The 5.8 km individual time trial saw two German riders with the fastest times on the loop around Nadamu. Bernhard Uhl just nicked it by a mere three seconds over a showbooting Jataraboon Kiangchaipaiphana in 12:07, whereas Chiara Eberle had a clear advantage over Bitbit Baby Marites Sotto in a female lap record of 12:55!
Several top riders and teams, including the Mongolians, decided to sit out the time trial and focus exclusively on the Genghis Khan MTB Adventure stage race, which starts this afternoon. It shows the respect they have for each other by not wasting any energy this morning. As such, the time trial was an open affair and the German duo made the best out of it. The lap record of 10:39, set by Ulanbaatar’s Narankhuu remained out of reach, however. The Thai rider from team Apa could actually have beaten Uhl, had he not decided to give a little wheelie show just before the finish line instead of after it. Good fun for the spectators, but it cost him the win.
A strong performance was noted by China’s Liu Shibo and Tan Guanghuan, who were only split by four seconds (12:38 vs 12:42) to determine third place on the podium.
Chiara Eberle will certainly have gained confidence after this morning’s grassland debut, and sent a warning to 2011 champion Bitbit Baby Marites Sotto, who did not have an answer and was caught by Eberle, who had started a minute before her. Of course, as last year’s time trial showed. A 5.8km explosive effort is not the same as a 64 km, let alone a 100km endurance race. But most certainly, there is competition for the Mongolian women this year.
Top 6 Men:
1. Bernhard Uhl (GER)12:07
2. Jantaraboon Kiangchaipaiphana (THA) 12:10
3. Liu Shibo (CHN) 12:38
4. Tan Guanghuan (CHN) 12:42
5. Zhang Nuo (CHN) 12:48
6. Franz Jammernegg (AUT) 13:04
Top 3 women:
1. Chiara Eberle (GER) 12:55
2. Bitbit Baby Marites Sotto (PHI) 15:23
3. Wang Xueli (CHN) 15:57 (provisional)