A fast day through the desert for the fifth stage of the 2012 Mongolia Bike Challenge presented by Orbea. Leaving from the Ongi River Camp, racers rode through the African Savanna-like landscape to Guchin Us on the edge of the Gobi Desert. The Mongolian National Team rider, ¨Tugu¨, flew off the front of the pack with two of his teammates, temporarily stunning the rest of the lead group. The trio put over two minutes on the pack over the first 20 kilometers but eventually blew up as they had set an impossible pace for the 141 kilometer course.
Hagener and Salleh, the two Chiru-WTB riders were looking strong during the first two-thirds of the course, hanging on to the lead group made up of Hovey (MBC-Orbea-SMP), Wicks, Sneddon and Wallace (Kona), Zamora (Buff), Paelinck (Reevax), and Sonomtseren (Mongolia). Kona, Hovey, and Zamora were able to gap the rest of the pack by the second rest stop at 80 kilometers but Zamora fell off the pace after suffering a mechanical.
A sprint finish ended with Carter Hovey of Team MBC Racing powered by Orbea-SMP winning Stage Five on the brand new Occam 29er from Orbea. He was followed by Kris Sneddon and Barry Wicks, both of Team Kona.
Speaking of tomorrow... Standby for some race results from the Downieville Classic! Should be an exciting weekend of racing in the mountains for WTB riders!