STAGE 1 – ŠKODA TITAN SERIES ALMERIA 202116 de June de 2022
Óscar Pujol leads the ŠKODA Titan Series Almería after a spectacular first stage through Cabo de Gata
The stage, 102 km long and with a positive elevation gain of 1,715 meters, has been developed along a loop through the Cabo de Gata Natural Park.
Óscar Pujol and Naima Madlen, first man and first woman in the classification with a time of 03:36:17 and 4:16:15, respectively.
09.12.2021 After the Prologue stage that defined the starting boxes, El Toyo woke up ready to host the first stage of the ŠKODA Titan Series Almería. 102 km and 1,715 meters of positive elevation gain in what is the longest stage of the test.
In the first starting box, under the name of ŠKODA We Love Cycling, the 50 fastest cyclists of yesterday’s day. Behind them, a scheduled departure every 10 minutes until all the Titans started rolling, nervously and enthusiastically starting the beginning of this great adventure.
A tour of the Cabo de Gata Natural Park
Warm and sunny environment to face the first stage. With a loop route through the Cabo de Gata Natural Park, the cyclists faced a fast and flat first part, before facing two demanding climbs with many meters of positive difference in just a few kilometers. A real trial by fire that has made a dent in the pace of the participants.
From San José, the demanding stage gave them a stretch to enjoy, surrounded by landscapes of great natural beauty, until they reached the town of Albaricoques. At this point, the type of terrain changes with the beginning of an area of wide slopes in good condition with a favorable slope, but with the handicap of the wind.
Already in the final stretch, and after the great effort of the whole day, I was still waiting for the hardest part of the route. Once again an area of boulevards awaited them, with soft and sandy terrain and a steep climb, to mark the end of the day.
A day with a perfect setting that has rewarded the high demands of the route with the beautiful views of emblematic places on the Almeria coast such as the Mirador de Vela Blanca, the Cala Higuera viewpoint or the Cónsul and Genoveses beaches.
Óscar Pujol leads the standings
The cyclist David Arroyo, from the Mimaflor Mondraker XSauce, has been the protagonist for a good part of the race. Always in the first positions and after crossing the first checkpoint within the leading group, he pedaled the stage alone for a long stretch, face to face, before a guest who has not been well received: the wind.
«I have gone for many kilometers only with the wind in my head. It was very difficult for me to keep up the pace, demanding throughout the day, and in the end I paid for the effort. Now, the first thing is to recover today’s effort”, commented the man from Talave when he crossed the finish line in third place.
And it is that the brave escape of Arroyo has had behind him a small chasing group that has been gradually reducing the distance with the head of the race. Already at the third checkpoint they changed roles, passing in the first two positions, in a heads up, Javier Chacón and Óscar Pujol.
Finally, Óscar Pujol was the first to reach the long-awaited finish line of this spectacular stage after a morning in which he went from less to more until the time was 3:36:17. After crossing the finish line with a huge smile, the man from Valladolid acknowledged that it was a “very fast stage with a spectacular start to Cabo de Gata that allowed us to enjoy the sun, the light and the sea.”
Behind, Javier Chacón from Almeria (3:36:25) and David Arroyo (3:37:52), second and third respectively.
Now, the Titans are already thinking about the next stages, where Pujol sets himself the goal of “getting through day to day and enjoying the camp experience.”
In the women’s category, a very clear victory for the German Naima Madlen who completed the stage in a time of 4:16:15. Behind, the Spanish Ariadna Ródenas, brand new winner of the Titan Desert 2021, who has reached the finish line in 4:19:48, with more than 25 minutes ahead of Anna Jördens, third, with 4:45:40.
2nd Stage ŠKODA Titan Series Almería: ŠKODA We Love Cycling El Toyo-Tabernas
Tomorrow, the adventure resumes from 8:30 a.m. with the ŠKODA We Love Cycling stage. The mountain day, with 65 km and 1,831 m D+, starts from the town of El Toyo with an initial section in constant ascent along tracks and boulevards to Níjar.
There will begin a long climb in which the ŠKODA Challenge will be played: 10 km of climb that will grant 60 bonus seconds to the first and first cyclist.
After a more demanding first part, tracks and boulevards will lead to the finish line, located at the Oasis MiniHollywood in Tabernas.
Ranking and live tracking
Classification after stage 1, available at this LINK
More information and live monitoring of the participants, thanks to the geolocation devices that each cyclist will carry, on the official website of the ŠKODA Titan Series Almería: https://titanseriesalmeria.com/