Tiago Ferreira dominates again in the hardest Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano

Tiago Ferreira dominates again in the hardest Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano
Andalucía Bike Race (Spain) – Hildegunn Hovdenak wins after going from less to more and getting two of the five stages.

It was a hard final stage of the Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano due to the addition of inclement weather in this year’s edition. With the route shortened by mutual agreement between race organizers and UCI officials, everything was on the line. The racers went all out for the stage in which the El Reventón climb and the technical trails in the final part would dictate the final podium.

The racers left the city center at a blistering pace to reach the start of the El Reventón climb. Known by all the participants, this time nobody was caught by surprise by the brutal climb. The Portuguese rider of DMT Racing commanded the race almost all the way to the finishing stretch. The home stretch turned out to be a series of rapid and very technical descents, which proved motivating to Fabian Rabensteiner, who had to take some risks in attempt to surprise the Portuguese racer. Ferreira, accompanied by his teammate Hans Becking, endured more chasers but controlled the distance so as to allow the Portuguese to score victory in his third Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano. Fabian Rabensteiner, who reached the finish exhausted by the effort demanded by the stage, ultimately won. Enrique Morcillo of BUFF-Scott MTB produced a valiant effort that put him in third position in this final stage — he climbed the leaderboard in the general classification to step up to second on the podium.

Tiago, after climbing to the top of the box said that, "I had to control today's stage. The last 15 kms cost me a lot because the trails were very technical and I lost time, but winning by 15" or 20" doesn’t matter, the important thing is to win." Tiago, despite the rain and bad weather declared that, "This is a race that I like very much; it’s very complete, combining physically demanding stages and more technical stages. I think this is the ideal format for me, so starting the season here and being able to win is always a goal I set."

In the women's category, Hildegunn Hovdenak started with a significant lead in the general classification, which allowed her to play it safe and try to have a smooth day. She finished fifth in the general last year; this year she’s been improving her performance throughout the race. She won the last two stages, and succeeded in overtaking second in the GC by more than ten minutes. While Naima Diesner of DMT Racing didn’t win any stages, she always landed on the podium (except in the time trial on the first day) to finish second in the general classification. Chloe Woodruff scored third place. The American, who made her debut in a mountain bike stage race, won the first two stages but the week was long and Woodruff ended up giving up two positions. Naima rode a great stage; she drove up the pace and battled mightily at all times. The German made her move on the El Reventón climb, but current leader, Hildegunn, attacked for the win in the final section and succeeded. Naima couldn’t respond to the attack and ended up falling to third place on the last day, ceding to Hildegunn in first place, and Sandra Santanyes in second.

The Norwegian, the winner of this year’s edition, said that, "The fans have given us great support these days by being there despite the rain, by cheering for us... it has been really nice to participate here. Regarding the weather, I am Norwegian and I am used to the cold, so maybe, for me, the bad weather conditions that we’ve suffered — they’ve been great!"

With the final stage results, the general classification is as follows:

Elite Men:
  1. Tiago Ferreira
  2. Enrique Morcillo
  3. Fabian Rabenstainer

Elite Women:
  1. Hildegunn G. Hovdenak
  2. Naima Madlen
  3. Chloe Woodruff

Master Men 50:
  1. Antonio Barranquero
  2. Gary Williams
  3. Manuel Lapuente

Master Men 40:
  1. Ondrej Fojtik
  2. José María
  3. Guerrero Óscar Puyuelo

Master Men 30:
  1. Tommaso Vanni
  2. Iván Romero
  3. Andrey Dianov

Master Women:
  1. Ana Belén Bañez
  2. Isabel Peña
  3. Mónica Viviana

"This will be an edition that will be remembered for its challenges each day — not only for the stage profiles, but for the weather that influenced the way the race played out. This year we’ve had a canceled stage, and two shortened stages due to racecourse conditions". President Xavier Bartrolí, of the organizing company, Octagon Esedos, sent a clear message, "We are ambitious at Octagon. I think that today, we are the best mountain bike event in the world. It has been a complicated edition from an organizational point of view due to the weather conditions. We had to modify the race’s layout, the weather has not helped but, on the other hand, the weather helped cement the legend of the Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano."

The Andalucía Bike Race present by Shimano brought 850 participants to Linares, Andújar, Córdoba, Villaviciosa de Córdoba and Andalusia in general. 500 of them came from 37 different countries. Bartrolí said that, "This race is a powerful tool for economic impact beyond just sport. Last year we generated almost six million euros in economic impact and this year we calculate that we will also reach this figure.”

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