Granfondo Yunnan

Thursday, Nov 23rd

Last update08:00:00 AM GMT

Jamba rides away his frustration

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Jambaljamts Sainbayar rode away his frustration of having missed yesterday's successful breakaway in today's second stage of Granfondo Yunnan in Yuxi. The 21-year-old Mongolian attacked early, got reeled in, but still had enough juice in the legs to win the sprint of an elite group.

Another beautiful sunny blue-sky-day in Yuxi today for the second stage of 105 km, which essentially went around the huge Fuxian Lake (Phoenix Lake). The course offered more hills and steeper gradients than yesterday in Kunming, so it was made for aggressive riders who like to attack. Indeed, from the get-go and contrary to yesterday, riders went on the offensive. Yellow jersey Tugulduur Tuulkhanghai himself was one of the most industrious - keen on the 20 bonus seconds of the sprint at km 12. And he made it. Tugu bagged the seconds ahead of yesterday's winner Teghsee and Iderbold. Already then it became obvious that the Mongolian Panda Team was again the one to watch. Still, a breakaway attempt by Miga and Jamba was halted as the bunch came back. But the young Jamba - winner of last year's Genghis Khan MTB festival and one of Mongolia's greatest talents - could not live with that and decided to go solo. A brave move and for a while it looked great as well. Jamba only got caught back at km 40 - just before the second bonus sprint of the day - by seven riders including the Mongolian protagonists plus local hero Pu Jinxie - winner in Dali last year - and Australian Allan Iaocuone.

Tugulduur was not giving any presents and sprinted to another 20 bonus seconds. After that, the eight leaders stayed and worked together for the next 40 kilometres. In the background, the women's race was heating up with yellow jersey Ma Ruhui and Canada's Marg Fedyna not giving each other an inch, while another Kunming rider Tang Xin was putting them under pressure. The latter lost over 2 minutes in yesterday's stage but proved to be stronger today in Yuxi. Tang Xin won the women's race with Ma Ruhui and Marg Fedyina finishing together in second and third, yet 1'30" back. The top of the women's general classification is therefore very right going into the mountain stages.

Up front, Pu Jinxue was the first one to let go on the longest and toughest climb of the day at km 85. Iserbold Bolt was next to be dropped, leaving six guys in the lead. Bat-Erdene Naraankhuu attacked and opened up an interesting gap at the top of the climb. The Mongolian was too eager in the descent, however, misjudged a switchback corner and crashed into the tyre wall. Naraankhuu escaped with heavy bruises but no broken bones. He would still finish in sixth place, 3'22" down on the winning five.

Naraankhuu's teammates of course had seen the crash of their compatriot and were initially confused on what to do. Allan Iacuone, an age group 40+ rider, was actually happy to catch a break rather than take advantage of the situation. When Miga returned to the front, the race was back on. The five stormed to the finish line in Chengjiang and Jamba found an extra set of reserve power to beat Teghsee and the rest in the sprint.

Jamba lost over six minutes yesterday in Kunming so his victory today will taste very sweet, indeed.