29 Sep 2018
The BUFF® stage of GAES Catalunya Bike Race shifted by XTR didn’t dissapoint and has been determinant and key to organise the overall classification in the Elite Men and Elite Women category, not because of its distance but due to its toughness.
The route, of 64 kilometres and 1.950 metres of climbing, began with a steady and demanding climb, that went into France and ended at the Guils Fontanera cross country ski station, alternating trails, asphalt and singletracks. Sergio Mantecón (Trek Factory Racing), Victor Koretzky (KMC-Ekoi-SR Suntour) and Ever Alejandro Gómez (Olympia Factory Cycling) would take the lead.
The very long downhill that followed, would serve to separate the two World Cup mountain bikers, Mantecón and Koretzky. Gómez saw himself harmed by an issue with his chain, losing around three minutes.
The second sieve of the day, exactly at Ger and after the first feed station, was the second serious climb of the day. Mantecón and Koretzky’s break away kept alive, both very equal and lmeasuring themselves facing the end of the BUFF® stage.
Having reached the top of Greixer, the stage rode along fast and flowy trails to reach Olopte, another decisive section, where Mantecón saw Koretzky weaker.
Sergio Mantecón: “I began very cautious because the first kilometres were very hard and together with Victor we have made a very good duo as we both benefited to open a gap with the other contenders. At eight kilometres to reach the finish line, I saw that he couldn’t keep up on a climb and I decided to increase the pace a bit more. When I saw he couldn’t keep the pace, I gave it all and I got a good amount of time, although I must be aware for tomorrow because the stage will be very difficult “.
Elite men BUFF® stage results
1st Sergio Mantecón 2:45:50
2nd Víctor Koretzky 2:49:07
3rd Ever Alejandro Gómez 2:50:15
Overall - Men
1st Sergio Mantecón 5:18:23
2nd Víctor Koretzky 5:21:40
3rd Ever Alejandro Gómez 5:22:59
Galicia goes away
After the day’s first climb, Clàudia Galicia (Megamo) leaded with more than 1’30” over Natalia Fischer (TBellès-Cannondale-GAES by Sural), followed by Sandra Santanyes (Olympia Factory Cycling).
Halfway into the route, Clàudia Galicia increased her difference to three minutes, and as the day went along, Galicia was even more leader, since Rocío del Alba García (Primaflor-Mondraker-Ajram-Rotor), second yesterday, suffered a crash that made her lose a lot of time.
In the final section, Fischer reduced the distance and Hildegunn G. Hovdenak (VPG), closed the podium.
Clàudia Galicia: “I’ve felt very well. Natalia caught me at the top of Guils, she always climbs very fast, but then I went away again a bit. In the middle of the stage I cut my wheel and lost some time, but from there I fought until the finish line. Of the Bike Race I have done, today’s stage, has been the one I have most fought until the end since I never lost the urge to win the stage. I’m very happy to have not thrown in the towel”.
Elite women BUFF® stage results
1st Clàudia Galicia 3:25:52
2nd Natalia Fischer 3:27:43
3rd Hildegunn G. Hovdenak 3:32:53
Overall - Women
1st Clàudia Galicia 6:26:01
2nd Natalia Fischer 6:38:34
3rd Mercè Pacios 6:40:55
STAGE 3 (XCM) - La Molina - 30.09.2018 - 29,7 km & 1.454 m+
For tomorrow, last stage of GAES Catalunya Bike Race shifted by XTR, a fast and decisive stage is expected. In half the distance of the first stage, almost the same amount of climbing is done! It has two important climbs, the first one, after a small loop to stretch out the peloton, surmounts Cap de Comella, descending to La Molina, along the All For One bike park track. After a predominantly descending connection section and having crossed the road that joins La Molina with Masella, a long natural singletrack downhill begins, similar to that of the first stage. Once it ends, the most demanding climb begins, 666 metres of climbing in 6,5 kilometres, passing by the base of the Masella ski resort and up to the top of Tosa, where the last, spectacular and fun five kilometre bike park section awaits, the Guineu, which will take us to the finish line with a huge smile and satisfaction.