The intense fight between Pinto, Heras and Milton in 2011 has returned to live in the first stage of the 2012 edition from the first kilometers of racing. In a day marked by a great cross of dunes just over 4km and with a readjustment of route after the sandstorm that hit yesterday ErgChebbi area in southern Morocco, the 379 participants comprising the caravan of the race took the start early in the morning. From the opening kilometers Milton Ramos (# 8) took advantage of the soft dunes and exceeded the first major obstacle with a margin of more than 3 minutes over Heras and Pinto at km 7.
Milton Ramos, with a bicycle equipped with wheels and designed especially for the dunes has seen the duo gradually trimmed persecuting him the difference in seeing fast tracks met before passing the kilometer 30. Since then Heras and Pinto have played their greatest strength upon learning last year as teammates and have begun to given relay to raise his lead. Milton on the other hand was trying to minimize the difference by taking excessive risks and looking for alternative routes of navigation. But his bet was too risky and has lost a lot of time before reaching the third passage control being forced to make a detour to go through the appropriate point.
At the finish line the front duo has fought for the victory in the final meters in an intense sprint that has been awarded to the Luso Luis Leao Pinto (ESTEVE 1) with 2h23m17s and Roberto Heras (GAES ELITE 1) have entered with the same chrono that the Portuguese. Behind, and at 13m24s Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez, leading a large group of six participants closed by Milton Ramos (LEADER).
At the finish Luis Leao Pinto was very pleased with the result "We wanted to be in front from the beginning and we succeeded. Milton has been boot a few minutes but after a great job between me and Roberto had finished in an overtaking.
Roberto Heras commented at the finish line, "Milton Ramos has gone there with three minutes ahead of me and Luis. But we have gone to cut back and finally have reached. In fact I've enjoyed".
Milton Ramos on the other hand, commented at the finish line the three-minute advantage gained in the dunes "While others walked or ran I could pedal and not the same walking or running to be mounted on the bike. The legs suffer more and very cool, I went out of the dunes as they were a little tired"
First women has been the US rider Rebecca Rusch with a time of 3h10m01s confirming her as the favorite for victory in the category.
INDIVIDUAL CLASSIFICATION - STAGE 1
1.- Luís Leao Pinto - ESTEVE 1 - 2:23.17
2.- Roberto Heras - GAES ELITE 1 - 2:23.17 +0:00
3.- Eduardo González - GAES 18 ELITE - 2:36.41 +13:24
4.- Raúl Hernández - GAES ELITE 1 - 2:36.43 +13:26
5.- Julen Zubero - GAES ELITE 2 - 2:36.43 +13:26
6.- Fernando Perez - GAES ELITE 2 - 2:36.43 +13:26
7.- Aitor Quintana - GAES ELITE 2 - 2:36.43 +13:26
8.- Milton Ramos - LIDER 1 - 2:36.44 +13:27
9.- Martin Horak - BMC-SAVO RACING - 2:39.58 +16:41
10.- José Alberto Benítez - TEAM GO FIT-DEPORINTER - 2:39.59 +16:42