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09 Apr 2019

Ferreira and Hovdenak defend their titles in the first marathon stage

Stage marked by the powerful pace set by the leaders in both categories

Ferreira and Valero set a hard pace from the start until the stage came down to just these two racers. In the women's category, Hildegunn went for the podium followed by Stefanie Paul, who faded in the last section and gave up second place to Fischer, who exploded in the final part of the race.

The second stage of the Andalucía Bike Race presented by Caja Rural Jaén was based on one of the stages from last year’s edition, but this time with more single-track and routes that passed through visually spectacular settings next to the Rumblar reservoir. The 75.2-kilometer route with 1,252 meters of elevation gain wasted no time in sorting the peloton.

The lead group, commanded by Tiago Ferreira (DMT Racing Team by Marconi), David Valero (MMR Factory Racing), Víctor M. Fernández (Wolfbike), Hans Becking (DMT) Racing Team by Marconi), drove up a dizzying pace from the start on the Vía Verde in Linares. Ferreira, the defending champion of last year’s edition, wanted to control the lead group at every moment. The blinding pace showed no signs of weakening throughout the race.

As the kilometers flew by, Tiago Ferreira and David Valero distanced themselves from the lead group. It was a constant struggle between the state of the racecourse, which was still muddy from yesterday's rain, and the physical efforts by these two riders fighting to take the stage win. Pursuing them was a group of four consisting of José María Sanchéz (BUFF-Scoot MTB), Miguel Muñoz and Víctor M. Fernández (Wolfbike), and Hans Becking, who lost out on his chance at the podium due to an unfortunate puncture in one of the stage’s technical areas.

The final section passed through Linares’s mining district, which is also a highlight of the Andalucía Bike Race presented by Caja Rural Jaén, and crossed over Guarromán to get to Baños de la Encina. The finish starred Ferreira and Valero, with the Portuguese taking the stage win and Valero the leader's jersey.

Another one of the day’s great fights happened in the women’s category. The Norwegian Hovdenak (Nessetck) soon settled into the lead and set a brisk pace that only Stefanie Paul could follow. Natalia Fischer (MMR Factory Racing), who rode more conservatively at the stage start, took up a position riding in third place. As the kilometers passed by, Stefanie began to find a comfortable pace and managed to get ahead.

The Norwegian took her customary place while passing through the second control point and, when the racecourse began to become more favorable, she regained control of the race. Paul's effort took its toll and she finished the stage in fourth place. Fischer, who steadily improved after her conservative start, managed to make time and finish the stage in second place followed by Lisette Rosenbeck (Holte MTB).

Stage classification:

1-Tiago Ferreira (DMT Racing Team by Marconi) 02:48:40

2-David Valero (MMR Factory Racing) 02:48: 40

3- José María Sánchez (BUFF®- Scott MTB) 02:53:38


General ranking

1- David Valero (MMR Factory Racing) 04:11:20

2-Tiago Ferreira (DMT Racing Team by Marconi) 04:13:01

3- Víctor Manuel Fernández (Wolfbike) 04:17:58

Tiago Ferreira: “The stage was tough from the start; there was lots of mud. David and I did a good job trying to break up the race from the start and in the end, we got that done in the middle of the stage. We worked hard together until our successful  finish. I'm very happy with the stage win and I'm still fighting for the general."

David Valero: "When we passed the first feed zone, we entered a technical section where  we made a  move. It's been a pretty good stage. There was an understanding with Tiago – we set a hard pace and we agreed that  he would win the stage and I would  take  the lead. Now let's see how the rest of the days go."


STAGE 2 – women

1-Hildegunn Hovdenak (Nessetck) 03:30:30

2-Natalia Fischer (MMR Factory Racing) 03:33:07

3-Lisette Rosenbeck (Holte MTB) 03:34:18


General ranking

1-Hildegunn Hovdenak (Nessetck) 05:14:33

2-Natalia Fischer (MMR Factory Racing) 05:16:24

3- Stefanie Paul (Crossladen Cycling)  05:20:23

Hildegunn Hovdenak: "I feel great. I felt good from the start, but then I took the wrong route and I  lost a lot of time. I got discouraged and thought 'I'm lost!' Then I tried to return to the correct route; everything went well but obviously, I lost more minutes than I would have liked."

Natalia Fischer: "At the start of the stage I didn’t feel great, but when I arrived at Guarromán, the body responded. From there, I got better until I came back and finished in 2nd place. I knew the stage from last year and was able to exercise that little advantage. I feel better and I'm very happy. Tomorrow – upward and onward."

Lisette Rosenbeck: "The stage was wet at first. I had to keep up a good pace while splashing in and out of puddles. The first 30 kilometers were hard for me, but then the stage opened up and there were smooth and very beautiful stretches. It was there that the legs began to work really well. There were more fluid sections at the end and it was really fun."


Tomorrow starts from Andújar

The third stage of the Andalucía Bike Race presented by Caja Rural Jaén will once again serve as a transition day between the provinces of Jaén and Córdoba. The starting section, which is new, now passes through the fertile

plain of the Guadalquivir river and crosses Marmolejo to connect with the climb up La Centenera. The climb also features some modifications that precede the stage’s memorable second half: the Caracolillos descent, the El Madroño climb and the final descent down Camino Viejo.





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