Manisha finishes creditable 6th, Yao Pang bags her fifth medal

Greater Noida: India`s G Manisha finished a creditable sixth in the women`s junior road race while Yao Pang of Hong Kong bagged her fifth gold at the Hero Asian Cycling Championships here on Friday.

Manisha made a good start and remained with the leading peloton for the first three laps. Though she lost a bit of steam in the subsequent lap, she maintained a steady speed to be part of second batch after five others broke away.

"My strategy was to remain as close as possible to the leading bunch. I was able to do it till the third lap. But in the fourth lap, the riders were too quick for me and they sped away," the Tamil Nadu girl said.

"My aim then was to finish with the second batch and I did. I am very happy with my efforts," Manisha, who won the sixth position on her 18th birthday today, added.

She finished with timings of 1 hour 49 mins 58 secs in the 71km race in which 32 riders started.

"My dream is to represent India at the Olympics. It`s my first international event. I know I have to work really hard to become more competitive," she said.

It was great finish for an Indian rider, considering there weren`t much expectations from the cyclists in the road events and their main challenge, the coaches had said, was to finish the race.

Another Indian rider to finish was N Geeturaj (one hour 54 mins 42 secs) while the other two -- Bidhyalaxmi Devi and Chaitrali Pavsanker -- could not complete the race.

Meanwhile, Yao Pang (one hour 48 mins 12 secs) continued her gold medal feast at the Championships as she clinched her second medal in the road races and her fifth overall, including three in track races. Her previous gold medal came in the junior time trial event on Wednesday.

Silver medal went to Japan`s Kiyoka Sakaguchi (one hour 49 mins 51 secs), while Razan Soboh of Jordon finished fraction of a second behind Kiyoka to secure the bronze medal.

Earlier in the day, Kazakhstan riders continued their supremacy in the road races as Yerlan Pernebekov and Dmitry Rive bagged gold and silver, respectively in the junior men category.

From the beginning of the 99.4km race, the Kazakh riders took complete control of the proceedings and were leading their peloton.

It was a tussle to watch between the Kazakhstan riders and the other 11 in their peloton, who were striving hard to maintain pace with them until the final lap in the men`s junior road race.

However, in the final lap, Yerlan and Dmitry broke away and gained a sizeable lead to emerge clear winners.

It was a photo finish with both the riders clocking two hours 18 mins 12 secs.

The third position finish was a bizarre one as Maxim Shtyrbul`s pre celebrations costed the Kazakhs an opportunity to make a clean sweep in the event. He ended up finishing fourth behind Japan`s Saya Kuroeda (two hours 19 mins 30 secs) but not before some drama.

Ignorant about the chasing Japanese rider, Maxim raised his hands rejoicing his triumph and stopped peddling just metres before the destination.

Saya continued his dash towards the finishing line to stole a photo finish victory to bag the bronze medal, even as the Kazakh rider looked embarrassed at the end.

Phuoc Tuan Do, the other Kazakh rider, finished eighth -- one minute 25 secs behind the winner.

India`s only rider to complete the race was Kishor Jadhav, who finished 34th in the 57-rider race. He took two hours 35 mins 13 secs.