It is the Tour d'Exploits in Yunnan this year! After Jia Zhichao's superb 75km solo in Kunming yesterday, last year's GF Yunnan champion Myagmarsuren Baasankhuu must have thought "not with me" this morning and embarked on an incredible breakaway with his young Mongolian compatriot Tegshbayar Batsaikhan just 13km of 174km into the race.
Together 'Miga' and 'Tegshee' had an adventure of slightly over 160 km, although the U19 junior world track champion had to let go of his more experienced compatriot on the final big climb of the day with about 14k to go. The Mongolian duo had built up a time advantage of maximum 4'40" over the main group, including the yellow jersey Jia Zhichao, who was sadly without any teammates in there. The time gap would come down slightly as the race went on, but Miga and Teghsee were strong. Eventually, Miga powered on solo and went all in to grab the yellow jersey, for which he needed a 4'45" advantage over Jia Zhichao. He gave it all he had and grabbed the stage win, dedicating it to his newborn child in Ulaanbaatar. Eventually, he would miss merely 14 seconds to take yellow away from his Chinese rival, but in any case he threw the GC wide open again. What a comeback! After the race, Miga briefly had to be hospitalised due to dehydration... that's how deep he had gone. Luckily for him, tomorrow is a rest day.
Jia Zhichao fought like a lion himself. At the end of the race, he joined an attack by Nicolas Magano, Tugulduur Tuulkhangai, Shannon Bufton and Julien Courtial when bad luck struck him on a stretch of bad road surface. His chain dropped, his gear shifter jammed, and all in all he lost close to a minute in all the hub bub. He finished fifth, just enough to save his jersey.
When Teghsee had to let Miga go, he really got the knock of the hammer and saw Tuulkhangai and Magana catching up in the final kilometres. In the sprint for second, last year's Yuxi stage winner Tuulkhangai took the measure of Tegshee and Magana.A good job by the Canadian, a teammate of Miga at Rion, who was second yesterday and is still a major contender for the overall victory.
In the women's race, another Mongolian again took top honours. Solongo Tserenlham won again, with over four minutes ahead of Kristine Kofman and Natalie Brooks.