Granfondo Yunnan

Thursday, Nov 23rd

Last update08:00:00 AM GMT

Mongolia festival in Kunming

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Mongolian riders again dominated the first stage of the 2017 Granfondo Yunnan, held in beautiful sunny conditions in Kunming. Top talent Teghsbayar Batsaikhan won the final sprint ahead of his compatriots Tugulduur Tuulkhangai and last year's winner Myagmarsuren Baasaankhuu.

After a quiet start with virtually no serious breakaway attempts for over 20 km, Baasaankhuu dropped a bomb on a short climb and suddenly all hell broke loose. Five riders got away from the peloton - which in Kunming counted no fewer than 1300 heads - and it included four Mongolians and local talent Li Ni from Kunming. A few others sensed the dangers and tried to bridge the gap, but the leaders pushed the throttle so hard nobody still managed to get back. Steadily they increased the gap. With 35km to go, an attack by Tuulkhangai also made life hard for the Chinese rider Li Ni. Initially, he resisted quite well, but the next climb proved too long and he blew up. We had four Mongolians in the lead: Teghsee, Tugu, Miga and Iderbold Bold.

 

At the bonus sprint at km 90, Tugulduur was in control and he took it ahead of Teghsee. That meant the "veteran" of the Mongolian teams scored 20 seconds bonus. Miga was third.

They stayed together until 5 km to go, when on a final flyover climb the lights seem to go out for Iderbold Bold. We went to a final sprint with three riders and it was the 2016 junior world champion on the track (scratch discipline) Teghsbayar Batsaikhan who was marginally faster than Tuulkhangai. The latter claimed the yellow leader's jersey for winning the bonus sprint. It was Teghsee's first ever stage win in Yunnan.

The women's race was also tight with China's Ma Ruhui beating Canada's Marg Fedyina in the sprint. Both were part of the main peloton as they came in over six minutes behind the leading Mongolians.

The average speed of Batsaikhan was close to 45 km/h. Certainly a very fast day!