Mongolian cyclist Erdenebat Bilguunjargai was named the winner of the second stage of the 2022 Ho Chi Minh City TV (HTV) Cup tournament on Wednesday in a rare event where a number of top contenders took the wrong way.
The result surprised many fans who did not watch Wednesday’s 64-kilometer stage around Ha Long City and Bai Chay area in northern Quang Ninh Province as organizers made last-minute changes to the route.
The cyclists had issues right from the beginning.
A group of riders had a collision and fell off their bikes, but no one was seriously injured.
After ten kilometers, Erdenebat Bilguunjargai of KENDA Dong Nai, Vo Thanh An of 620 Chau Thoi - Vinh Long, Ngo Van Phuong of Gao Hat Ngoc Troi, Ha Kieu Tan Dai of Nhua Binh Minh - Binh Duong, and Vo Minh Gia Bao of Quan Khu 7 managed to create a distance from the rest of the pack.
Cyclists from Ho Chi Minh City-Vinama and Ho Chi Minh City-New Group were their closest followers.
When all of the cyclists were close to the finish line, the organizers had to shorten the route due to force majeure, causing a disturbance to the race as a number of the hopefuls went the wrong way, including Igor Frolov of Ho Chi Minh City-Vinama who was temporarily holding the most prestigious yellow jersey after winning the first leg.
|Cyclists race at the second stage of the 2022 Ho Chi Minh City TV (HTV) Cup tournament in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam, April 6, 2022. Photo: T.P. / Tuoi Tre|
As a result, Erdenebat Bilguunjargai was the first to cross the finish line, followed by Vo Thanh An, Ngo Van Phuong, Ha Kieu Tan Dai, and Vo Minh Gia Bao.
After a moment of deliberation, the organizers decided to go on with awarding prizes to individuals and teams with the best performances in the stage, but not to count the results into the total achievements of the racers.
The third leg, the first road racing event of the tourney, will take the cyclists through 123 kilometers from Quang Ninh Province to Hai Phong City on Thursday.
The HTV Cup race has been held annually since 1989 and is considered Vietnam’s ‘Tour de France.’
In its 34th edition, the competition has 98 cyclists from 14 competing teams racing through 2,316.2 kilometers in 23 stages from north to south in celebration of Vietnam’s reunification on April 30, 1975.