29 Feb 2020
Her face and tears of pain did not bode well. Late yesterday it was confirmed that Clàudia Galicia (Megamo Factory Team) had a double fracture in the thumb of her right hand. Despite the unfortunate diagnosis, the Catalan biker woke up this morning eager to prove herself on the bike. Together with her manager, Marc Abella, they decided to change the gear button so that she wouldn’t have to use the damaged hand so much, so that she could go out and ride the stage.
However, the truth came calling at kilometer 12, when she was forced to get off her bike and say goodbye to the race that she was leading.
"I'm in a lot of pain. I tried to race but it was a bit reckless. I was in too much pain and I thought about the rest of the season. It's bad for me to quit, but that's the way the sport goes. I'm leaving with two stage wins and knowing that I was leading with good legs," confessed Clàudia Galicia after she quit.
This new twist has caused a complete change to the women's classification, with Eva Lechner (TRINX FACTORY TEAM) becoming the new virtual leader. However, Katazina Sosna (Torpado-Südtirol MTB PRO TEAM) escaped solo practically from the start and has stirred doubts about Lechner and the rest of her rivals. In the end, the current Lithuanian XCO national champion managed to reach the finish line alone with just over a minute on Janika Loiv (Estonian National Team) and six minutes on Mariske Strauss (CST POSTNL BAFANG MTB RACING TEAM). Eva Lechner arrived in fourth position, a little more than seven minutes behind Janika Loiv, her biggest rival in the general classification.
Thanks to the nine minutes between them, Lechner is the new leader with a 2-minute advantage over the Estonian Loiv.
“I'm really tired. Happy, but tired. It's been four hours of suffering, I collapsed out of exhaustion at the finish. Now I need to recover and get ready for tomorrow,” confessed the Italian as soon as she crossed the finish line.
In the men's category, the script was totally different. It wasn't until kilometer 40 when the race started to heat up. Until then, a group of 15 racers took turns on the front. Slovakia's Tomas Visnovsky (CESKA SPORITELNA - ACCOLADE) launched the definitive attack on a descent after kilometer 40 to win the stage. He rode solo for more than 30 kilometers to take the victory.
"I was really satisfied to be in the lead with the best, as I had had problems the other days. I felt very good and I tried to send it on the descent. I saw that I could attack, and I rode with all my strength from there to the finish line to win. I'm very happy," said the Slovak after crossing the finish line.
As for the general classification, Fabien Rabensteiner (Team Trek – Pirelli) is still leading the race after arriving with the lead group. The lead group got broken up on the legendary Reventón with four riders remaining out in front: Bouchard, Geismayr, Rabensteiner and Zwiehoff, who reached the finish line together.
"Tomorrow's stage looks simple, but it's not that simple. Anything can happen, so I have to stay focused and in front so that nothing happens. Today I got a puncture and my teammate gave me his wheel. It was very hard to fight my way back, but I punched it and clawed my way back. In the end I felt good, so I'm very happy. I was able to gain a little time over Failli and Ferreira, so I'm very happy.”, Rabensteiner said.
NISSAN NAVARA SUPER STAGE - Male
1- Tomas Visnovsky (CESKA SPORITELNA - ACCOLADE) 03:24:07
2- Leandre Bouchard (Pivot Cycles – OTE) 03:25:13
3- Daniel Geismayr (Team Centurion-Vaude) 03:25:26
Fabian Rabensteiner (Team Trek – Pirelli) 12:52:52
Ben Zwiehoff (Team Centurion – Vaude) 12:55:20
Francesco Failli (ASD CICLI TADDEI) 12:58:12
NISSAN NAVARA SUPER STAGE - Women
Katazina Sosna (Torpado – Sudtirol MTB-PRO Team) 04:06:11
Eva Lechner (Trinx Factory Team) 04:07:17
Janika Loiv (National Team Estonia) 04:12:10
Eva Lechner (Trinx Factory Team) 15:49:04
Janika Loiv (National Team Estonia) 15:52:54
Mariske Strauss (CST POSTNL BAFANG MTB RAZING TEAM) 16:00:12
03 Mar 2020
01 Mar 2020