Considered the toughest stage in the tourney, the 20th leg took the racers 136 kilometers from Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province to Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province, through the Khanh Le and Giang Ly mountain passes.
Although there are about ten strong mountain bikers in the tourney, including Loic Desraic of Duoc Domesco Dong Thap, Konstantin Nekrasov of Ho Chi Minh City-New Group, Roman Maikin of Tap Doan Loc Troi, and Baasankhuu Myagmarsuren of GSB Dong Nai, Igor Frolov of Ho Chi Minh City-Vinama proved he is the ‘king.’
About four kilometers to the top of the 29-kilometer-long Khanh Le pass, Frolov began pushing to break away.
It is safe to say that the Russian was at a superior level compared to his opponents as the gap between him and the followers got longer and longer.
As a result, the rider completed an unbelievable solo run of more than 60 kilometers to reach the finish line alone in four hours one minute and 50 seconds, four minutes and 38 seconds sooner than Konstantin Nekrasov.
The victory cemented Frolov’s overall leading position while Roman Maikin followed in second.
|Russian cyclist Igor Frolov (L, 3rd) of Ho Chi Minh City-Vinama and teammates celebrate his victory in the 20th stage of the 2022 Ho Chi Minh City TV (HTV) Cup tournament in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam, April 27, 2022. Photo: T.P. / Tuoi Tre
The dominant performance through the two mountain passes also awarded Frolov the polka dot jersey dedicated to the mountains classification’s leader.
In addition, the Russian cyclist’s impressive achievement caused 50 other racers, including top contender Tran Tuan Kiet of Dopagan Dong Thap, to be counted as ‘not completing the stage’ because they crossed the finish line after more than 15 percent of the allotted time compared to the first finisher.
Pham Le Xuan Loc of Quan Khu 7 won the white jersey for the best young rider while Nguyen Tan Hoai of Tap Doan Loc Troi retained the blue jersey, which is given to the rider leading the points category.
The cyclists were scheduled to race around Xuan Huong Lake in Da Lat City in the 21st stage of the tourney 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 will take 98 cyclists from 14 competing teams through 2,316.2 kilometers in 23 stages from north to south in celebration of Vietnam’s reunification on April 30, 1975.