Gerard Minoves a l'ARTIEM Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º Menorca 2023 (Foto: The Adventure Bakery).

Miguel Heras (TrailRun) and Gerard Minoves (MTB), winners of the ARTIEM Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º Menorca 2023

Ismael Esteban (MTB) wins the third stage, followed by Ismael Ventura and Guillem Cassú. Alfonsina Peppa triumphs in the women’s category (TrailRun). Aritz Egea and Oihana Kortazar both hold on to first place (Experience).

The ninth edition of the ARTIEM Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º Menorca concluded today with the hard-fought third stage. The route skirted the western part of the island, marked by contrasts between hard and rocky stretches of coastline, forest areas and the typical white sand coves of the south. The wind blew from the west in strong gusts, battering the competitors the whole time, who were covered in salt spray as waves crashed forcefully against the rocks a few metres from the path.

The race started at Camí del Pilar, like in the first stage, and the finish line was in front of the Audax de Cala Galdana hotel, 65 km away with a difference in elevation of 800 metres. Between these points was a large sea of stones and little vegetation as the athletes passed through places like Cala Morell, Punta Nati and Pont d’en Gil. Ciutadella marked the midway point and the start of the Experience race. Cap d’Artrutx began the journey through the south and some of the most famous coves in Menorca, such as Son Saura, Turqueta and Macarella.

Miguel Heras, Alfonsina Peppa (TrailRun), Gerard Minoves (MTB), Aritz Egea and Oihana Kortazar (Experience) were crowned the final winners. The final winning teams were Albert Mora and Roger Franch, Montse Fernández and Noelia Gutiérrez (TrailRun), Ismael Ventura and Guillem Cassú, Jerien Mettepenningen and Karen Steurs, Irene Caminos and Amparo Chapa (MTB) and Pau Benejam and Rubén Benejam, Lucía Martínez and Albert Ayats and Cristina Jiménez and Shania López (Experience).

Víctor del Águila i Miguel Heras a l'ARTIEM Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º Menorca 2023 (Foto: The Adventure Bakery).
Víctor del Águila and Miguel Heras at the ARTIEM Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º Menorca 2023 (Photo: The Adventure Bakery).

MTB: Ismael Esteban wins the stage, Gerard Minoves is the champion

In the Mountain Bike race, Ismael Esteban finished first once again. The Cantabrian cyclist managed to gain one minute over the leader Gerard Minoves in the first part of the race, before the neutralised stretch in the urban area around Ciutadella.

With the watch stopped, both cyclists regrouped with Ismael Ventura, Guillem Cassú and Toni Pascual to resume the path together in the second part of the stage. Once again, the route featured lots of wind and stones and once more, Ismael Esteban went on alone, until crossing the finish line at Cala Galdana.

Less than five minutes later, he was joined by Gerard Minoves, who won the competition overall, followed by the winning team of Ismael Ventura and Guillem Cassú.

TrailRun: Miguel Heras holds Víctor del Águila back

In the TrailRun, the two strongest and the first and second overall completed the first part of the itinerary together. Miguel Heras and Víctor del Águila began to distance themselves from the rest of the pack from the very start at Camí del Pilar. When they passed through the famous Pont d’en Gil (km 27) they were already five minutes ahead of Xavier Brangolí, in third place.

At the end of the Ciutadella crossing, Miguel Heras pushed to keep up with a group of runners in the Experience race and Víctor del Águila started to fall behind. The distance between both athletes grew:  three minutes at Cala Blanca (km 40), six at Cap d’Artrutx (km 45) and over fifteen at the finish line.

In the women’s category, Alfonsina Peppa battled on through the third stage due to all the accumulated wear and tear. The Lloret de Mar native remained in the absolute top ten throughout the stage, though Cristina Palomo trailed her by just a few minutes. In the end, she was the first woman to cross the finish line again, securing the final victory.

Experience: Three out of three for Oihana Kortazar

In the Experience race, 32 km long with a difference in elevation of just over 200 metres, Aritz Egea took it a little more calmly this time. He ran in a pack with Jokin Gijarro, Jairo Lagun and Enric Pons until the km 20 mark. When they got to the slopes, Aritz and Jokin sped up and broke away from the other two. Finally, they arrived at the finish line together, with Jokin Gijarro winning the stage and Aritz Egea winning the competition overall.

Oihana Kortazar won the women’s category, as she had been doing throughout the entire competition. She was the fifth athlete overall to reach Cala Galdana, nearly a half hour ahead of the second woman to finish the route.

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.