Mongolia’s Tugulduur Tuulkhangai is the new Genghis Khan MTB champion after controlling his main rivals on the final 100km long stage. He was third in a six-man sprint behind his compatriots Simiya and Baasankhuu. Chiara Eberle is the clear winner of the women’s MTB competition.
It was Tuulkhangai’s third attempt in winning the overall title in Xiwuqi, after mechanical issues cost him dearly in 2012 and 2013. Yesterday on stage 2 it again looked as if it was not going to be for the 30-year-old Mongolian, after a broken crank put him out of the leading group. Luckily, his teammate at Chiru-Magura, Fraser Young, was not too far behind and gave his bike to Tugulduur. As such, the overall victory in this year’s Genghis Khan MTB Adventure was very much a team effort.
Rather than going flat out as usual, Tuulkhangai decided today to control the proceedings and not take too many chances. The race began rather quietly with a group of 18 detaching itself from the rest. It was Tugu’s pace that broke up the group around the 18 km mark and for a while it looked as if five men were going to decide the day’s outcome. On a flat piece of gravel the pace dropped, and one rider from Team Aldar decided to go solo. He was allowed to open a substantial gap of over 30 seconds, until the yellow jersey argued it enough and closed the gap with Baasankhuu and Naraankhuu in his wake. A while later, Thailand’s Jantaraboon Kiangchaipaiphana returned to the quartet of Mongolians. From Hu Hao was at that point already no sign anymore. The only rider who out of nowhere suddenly re-appeared at the very front was Russia’s Evgenii Vitmanovskiii. At km point 70 he closed the gap completely and one would have thought he was the one to beat for the stage win. The six stayed together and the last big uphill slope at km 80 did not break them up neither. Vitmanovskii started an attack at 6km before the finish, but Tuulkhangai did not let him get away. So it turned into a sprint, which saw the yellow jersey too early in the lead and being passed by the surprising Baterdene Simiya and Myagmarsuren Baasankhuu. Baterdene Narankhuu came fourth, Kianchaipaiphana fifth and Vitmanovskii sixth.
In the final overall ranking, Tuulkhangai thus wins this year’s competition, ahead of Basaankhuu and Narankhuu.
Charlie Epperson successfully defended his green leader’s jersey of the King of the Grasslands competition, despite a last effort by Piers Touzel to claim the crown. Wang Lidong, king of the past two years, had to settle for third place this time around.
The women’s MTB title went to Germany’s Chiara Eberle, who dotted the i today with a clear advantage over Solongo Tserenlham. Orkhontuya Batbaatar finished third ahead of Wang Xueli today.
First top results
MTB – Men – overall ranking after 3 stages:
1. T. Tuulkhangai (MGL – Team Chiru Magura) 6:38:26
2. M. Baasankhuu (MGL – Team Attila) 6:39:42
3. B. Naarankhuu (MGL – Team Attila) 6:39:42
4. E. Vitmanovskii (RUS – Team Chain Reaction Cycles) 6:40:36
5. J. Kiangchaipaiphana (THA – Team Champion System Adventure) 6:43:17
6. B. Simiya (MGL – Team Aldar) 6:52:33
MTB – Women – overall ranking after 3 stages:
1. C. Eberle (GER – TSV Dettingen) 7:39:07
2. S. Tserenlham (MGL – Team Aldar) 8:05:23
3. W. Xueli (CHN – ) 8:25:48
4. O. Batbaatar (MGL – Team Aldar) 8:38:17
5. B. Marites Sotto (PHI – Champion System Adventure) 9:01:49
6. Q. Yongli (CHN – ) 9:07:01
King of the Grasslands competition:
1. C. Epperson (USA – Team Chiru Magura) 10:37:19
2. P. Touzel (AUS – Champion System Adventure) 10:46:46
3. W. Lidong (CHN – ) 11:04:53
4. L. Shibo (CHN – Team Camp) 11:18:57
5. H. Chunxu (CHN – ) 11:40:44
6. D. Feng (CHN – ) 11:44:03
Queen of the Grasslands competition:
1. R. Shufang (CHN – ) 13:57:12
2. H. Chipman (GBR – ) 14:12:11
3. O. Kramarenko (MDA – ) 15:29:49
The top 6 of the men’s 2015 Genghis Khan MTB Adventure
MTB Stage 3: the six protagonists of the day heading towards the finish in Xiwuqi
The 2015 champion in his third attempt: Tugulduur Tuulkhangai