Lesser known races thread 2022

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Thanks for the update about the race.
Those Mongolian riders are hard as nails, I've heard stories and even seen video footage of them training on the roads in Mongolia during the winter with -20 to -25 °C.
Do you have a link where I can find the route of the race (it's not exactly the most easy race to follow)?
Frolov is interesting, he pretty much only does low intensity training rides and then pulls some really wild performances out of his hat when he's competing.
Just look at his powerdata from the stage of the 5 Rings of Moscow he won last year. 338W normalized power for 3:47:50 while being 63kg light, no additional comments needed...
I don't think stage profiles or anything like that are available. However, the race Wikipedia page (in Vietnamese) has some good details, such as the Start List and Race Route.
For the route, the word "Vòng" indicates a circuit and "đèo" is a mountain pass. The the stages with mountain passes are 9, 12, 18, 20 and 22. There are links to the Wikipedia pages of the better known climbs. I believe only Stages 18 and 20 have peaks approaching 1,000 m.

If you're interested watching, HTV airs the full stages live and posts in their YouTube page. Full stages, 25 min per stage highlights and shorter 8 min per stages highlights are all there. Stage = Chặng.
 
I don't think stage profiles or anything like that are available. However, the race Wikipedia page (in Vietnamese) has some good details, such as the Start List and Race Route.
For the route, the word "Vòng" indicates a circuit and "đèo" is a mountain pass. The the stages with mountain passes are 9, 12, 18, 20 and 22. There are links to the Wikipedia pages of the better known climbs. I believe only Stages 18 and 20 have peaks approaching 1,000 m.

If you're interested watching, HTV airs the full stages live and posts in their YouTube page. Full stages, 25 min per stage highlights and shorter 8 min per stages highlights are all there. Stage = Chặng.
They might actually get a crowd for this in Hanoi on Sunday - it's a public holiday and loads of people head to Hoan Kiem Lake for those. Public Holiday also means I can definitely go to watch (unless they do the typical Vietnamese trick of public exercise at 5am)

HTV schedule for today shows coverage at about 4pm Vietnamese time - has it been the same every day?
 
Well worth keeping an eye on the HTV Sports channel, they do produce a lot in-race, but also Lê Nguyệt Minh posts a vlog of the race on his personal channel. The last couple of years were easier to follow as he would use English and scattered Spanish terms with Javi Sardá, the rest is in Vietnamese which my knowledge of is extremely limited. This year there is some conversation in Russian with Frolov and Nekrasov as he posts from within the HCM twin teams, they have been using very basic Russian with him so far so it's been easy enough to follow if you have some Russian.

Stage 3 was the first sprint stage, despite a number of attempts to make it not so. Quàng Văn Cường was perhaps the most noteworthy interloper as he was one of the best placed following the stage 1 ITT, and so he manoeuvred himself to just 1 second behind Frolov with the help of the bonus seconds. Perhaps that was why Frolov was in aggressive mood; in the last 15km an attack group got away which included HCM-NewGroup's young Russian import Konstantin Nekrasov along with Baasankhuu (looking to make it two wins in as many days for the Mongolians) and Trịnh Đức Tâm. The former and latter were both only 8 seconds down on the GC, and the latter riding for Lộc Trời gave Nguyễn Tấn Hoài and his leadout a free ride as well, which is possibly why with 5km to go Frolov took it upon himself to make the junction.

In the end though, the bunch won the battle even though it took until the last kilometre to make it count, and Roman Maikin proved strongest, out-kicking Trần Tuấn Kiệt and Lê Nguyệt Minh, also meaning that Nguyễn Tấn Hoài got no bonus seconds - though with Quàng Văn Cường now up to 3rd, 1 second back (Désriac is still behind on prologue fractions of a second only) and Maikin's 10 second stage win bonus taking him up to 4th, just 2 seconds back, Lộc Trời are definitely in the most threatening position. Võ Thanh An also took 3 bonus seconds in the first intermediate to move himself up into the top 10 and within a stage win bonus of the lead, and Huỳnh Thanh Tùng being within 10 seconds should also be good for some activity, and some airtime for those gorgeous QK7 jerseys.

This is the kind of thing which sums up the HTV Cup... wide highways, a fast but oftentimes disorganised bunch, and the natural beauty. Sadly the picture doesn't also capture the pageantry and the Communist monuments and architecture, but you can imagine them to complete the picture.

 
They might actually get a crowd for this in Hanoi on Sunday - it's a public holiday and loads of people head to Hoan Kiem Lake for those. Public Holiday also means I can definitely go to watch (unless they do the typical Vietnamese trick of public exercise at 5am)

HTV schedule for today shows coverage at about 4pm Vietnamese time - has it been the same every day?
I'm not sure of the HTV schedule. I've been following their YouTube page. The full stages are aired live there but that's too much for me! I stick to the 25 min stage summaries whenever they get posted.
 
Well worth keeping an eye on the HTV Sports channel, they do produce a lot in-race, but also Lê Nguyệt Minh posts a vlog of the race on his personal channel. The last couple of years were easier to follow as he would use English and scattered Spanish terms with Javi Sardá, the rest is in Vietnamese which my knowledge of is extremely limited. This year there is some conversation in Russian with Frolov and Nekrasov as he posts from within the HCM twin teams, they have been using very basic Russian with him so far so it's been easy enough to follow if you have some Russian.

Stage 3 was the first sprint stage, despite a number of attempts to make it not so. Quàng Văn Cường was perhaps the most noteworthy interloper as he was one of the best placed following the stage 1 ITT, and so he manoeuvred himself to just 1 second behind Frolov with the help of the bonus seconds. Perhaps that was why Frolov was in aggressive mood; in the last 15km an attack group got away which included HCM-NewGroup's young Russian import Konstantin Nekrasov along with Baasankhuu (looking to make it two wins in as many days for the Mongolians) and Trịnh Đức Tâm. The former and latter were both only 8 seconds down on the GC, and the latter riding for Lộc Trời gave Nguyễn Tấn Hoài and his leadout a free ride as well, which is possibly why with 5km to go Frolov took it upon himself to make the junction.

In the end though, the bunch won the battle even though it took until the last kilometre to make it count, and Roman Maikin proved strongest, out-kicking Trần Tuấn Kiệt and Lê Nguyệt Minh, also meaning that Nguyễn Tấn Hoài got no bonus seconds - though with Quàng Văn Cường now up to 3rd, 1 second back (Désriac is still behind on prologue fractions of a second only) and Maikin's 10 second stage win bonus taking him up to 4th, just 2 seconds back, Lộc Trời are definitely in the most threatening position. Võ Thanh An also took 3 bonus seconds in the first intermediate to move himself up into the top 10 and within a stage win bonus of the lead, and Huỳnh Thanh Tùng being within 10 seconds should also be good for some activity, and some airtime for those gorgeous QK7 jerseys.

This is the kind of thing which sums up the HTV Cup... wide highways, a fast but oftentimes disorganised bunch, and the natural beauty. Sadly the picture doesn't also capture the pageantry and the Communist monuments and architecture, but you can imagine them to complete the picture.

Is Konstantin Nekrasov related to Denis?
 
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Can't it get its own thread so we don't have to click on this thread 30 days in a row to find a long essay about a race most people have zero interest in? And yes, I know I'm not obliged to read the essay.
You could always start one. Hell, you could start two!

This thread was specifically created for the purpose of posting about lesser known races, so as far as I can tell this would seem to be the ideal place to post about a race that doesn't have enough interest to merit its own thread?

Perhaps the forum needs a catch all smaller Asian races thread akin to the South American one, because there are a lot of races of little importance posted in this thread (including some with decent fields, but smaller one-day sprinters' races in the Coupe de France or so on) but few that last as long as Grand Tours, and since the UCI finally started clamping down on the Iranian motorbikes in about 2017 the freak show appeal that these races tended to attract on the main boards has died down.
 
They should have neutralized this finale entirely for GC. Nobody wants to see anyone winning the GC like this I suppose.
Really bad conditions on a flat stage. If this was in the US they would still give everybody the same time at the finish. :D
 
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They should have neutralized this finale entirely for GC. Nobody wants to see anyone winning the GC like this I suppose.
Really bad conditions on a flat stage. If this was in the US they would still give everybody the same time at the finish. :D
Fun fact - elsewhere in France they called off the queen stage of the 2.2 Circuit des Ardennes midway through due to the bad weather today.
 
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The weather is a lot nicer than in France over in Vietnam, as the fourth stage of the HTV Cup saw the race's first visit to Cát Bà island, just off the coast of Hải Phòng, for one of the race's traditional criterium stages, with 18 laps of a 2,9km circuit. Despite a number of attempts to form a real escape, the sprinters would have their day, and after the first three stages were all taken by the small number of import riders, this time the home riders would have their fun, as the sprint was dominated by the Vietnamese riders, with an incredibly close photo finish between top Vietnamese durable sprinter Nguyễn Tấn Hoài, Dopagan's Trần Tuấn Kiệt and military standout rider Huỳnh Thanh Tùng. In the end, though the team backing him may have changed, Nguyễn Tấn Hoài will still look as he ever does in the HTV Cup, as with his stage win he acquired the blue points jersey which he has worn for the majority of the last two editions, thanks to his ability to compete in the flattest of sprint stages but get over more obstacles than the likes of Lê Nguyệt Minh, as well as his involvement in the GC mix meaning he will pick up some points in stages like the one over Đèo Hải Vân which his sprint rivals likely will not. As a result, much like Sagan in the Tour at his peak, Nguyễn will pick up the jersey early and not really come under threat for it.

Erdenebat Bilguunjargal continues to be an active force in the race, also contesting the sprint as he seems like a very entertaining hardman at this lower level. Obviously not at the level of a rider like Jambaljamts Sainbayar but it's good to see this Ferei development project starting to show some talented riders, the Mongolians used to have some interesting break artists in the 80s in the Peace Race (Zedendambyn Ganbold being particularly memorable) but obviously their ties to the Soviet Union were the only real reason for that attention to the sport.

Also Nguyễn Tấn Hoài winning keeps Lộc Trời on a run of success, but denies any bonus seconds to the better placed riders, meaning Igor Frolov continues in the maillot jaune.
 
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Elsewhere we have the oldest national Tour in South America starting up today, the festival of echelons that is the Vuelta del Uruguay. This is, as the geography of Uruguay will tell you, a predominantly flat race with occasional gravel, time trials, sprints and a metric motherload of wind that makes it sort of the Pampas equivalent of the Tour of Qatar. Rioplatense cycling doesn't tend to produce as many riders that make the trip to Europe as the Andino equivalents, since obviously elite climbers with experience at altitude are a more in-demand commodity, whereas the European scene has a lot of races at all levels that develop riders of the sort that cycling in Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil develops, but without the degree of risk (nevertheless, people like the Richezes and the Haedos have done well enough for themselves).

Most stages are pretty long and tiring for this level - pushing up toward the 200km mark with 5 stages between 185 and 200 kilometres - plus there are two semitappes with a 100km+ road stage and an ITT, with a short TT (8km) early and a longer one (25km) later. I feared the race would be called off at the last minute as it was listed as a UCI 2.2 race until a few days ago, but it is running - just without UCI status. There are three overseas teams, one from Nicaragua and two - including the mighty Funvic - from Brazil.

The best rider in Uruguay's history is Federico Moreira, and he is now in charge of the federation in Uruguay; although the event will be without the best current Uruguayan cyclist, Federico's son "Melcior" Mauri who has turned into an August machine par excellence in Portugal, Federico's other son Federico Agustín is here and is one of the favourites. 23-year-old Agustín Alonso is the national TT champ and will be one to watch for those prospect-scouting, as is 20-year-old national RR champion Guillermo Silva and 21-year-old Ivo Weickert, while Matías Presa is back from his cocaine ban (teaming with Moreira Jr), Ignacio Maldonado is back from his CERA suspension (leading Weickert's team, although he is registered with Start at the UCI) and some of the usual suspects like Sixto Núñez and Roderyck Asconeguy will be major players too. From elsewhere we also have Flavio Cardoso and Kleber Ramos from the Brazilian guests to watch.

Andrés Sebastián Rodríguez won stage 1 in Maldonado, ahead of Matías Presa and Jorge Soto, who will both be GC threats in this race.
 
The weather is a lot nicer than in France over in Vietnam, as the fourth stage of the HTV Cup saw the race's first visit to Cát Bà island, just off the coast of Hải Phòng, for one of the race's traditional criterium stages, with 18 laps of a 2,9km circuit. Despite a number of attempts to form a real escape, the sprinters would have their day, and after the first three stages were all taken by the small number of import riders, this time the home riders would have their fun, as the sprint was dominated by the Vietnamese riders, with an incredibly close photo finish between top Vietnamese durable sprinter Nguyễn Tấn Hoài, Dopagan's Trần Tuấn Kiệt and military standout rider Huỳnh Thanh Tùng. In the end, though the team backing him may have changed, Nguyễn Tấn Hoài will still look as he ever does in the HTV Cup, as with his stage win he acquired the blue points jersey which he has worn for the majority of the last two editions, thanks to his ability to compete in the flattest of sprint stages but get over more obstacles than the likes of Lê Nguyệt Minh, as well as his involvement in the GC mix meaning he will pick up some points in stages like the one over Đèo Hải Vân which his sprint rivals likely will not. As a result, much like Sagan in the Tour at his peak, Nguyễn will pick up the jersey early and not really come under threat for it.

Erdenebat Bilguunjargal continues to be an active force in the race, also contesting the sprint as he seems like a very entertaining hardman at this lower level. Obviously not at the level of a rider like Jambaljamts Sainbayar but it's good to see this Ferei development project starting to show some talented riders, the Mongolians used to have some interesting break artists in the 80s in the Peace Race (Zedendambyn Ganbold being particularly memorable) but obviously their ties to the Soviet Union were the only real reason for that attention to the sport.

Also Nguyễn Tấn Hoài winning keeps Lộc Trời on a run of success, but denies any bonus seconds to the better placed riders, meaning Igor Frolov continues in the maillot jaune.
Yeah, those Mongolian rouleurs are proper hardman. I've texted a bit with Batsaikhan Tegsh-bayar, who won the men's scratch at the 2016 junior WC after coming up through the UCI World Cycling Center. I had read that there's no Velodrome in Mongolia, so I asked him how he trains when he's at home in Ulaanbaatar, mainly during the winter. He said that he just rides on the roads even with -20 to -25°C like everyone else, according to him they (the best cyclists in Mongolia) all do it. There was a video of them riding with brutal winds and pretty much a snowstorm on his FB page, but I can't find it right now.
 
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Yeah, those Mongolian rouleurs are proper hardman. I've texted a bit with Batsaikhan Tegsh-bayar, who won the men's scratch at the 2016 junior WC after coming up through the UCI World Cycling Center. I had read that there's no Velodrome in Mongolia, so I asked him how he trains when he's at home in Ulaanbaatar, mainly during the winter. He said that he just rides on the roads even with -20 to -25°C like everyone else, according to him they (the best cyclists in Mongolia) all do it. There was a video of them riding with brutal winds and pretty much a snowstorm on his FB page, but I can't find it right now.
Yeah Pogacar is good and all, but can he do it on a cold blizzardy night in Ulaanbaatar?
 

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