Granfondo Yunnan

Thursday, Nov 23rd

Last update08:00:00 AM GMT

Bat-Erdene the next Mongolian winner

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After three of his compatriots took stage wins in the previous days, Panda Mongolia rider Naraankhuu Bat-Erdene took the line first in the 120 km stage from Dali to Heqing. He finished ahead of yellow jersey Tuulkhangai, Batsaikhan and Basaankhuu. Tang Xin was best woman again.

On paper it looked like a tough stage, over 50km of relatively flat roads followed by a long mountain climb, fast descent and rollercoaster to the finish line. The Mongolians, however, were not intimidated by the course profile. Miga acclerated fast immediately after the gun shot, alerting his teammates. A gap opened up straightaway with six Mongolians in front. The rest of the peloton was staring at them with big eyes. Amazingly, the pace set by mainly Miga was so fast that even Jamba and Iderbold had to let go after just five km! A few others tried to bridge up but without success. Tugu, Miga, Teghsee and Bat-Erdene took off into the distance and would finish 14 minutes ahead of the first successors at the finish line in Heqing.

The four worked together well, and while one could have thought good climber Miga to attack the yellow jersey they always stayed together. Of course, Naraankhuu Bat-Erdene deserved the win. He was the one who crashed badly in the switchback corner in Yuxi. The youngster is riding around with a big hole in his cycling shorts and several bruises. Plenty of opportunities for attacking in the final kilometers, but the quartet rode together and seemed to engineer a sprint that saw Bat-Erdene win the stage. Now Panda Mongolia riders took one stage each....except Miga. The latter is of course the best climber on paper, double champion of Granfondo Yunnan, and on Saturday he finds a course in Lijiang that suits him better than ever before. The gap to Tugulduur even got reduced to 35 seconds after he won the time bonus sprint on top of the mountain today. Teghsee is third in GC, 36 seconds behind Tugulduur. This trio will contest the 2017 GC championship tomorrow.

In the women's Tang Xin is the best climber of the pack, but Canada's 52-year-old Marg Fedyna is still very much within striking distance. The other women seem no match for this duo.

Fiinish of Tang Xin in yellow jersey at Heqing