The wind and the water accumulations added the adventure component to the first stage of the Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º, which was contested at a very lively pace. In MTB, Wolfgang Krenn and Jasper Ockeloen dominated in teams and Ismael Ventura in individual. In TrailRun, the fastest was Rafa García, while Pau Galí and Oriol Barbany led teams.
Fornells, Menorca (11/05/2021). – The Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º started its seventh edition this morning from Maó. The first stage developed without major setbacks at a very high pace between Maó and Fornells. The first leaders of this three-stage competion have been crowned, which can be disputed on foot or by mountain bike, either in Solo format or in teams of two (male, female or mixed).
The thunder and lightning acted as an ominous alarm clock for the participants in their accommodation in Maó, the starting point of the first stage of the Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º 2021. The weather forecasts were bad and the worst omens seemed to be fulfilled. The rain, however, has weakened and the start was dry at 8:15 in the morning. It was a relief for all of them, as the water did not joined the strong north wind, which would have created the most feared combination.
Ahead of them, yes, they had a route full of flooded areas, which has forced the organization to cut about four kilometers. In addition, the wind has not stopped blowing strongly throughout the day. The adventure and epic component that the competition promised has not been missed.
Ventura and Krenn-Ockeloen start strong in MTB
The cyclists participating in the MTB Epic 360º modality had a very strong pace right away. The first stage of the bike race, originally planned for 52.4 km, had to be modified by demands of the Environment authorities, which forced the neutralization of an intermediate section (about 19 km) as it passed through the Nature Park of S’Albufera des Grau.
The competitiveness in the first kilometers (before neutralization) was full on, with a leading group in which four athletes have consolidated: the Autro-Dutch Bike Team Kaiser (Wolfgang Krenn and Jasper Ockeloen) and the solo participants Ismael Ventura and the German, Daniel Gathof. Once past the natural park, the Bike Team Kaiser pushed again in those last twenty kilometers. Ismael Ventura kept up the pace, while Daniel Gathof lost some time on the arrival of Fornells.
In the women’s category, the Czech, Hana Koralova showed a high level edge and, after a competitive start, stood out compared to her rivals reaching Fornells with a wide advantage. It is the first international race for this up-and-coming biker who lives in England.
The classification in mixed teams was led by the favorites of the Trideporte (Ada Xinxó and Santi Val), and the Sandra & Claudia Team (Sandra Jordà and Clàudia Galicia) is first in the feminine teams.
Rafa García gains advantage in TrailRun
In the TrailRun mode, the race pace also exceeded all expectations, despite the conditions of a terrain with some sections where up to half a meter of water had accumulated. During the first hour of the race, a large group shared the lead. With the passing of the kilometers, the group has lost numbers.
That selective elimination race has played in favor of the Mallorcan, Rafa García, who was the first to reach the finish line with about twelve minutes of advantage over the second, Xavier Brangolí. In teams, Cabra Boja Sports Rústics (Pau Galí and Oriol Barbany) were seven minutes ahead of Topo-Camelbak (Álex Izquierdo and Roberto Sancho).
There was maximum equality in the mixed team category, with Team Lounie (Neil Sheward and Louise Andrews) and Kathi + Luki (Lukas Kaufmann and Katharina Reinegger) separated by just five seconds apart. In the female category, the first individual place went to Antonia Winkler, while the Topo-Camelbak (Cristina Hernández and Esther Encina) took the team lead.
Tour reduced in Experience
Finally, the Experience 360º modality was contested on foot and on a shorter route, starting from Es Grau to also reach Fornells. Enric Pons and Anna Comet were the individual winners, while Los 100% (Joan Melis and Antonio Saavedra), The Montis (Ellen Montanari and Louis Ugo Montanari) and Palante Siempre Trail Ibiza (Laura Simón and Sasha Roig) were the best teams, male, mixed, and female, respectively.
Tomorrow, stage 2: Ciutadella – Fornells
Stage 2 (TrailRun: 56.6 km and 1,419 m. MountainBike: 55.8 km and 1,310 m. Experience: 30.1 km and 810 m), tomorrow will take the participants from Ciutadella (Camí del Pilar for the Experience category) to Fornells. It is a stage of great contrasts with landscapes of great character and a rugged coastline guarded only by the solitary lighthouses of Punta Nati and Cavalleria. It is probably the most demanding and captivating stage of the race, which runs along the entire limestone platform of northwestern Menorca, passing through places such as Cala Morell, Es Alocs, and Binimel·là.
Again, the meteorology will be the protagonist, as rain is predicted with a very strong north wind.