Wicks leads Kona sweep of stage 4 in Mongolia

Barry Wicks won stage 4 of the Mongolia Bike Challenge while Cory Wallace retained his overall race lead. Day four is when stage racing starts to take its toll on riders and to become a true test of willpower as the character of the individuals in the race gets put on the line. The overwhelming majority of riders in this year's race are tough as nails and they are built from strong foundations. With little negative energy around camp, everyone seems to be up for the challenge.

Stage 4 kicked off with a series of rolling green hills, which put a lot of riders in the hurt lockers early on. This climaxed with a KOM at 40km where Pau Zamora (Team Buff) put in a solid effort but fell short to the Kona guys.

After the KOM, racers hit a typical high speed Mongolian descent with boulders and ditches. Kris Sneddon (Kona) fell victim to the first flat in the lead group this year as he missiled down the hill and sliced a hole in his tire. Barry Wicks (Kona) stayed back to help him and Cory Wallace stayed up with Pau, Carter Hovey (Team MBC p/b Orbea-SMP) and Tuguldur Tuulkhangai (Mongolian National Team) as they charged across an open valley and then through some huge boulder fields. They put in a solid effort to lose the Kona duo behind but they came up short as Wicks and Sneddon powered back up to the group in just under 15km after losing four minutes in the tire change.

The scenery changed every hour for the first four hours of the race today with green hills, sand, boulder fields and then out onto the desolate plains. The last 30km were hot and a little rough. There were giant puddles of water which seemed as out of place as a NBA player on hockey skates. Puddles and piping hot dry desolate landscapes just don't seem to mesh. It must have monsooned like it was Costa Rica here the night before. The puddles were like landmines as the lead five zigged, zagged and bunny hopped all over the place in an attempt to keep from having to wash their bikes this evening. They failed and are now practicing zigging and zagging as well as bunny hopping techniques around camp so they can win this battle next time.

As the racers neared the finish line, Hovey tried to break away for the win but was chased down by Zamora. The Kona trio would have loved to see a Hovey victory today but apparently the Spaniard wasn't about to let this happen. In retaliation for Zamora chasing down Hovey, Kona riders had a little extra motivation to take a sweep on the podium for the stage.

"Having been here last year I am stoked for the days to come as we head into the spectacular valleys of the Mongolian mountains," said Wallace. "First off, we have some solid mileage to cover. Tomorrow we will ride 140 km, eventually connecting onto last year's course at km 100. From there we will ride through a little settlement and then onto the finish line on the edge of some green hills. Last year at this finish line, a bunch of local Mongolians came out with fermented Yak milk and aged sheep cheese to offer to the riders. It was really nice of them but it is sketchy to ingest this type of food during a long stage race as the effects on a riders gastric system can be nuclear. We may employ some interesting tactics tomorrow at the finish line to prevent any nuclear reactions from occurring."

Full Results

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Stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Barry Wicks (USA)4:19:20
2Kris Sneddon (Can)0:00:01
3Cory Wallace (Can)0:00:02
4Pau Zamora Perez (Spa)0:00:03
5Carter Hovey (Can)0:00:08
6Peter Paelinck (Bel)0:07:40
7Tuguldur Tuulkhangai (Mon)0:11:52
8Marcel Hagener (NZl)0:15:29
9Altansukh Altanzul (Mon)0:24:03
10David Rovira Roqueta (Spa)0:24:04
11Sumya Baterdene (Mon)0:24:05
12Mohamad Razif Bin Mohamad Salleh (Mal)0:24:07
13Francesc Juliá Pascual (Spa)0:24:12
14Delgerbayar Sonomtseren (Mon)0:24:30
15Batmunkh Batsaikhan (Mon)0:32:57
16Davide Ghedini (Ita)0:43:50
17Marcel Farres Dasquens (Spa)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Lorenzo Milesi (Swi)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Thomas Wettemann (Ger)0:48:38
20Fabio Elmer (Ger)Row 19 - Cell 2
21Uwe Geiger (Ger)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Ivan Cabañas Gonzalez (Spa)0:50:37
23Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux)0:50:41
24Ulziibaatar Jamsran (Mon)0:50:53
25Solongo Tserenlham (Mon)Row 24 - Cell 2
26Ray Giddins (Aus)0:51:39
27Elisabeth Adamson (Aus)0:52:04
28Edmund Tan (Sin)0:53:27
29Robert Bleeker (Aus)0:53:29
30Batmunkh Mijid (Mon)0:53:30
31Liesbeth Hessens (Bel)0:53:32
32Steven Pauwels (Bel)0:53:34
33Jep Gonzalez Farres (Spa)1:03:50
34Jennifer Crake (Can)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Greg Mckennis (USA)1:15:11
36Marcos Barrio Robles (Spa)1:16:26
37Angel Lopez Santos (Spa)1:16:27
38Nuo Zhang (Chn)1:19:01
39Alex Ramsey (Aus)1:22:14
40Thomas Borst (Ger)1:24:34
41Otgontuya Batbaatar (Mon)1:26:18
42Batbayar Lkham-yanjin (Mon)1:26:53
43Johan Walraven (Ned)1:34:56
44Iwona Szmyd (Pol)1:40:36
45Jack Anderson (USA)1:42:17
46Max Richner (Swi)1:43:26
47Thierry Lilian Claude Carayol (Fra)2:15:37
48Jesus Martin Del Nogal (Spa)2:25:35
49Birgit Richner (Swi)2:30:38
50Kristof Nootens (Bel)3:13:51
51Wouter Rijnaerts (Ned)3:28:06
52Frances Galache Rejón (Spa)Row 51 - Cell 2
53Jos Van Dijk (Ned)Row 52 - Cell 2
54Marcel Besemer (Ned)Row 53 - Cell 2
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General classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cory Wallace (Can)16:17:58
2Barry Wicks (USA)0:01:50
3Kris Sneddon (Can)0:02:03
4Pau Zamora Perez (Spa)0:06:26
5Carter Hovey (Can)0:36:21
6Tuguldur Tuulkhangai (Mon)0:39:56
7Peter Paelinck (Bel)0:59:52
8Marcel Hagener (NZl)1:03:01
9David Rovira Roqueta (Spa)1:23:15
10Francesc Juliá Pascual (Spa)1:27:41
11Mohamad Razif Bin Mohamad Salleh (Mal)1:47:35
12Altansukh Altanzul (Mon)2:22:20
13Sumya Baterdene (Mon)2:51:46
14Davide Ghedini (Ita)2:53:25
15Marcel Farres Dasquens (Spa)2:58:49
16Lorenzo Milesi (Swi)3:00:17
17Delgerbayar Sonomtseren (Mon)3:14:39
18Batmunkh Batsaikhan (Mon)3:26:10
19Ray Giddins (Aus)3:30:10
20Thomas Wettemann (Ger)3:32:26
21Fabio Elmer (Ger)3:40:51
22Steven Pauwels (Bel)3:49:44
23Elisabeth Adamson (Aus)3:57:07
24Liesbeth Hessens (Bel)4:00:47
25Uwe Geiger (Ger)4:03:40
26Batmunkh Mijid (Mon)4:07:16
27Jennifer Crake (Can)4:18:06
28Jep Gonzalez Farres (Spa)4:33:55
29Ulziibaatar Jamsran (Mon)4:39:44
30Alex Ramsey (Aus)4:44:47
31Greg Mckennis (USA)4:47:17
32Robert Bleeker (Aus)4:50:00
33Ivan Cabañas Gonzalez (Spa)5:05:24
34Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux)5:15:44
35Thomas Borst (Ger)5:19:27
36Solongo Tserenlham (Mon)5:36:27
37Jack Anderson (USA)5:48:09
38Max Richner (Swi)6:13:35
39Batbayar Lkham-yanjin (Mon)6:17:30
40Iwona Szmyd (Pol)6:19:16
41Marcos Barrio Robles (Spa)6:29:05
42Nuo Zhang (Chn)6:42:35
43Angel Lopez Santos (Spa)7:01:10
44Johan Walraven (Ned)7:10:21
45Otgontuya Batbaatar (Mon)7:22:29
46Jesus Martin Del Nogal (Spa)7:23:56
47Edmund Tan (Sin)7:33:28
48Thierry Lilian Claude Carayol (Fra)8:58:08
49Birgit Richner (Swi)9:17:13
50Jos Van Dijk (Ned)10:44:56
51Kristof Nootens (Bel)10:50:30
52Wouter Rijnaerts (Ned)10:53:50
53Frances Galache Rejón (Spa)11:20:24
54Marcel Besemer (Ned)14:00:17

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