Mongolian cycling stars Myagmarsuren Baasaankhuu and Solongo Tserenlham both won the Genghis Khan MTB Adventure for the second time in their careers last weekend with superb rides and stage victories on Saturday and Sunday. The competition this time did not really come from their own compatriots, but from a strong local Chinese contingent. Especially Miga had to keep his head cool. Always the man to beat, Miga had to battle against the Shanghai squad led by Feng Kuan Jie, which made his life as difficult as possible. Still, when he pushed the throttle uphill or against a headwind, nobody was able to match the Mongolian’s speed and strength. Solo victories in both stage 2 and stage 3 were the result. Feng Kuan Jie and Shi Yongming finished the stage race in the same total time, but Feng Kuan Jie was awarded second place overall due to his stage victory in the wet mudbath on Friday. Zhu Jun became stronger and stronger as the weekend progressed and a second place on the 95km long stage 3 was his reward for his fine efforts, beating Shi Yongming and FKJ in the sprint that day. For Feng Kuan Jie, it was the third time he finished second in Genghis Khan MTB. He also scored a third place in 2011, but has never won it! For Miga it was the second overall win after 2014. Miga is of course also a four-time-winner of Granfondo Yunnan.
Solongo Tserenlham’s win had a similar pattern as Miga’s. Beaten by Qin Ziye on Friday, the experienced Mongolian fought back and distanced Qin Ziye on Saturday to grab yellow, and defended it in style on Sunday. Tserenlham won this stage race back in 2012 as well, seven years ago. She was second in 2015 and 2016 as well. Qin Ziye had one big excuse for finishing a few minutes behind the Mongolian: she also ran the full marathon on Saturday morning. In fact, Qin Ziye is the new Queen of the Grasslands and was largely unchallenged for that title this year!
The men’s King of the Grassland title went to Germany’s Peter Wolkowicz. After a great dual with China’s Yu Chong Zheng, Wolkowicz won the newly designed Grassland Marathon in 2:58 on Saturday morning and laid the foundation for his KOG title there. It was quite close, however, as Beijing’s Chen Jiadong not only beat him on MTB Stage 1, he also ran a fine marathon (third place in 3:12)! But Chen Jiadong was unable to overtake the Shanghai-based German again during the two last MTB stages. Heilongjiang’s Wang Lidong still managed a great third place in the KOG competition. Wang Lidong was the King in 2014 and 2015, and was also third in 2016.