The merely 19-year-old Mongolian Sainbayar Jambaljamts has finally managed to score that elusive first stage victory in Xiwuqi. Today he was clearly the better rider on the second stage of the Genghis Khan MTB Adventure and he will start tomorrow's long last stage wearing the yellow jersey. Enja Tuvshinjargal scored her second sprint win against Solongo Tserenlham.
The riders had to cope with some rain today in the first half of the 43km long race. Yesterday's winner Tuguldur Tuulkhangai opened the debate upon entering the Nadamu Arena after 5km, and found Sainbayar Jambaljamts and Myagmarsuren Baasaankhuu again willing collaborators. German Philipp Bertsch tried what he could to keep up with the trio, but to no avail. The three Mongolians, riding for different teams, were gone. They wouldn't stay together for long, though. At the km 12 mark Jamba attacked and immediately opened up a gap. Like yesterday, Tugulduur seemed to be struggling more than the others on the climbs. Baasaankhuu noticed that also, and would drop the yellow jersey himself for second place. It was all over a minute behind the flying Jamba, however, who after several podium places scored his first ever stage win in Xiwuqi. Moreover, he's in the lead overall. Tomorrow he needs to defend a time bonus of 1"11" over Baasaankhuu and almost three minutes over Tuulkhangai. Can the promising youngster pull of an upset tomorrow and win the 2016 Genghis Khan MTB Adventure?
The women's competition is even far less certain. For the second consecutive day, Tuvshinjargal was unable to drop Tserenlham and had to sprint for the stage win. Chiara Eberle was again no match for the two Mongolians today, yet she stays in third place. Last year, Eberle was outstanding on the final 100km stage, but it will be hard to still find a way to defend her title.
In the KOG, Zhang Zenlong -second in the Grassland Marathon in the morning - is still in green, but he will need to watch out tomorrow for Alexey Chakhlov, Wang Lidong and Wang Guolong.