Shanghai-based Team Triace took three out of three last Sunday with victory by Wang Lei in the 82km longest stage of the 2011 Genghis Khan MTB Festival. The former HolyBrother rider was the fastest of six in the final sprint in front of a large crowd at the centre square of Xiwuqi town.Sun and a bright blue sky greeted the mountainbike competitors for their final stint in the Xiwuqi grasslands
this year. Even the wind had quietened down! As always before a final stage, the mood among the participants was pretty jolly and relaxed over breakfast. But some anxiety still remained as no fewer than 82km had to be covered – substantially more than on both previous days! It would be no walk in the park.
Everyone clearly respected the long distance, and the top riders opted for a moderately-paced start. After 15 kilometers – back in town upon conclusion of the first small lap – , some newcomers on the MTB scene even had to be pleasure to briefly lead the race. Once on the big lap, the pace increased and the first group split up in pieces. Up front Team Triace controlled the affairs with strong team play, challenged now and then by Darren Benson (Championship Systems), Sun Chengyi and Jin Knudsen from Denmark. Also Shenzhen-based Frenchman and Nordic Ways-regular Bertrand Jouve was never far behind and would finish only a minute behind the top 6.
Eventually, Wang Lei again proved his sprinting skills and won this year’s Royal Stage ahead of Feng Kuan Jie and Sun Chengyi. Benson did all he could to claim a second podium finish after stage 1, but stranded in fourth, which turned out to be his place in the final overall ranking as well.
The overall victory of the 2011 Genghis Khan MTB Festival went to Feng Kuan Gao in 6h 16’09” thanks to his brilliant solo victory on Saturday. In the final ranking, he had a solid advantage of 2’18” over teammate Wang Lei and 2′ 36″ over Feng Kuan Jie. All three ride for Team Triace.
The women’s competition was dominated by Filipino Bitbit Baby Marites Sotto (Championship Systems). She also won the final 82km stage, but not without a scare at km 64. As a male rider right in front of her got entangled in a wire that was lying on the ground and crashed down, Marites Sotto could not avoid him and fell down over him. Fortunately, she and the other competitor got away with small bruises and no serious injuries or bike damage. From Manila, but now based in Hong Kong, an impressive Marites Sotto was almost 14 minutes faster than Wang Xue Li on Sunday. Those two also claimed the first two positions in the overall female ranking. Third place was assigned equally to local girl Wang Ya Wen and Xu Yun
Many pictures of the 2011 Genghis Khan MTB Festival can be found here