (Team Triace), however, surprisingly stepped out of the race today.
In the women’s event the Mongolian duo of Solongor Tserenlham and Orkhontuya Batbaatar repeated their success of the first stage, this time with local rider Wang Yawen in third place.
Unofficial results – MTB Stage 2 – 43km – Men
1. Tuguldur Tuulkhangai (MGL)
2. Altanzul Altansuckh (MGL)
3. Feng Kuan Jie (CHN)
4. Eric Felbabel (FRA)
5. Sun Chengyi (CHN)
6. Pierre-Arnaud Le Magnan (FRA)
7. Edward Cork (GBR)
8. Jamsran Ulziibator (MGL)
9. Yin Bo (CHN)
10.Wang Li Dong (CHN)
11. Mark Thirlwall (AUS)
12. Bertrand Jouve (FRA)
13. Jim Knudsen (DEN)
14. Franz Jammernegg (AUT)