Racing resumed today at the 2012 Mongolia Bike Challenge presented by Orbea after a day of severe weather conditions cancelled yesterday’s eighth stage. It was hot and dry on the 105 kilometer course that took riders from their lush grassland camp into the pre-desert that separates the mountains from the Gobi Desert. Barry Wicks (Kona) put three minutes on the rest of the pack after the first 40 kilometers and was looking especially strong on the climbs.
Around the 50 kilometer marker, Carter Hovey (MBC-Orbea-SMP) took off as well, pulling one minute ahead of the other two Kona riders, Kris Sneddon and Cory Wallace. Around the 75 kilometer marker Wicks made a wrong turn and lost his spot at the front of the pack. Sneddon moved into the lead and eventually won the stage. He was followed by Hovey in second and Wallace in third. In the women’s race Solongo Tserenlham of Mongolia made up more time on the leaders by winning today’s stage but not enough to pass current leader, Liesbeth Hessens of Belgium. The last stage of the MBC will run tomorrow, ending in Karakorum outside the historic Erdene Zuu monastery.