Stage three of the 2012 Mongolia Bike Challenge presented by Orbea proved to be another exciting day of racing.
The sun shone brightly on the long line of riders making their way through the semi-arid grasslands and pre-desert landscape. Riders faced four significant climbs over the 112 kilometer course starting in the Undur Sant Uul Mountains and finishing near the Sharlinggiin Gol River.
There were familiar faces at the front of the pack although there were a few new challengers early on. At the first GPM at 60 kilometers, though, the top eight riders had established a substantial lead. Wicks, Sneddon, and Wallace of Team Kona broke away with Pau Zamora of Team Buff, as Carter Hovey of Team MBC Racing p/b Orbea-SMP chased.
Hovey caught the lead group and rode with them until the last 20 kilometers when he dropped off the back up the last climb. At the finish line it was Pau Zamora (Buff) winning stage three, followed by Kris Sneddon (Kona) and Cory Wallace (Kona). After three stages, Cory Wallace of Kona is leading in the Overall Classification.
Checkout scenes from Stage 3!
Another hot, sunny stage as the Mongolian National team rider, Tuguldur Tuulkhangai, led early, charging to the head of the lead pack.
At the top of the next major climb at 50 kilometers, it was the Mongolian followed by Zamora (Buff), Hovey (MBC-Orbea-SMP), and Wallace (Kona), followed by Hagener and Salleh (Chiru-WTB), and Paelinck (Reevax).
Sneddon and Wicks (Kona) were about three minutes back due to a flat tire. The pair quickly made up the time, though, and 10 kilometers later it was just Hovey, Zamora and the three Kona riders. This stayed the same for the last 40 kilometers ending in a five person sprint to the finish.
Barry Wicks was first to the line, followed by his teammates, Kris Sneddon and Cory Wallace. Wallace still holds the overall lead and is looking strong, especially with the ongoing support of his teammates.
An exciting women´s race has developed as Liesbeth Hessens has pulled within a few minutes of the Elisabeth Adamson who has now won three out of the four stages.
View more amazing footage of Stage 4 of the Mongolia Bike Challenge here. We hope you are as inspired as we are to get out and ride today.