The top finalists in the general classification of the different categories do not budge after a more comfortable second stage. Víctor del Águila wins the TrailRun with Miguel Heras breathing down his neck. Alfonsina Peppa (TR), Aritz Egea and Oihana Kortazar (EXP) continue to dominate
Cala Galdana [4 November 2023] The second stage of the ARTIEM Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º Menorca 2023 showed the best side of the participants. Held in very pleasant weather, with sun and some headwinds in some areas, the route passed through both rural Menorca and the beaches and coves of the south and the characteristic ravines that provided the necessary degree of stone and spice. In this stage, participants also enjoyed the new 1Day version, which gave them the Epic experience in a smaller format, competing in just one stage instead of all three.
In total, there were almost 60 km to cover in the TrailRun and MTB categories between Es Castell and Cala Galdana, following the historical Camí de Cavalls and some stretches of the seaside Sendero Litoral. The itinerary passed through such emblematic places as Punta Prima, Binibèquer, Cala en Porter, Son Bou, Binigaus and Cala Mitjana before arriving in front of the event’s official hotel.
In this context, the cyclists suffered fewer mechanical incidents. Ismael Esteban recovered from the setbacks in the first stage and achieved victory, closely followed by the team formed by Ismael Ventura and Guillem Cassú. Gerard Minoves holds on to the lead after finishing three minutes later.
Víctor del Águila was the first to finish the TrailRun, though with Miguel Heras closely behind. Alfonsina Peppa won the women’s category again, which also reported significant withdrawals. In the Experience race, Aritz Egea and Oihana Kortazar once again laid down the law.
MTB: Ismael Esteban recovers
“Today, I was able to make a comeback after falling behind yesterday”, acknowledged Ismael Esteban after crossing the finish line in front of the ARTIEM Audax de Cala Galdana hotel. He suffered no mishaps in the 58-km second stage, with a 900 m difference in elevation, setting a good pace and taking advantage of a trail in a ravine to separate himself from the pack and finish alone.
Ismael Ventura and Guillem Cassú also had a much more peaceful day. It started with doubts due to the discomfort in Isma’s hand that forced him to go to the hospital yesterday afternoon. They struggled a little on the descents, but competed fiercely throughout, with Ismael Esteban in the absolute first position. In the end, they lost a couple of minutes at the finish line and consolidated their lead as a team.
Gerard Minoves followed almost immediately behind. A fall into one of the many gates and barriers along the route caused an injury to his knee and prevented him from keeping up with the pace of the first rider that he had shared until then.
TrailRun: Miguel Heras shines
In the TrailRun, Miguel Heras had already made a big difference on the first day, when the other big favourite, Pablo Villa, had to withdraw. On this second day, Miguel Heras set his sights on controlling his opponents, mainly Víctor del Águila. The Tarragona-born athlete seized the initiative throughout the day and tried to overtake Heras, whose lead remained solid and who said at the finish line: “Today, I’ve been thinking more about finishing well tomorrow”. In the end, both stood together at the finish line, with Víctor del Águila in the first position as the winner of the stage.
In the women’s category, Alfonsina Peppa fulfilled her aspirations. Starting as the leader after winning in the women’s category yesterday, the native of Lloret de Mar ran at her own pace today, gradually increasing her advantage over the other runners. Karina Gómez and Cristina Palomo were involved in an interesting duel for the second position, until the first of them was forced to abandon the race at Cala en Porter due to an infected foot. Local athlete Mari Allés also had to pull out because of stomach problems.
After crossing the finish line, an exhausted Alfonsina Peppa expressed all the suffering she had to overcome on a tremendously demanding, leg-breaking route.
Experience: Aritz Egea and Oihana Kortazar on their own
Yesterday’s story played out again in the Experience race, along a 33 km route with a 631 m difference in elevation between Es Canutells and Cala Galdana. Aritz Egea set the pace while the rest tried to follow in her wake. Bit by bit, she overtook her rivals, until reaching the finish line three minutes ahead of Jokin Gijarro.
In the women’s category, Oihana Kortazar once again gained a great advantage over the other women and reached the finish line in the absolute fifth position. She maintained a healthy competitiveness with the first classified team, formed by Pau Benejam and Rubén Benejam (nephew and uncle), who finished shortly after her.
This Saturday, 4 November was the premiere of the new 1Day version. This single-day option for participating in the ARTIEM Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º Menorca allowed some athletes to try out what it is like to experience a race like this.
How to follow the event
The ARTIEM Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º 2022 is an event sponsored by the Fundació Foment del Turisme de Menorca, with the cooperation of the Spanish government’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, funded by the European Union – Next Generation EU and the government of the Balearic Islands’ Tourism Strategy Agency.
You can follow it through the organisation’s different channels: