有趣的是，Altanzul的蒙古族同胞Tugulduur Tuulkhanghai将会变成他的对手。Tugulduur Tuulkhanghai已经加入了Chiru-WTB车队。在一年前的西乌旗比赛中，Tugulduur 虽然只拿下了第二站和第三站，但若不是因为第一站他的车子出现了技术故障，他将对总成绩冠军的宝座发起强烈的挑战！ Tuulkhangai是一个一流的运动员，比Altanzul还年长几岁，技术和经验都非常丰富。问题是:同为蒙古国车队的CCN队会让他轻松拿下本周末的比赛吗？
At least Tuulkhangai does not have to be afraid of the quality of his Chiru-WTB team. A six-man-squad, filled with solid riders and hardcore MTB enthusiasts. France’s Pierre-Arnaud Le Magnan finished sixth overall last year and will prove to be a great tactical help for Tuulkhangai, Ed Cluer, Aaron Aakesson, Antoine Berte and Fraser Young. Four riders who will surely ride in the limelight during the weekend. With velodrome track specialist Aakesson they could even play the sprinter’s card…
In total there will be 18 riders from Ulanbaatar in the race. A second team consisting of 8 riders has registered late, and they have ambition. Part of Team Attila is Enkhjargal Tuvshinjargal, the 2013 Asian champion time trial (TT)! It remains to be seen how strong Tuvshingjargal is on a mountainbike, but on paper she looks like the one to beat in the women’s race this year.
The Chinese will be cheering for the 19-year young Hu Hao from Nanjing and Heilongjiang’s Sun Chengyi (5th overall in 2012) after the sudden and surprising withdrawal of Team Triace last week. The Shanghai team built around Wang Lei and Feng Kuanjie has decided at the last minute not to take up the GKF challenge this year. The wonderboy from Nanjing, however, is very hot to continue his remarkable progress in cycling with a podium place – at least – this weekend. Hu Hao already has credentials: he was second and first amateur at last April’s Huang Shan MTB, before the Triace guys and other Chinese top riders. Will we again have a ‘youngest winner ever’ at GK MTB this year? Hu Hao is definitely in the mix. Let’s find out whether his engine is already powerful enough for a three-day stage race that is more physical than technical.
There is a very dark horse on the start list, too: Liu Shuming from Taiwan. Liu Shuming rides on his own for Team Enervit this weekend and is the vice road bike champion of Taiwan last year! Again, road bike is no MTB, but Liu Shuming definitely has the stamina to make life difficult for all of the abovementioned contenders. If there is any rivalry between the big teams, he can profit as an individual rider to boot.
Finally, there is Team WTB with New Zealand’s Daniel Carruthers at the helm. After a nasty crash with dislocated shoulder at Huang Shan last April, Carruthers has shown great form in winning a stage in the Tour of Salimu Lake last month and battling it out with the very best throughout the stage race there. Carruthers has stamina and he is a very strong sprinter. If he goes for the Cannondale Cannonball intermediate sprints, he could create very interesting situations for the subsequent development of the races. Carruthers will be supported by Italian granfondo star Stefano Dall’Aglio, who flew in from London just to do the event, Finlan’s Jari Kolehmainen and Guangzhou’s Arnold Zhang and Liang Xia.
This being an amateur event, there are bound to be other strong participants on the start list we don’t know much or anything about. Franz Jammernegg (10th in 2012) and Mark Thirlwall (11th in 2012) come to mind here.
Following the traditional Opening Ceremony, the 7th Genghis Khan MTB Adventure will get under way at 14:00 sharp from Nadamu Arena. The weather forecast is brilliant and everything’s set for a fantastic Classic Stage!
No longer teammates : Altanzul (left) and Tuulkhangai (right)