This was the first edition of the Titan Desert and the first experience for everyone involved, both the organizers and the 143 riders who left the starting line in Maadid for the first of 4 stages.
The first day was noteworthy for the speed at which it was run, and a first group of riders already stood out from the rest.
The second and third days were dominated by Pedro Vernis and Josef Ajram, who arrived at the Belle Etoile inn with a chance of disputing the victory in the fourth and final stage, which would take the peloton to the town of Erfoud.
But nobody had counted on a new component in this type of race: navigation. An attack by Pepe Domenech right after the start and a mistake by the lead bunch completely overturned the general classification for a few kilometers. At the end, though, everything was back to normal and, after a spectacular recovery by the riders who had previously dominated the race, Pedro Vernis crossed the finish line in Maadid first and was proclaimed the winner of the first Titan Desert.
He was joined on the podium by Josef Ajram and Mauro Carné separated by only thirty-seven seconds. Amparo Ausina was the women's winner
For the second edition of the Titan Desert, 283 titans were at the starting line in Maadid. The race had one more stage than the previous edition and included well-know riders like Melcior Mauri and Abraham Olano.
The first stage, which left from Maadid, was a good warm-up for the legs, with nearly forty kilometres in a loop which returned the riders to the Hotel Xaluca. The surprise arrived at night with heavy rains that didn't stop until the small hours of the morning.The race organisation had to cancel the second stage, since it was impossible tocomplete the course due to the flooding of the oueds surrounding the city of Erfoud.
The route had to be modified over the next few days in order to complete the 5-stage course. Rafa Bosch kept the red leader's jersey until the last stage, where Melcior Mauri, in great shape and discovering the advantages of good navigation, staged a coup and arrived at the finish line in Maadid as the leader of the event, ahead of Miguel Angel Saez and Santi Prat. Isabel Gandia was the first woman to finish.
The event, with all its unexpected inclement weather, demonstrated that it has reached maturity and has become a reference point in the world of mountain biking.
The Nissan Titan Desert 2008 was without any doubt the turning point in this series. For the first time, the true measure of the race was taken and its true potential perceived.
The overall winner, Roberto Heras, was only one of many protagonists in this fourth edition. Besides Heras, other riders played an important part, such as Joan Llordella, RaÃºl HernÃ¡ndez, Nuria Lauco, Rafa PÃ©rez. But so did the heat, the sand, the storms and the water. Those who experienced this year's race will take away a lot of indelible memories.
From the sports point of view, the race was dominated from beginning to end by Roberto Heras, who did not, however, have an easy job of it. Contrary to what it might ppear, the rider from BÃ©jar suffered a lot to overcome the adversities of the course and keep Joan Llordella, who never gave up the race as lost, at bay. RaÃºl HernÃ¡ndez also demonstrated his mastery, taking the third and fifth stages to become the rider who won the most stages.
One of the heroines of 2008 was Nuria Lauco, who won the overall women's category after a fierce struggle with her teammates from the Catalan Cycling Federation, BÃ¡rbara Teixell and MercÃ© Pacios.
But the Nissan Titan Desert had a lot of stories that will always remain in the memory of those who experienced it. Stories like that of Jaime Gallego who, at the age of 67 and with the support of his entire town, was the oldest participant in the race, and who won the hearts of all those who shared his suffering and happiness.
Or the story of the tandem made up of Sergi FernÃ¡ndez de Tolosa and JoaquÃn SÃ¡nchez, a blind man from CÃ¡diz who, despite provoking a scare or two, showed that recognition is for the brave.
The performance of riders like Miguel Ã?ngel Heras and Rafa PÃ©rez (who, at the age of 54, won the Master 50 and placed 10th overall), the exemplary navigation of Melcior Mauri and the efforts of AndrÃ©s JimÃ©nez and ToÃ±o Llorente, who had exchanged dribbling for pedalling, will forever have a place in the race Hall of Fame.
Beyond any doubt the Nissan Titan Desert came of age with its third edition. The race has reached maturity, is recognised all over the world and has sparked the interest of professionals and amateurs alike. No one can question the fact that this is one of the most demanding events on the planet. Any doubters who might remain are invited to see for themselves.
Israel Núñez arrived at Ouarzazate as the leader of the fourth edition of the Nissan Titan Desert and was proclaimed the winner of the toughest edition yet of this MTB Marathon in the Moroccan desert. For five days the 200 riders who embarked on this imposing adventure fought it out on the 500km course under the most extreme conditions the African desert has to offer.
With a new stage between Tazzarine and Ouarzazate included, they crossed rivers, oueds, sand deserts and the mountains of the southern Atlas range, negotiating endless rocks and deep sand. There was a tough marathon stage of 230 kilometres without assistance divided into two difficult days which included almost 90 kilometres of navigation. This really put these intrepid riders to the test and marked a turning point in the general classification with a break by Israel NuÃ±ez which gave him the advantage needed to stay in the lead.
In the women's division, the Andorran Ariadna Tudel left many of the male riders open- mouthed by keeping up with the paceline at all times and turning in an unprecedented performance in the race, winning each and every stage in her category.
In the team classifications CMR-Evolution with Melcior Mauri, stole the victory from under the noses of the FederaciÃ³ Catalana group in the last stage to become the winners in the team category. Chance had a part to play in this upset since one of the members of the FederaciÃ³ Catalana team had a puncture a few kilometres after the start of the last stage and couldn't catch up with the paceline.
In the end, the Nissan Titan Desert demonstrated once again that physical training and mental strength are the most important factors in the race, how luck can be one of the best allies in the desert, and how no one is safe from physical and mechanical problems and orientation errors. These factors, which are so crucial to the final result, can be added to the endless list of reasons contributing to complicated love-hate relationship that participants have with the Titan Desert race.
After a tough race, some of the riders were already subconsciously preparing for the 2010 edition by analysing the mistakes made in 2009 so they won't trip over the same rock. In the desert, experience is like a university degree and the lessons learned all add up.
The Nissan Titan Desert reached its fifth edition in 2010, which turned out to be the best of the races staged to date. With a course of 480km between Maadid and Ouarzazate, the toughness of the stages was considerably increased, there were more timed stages and two spectacular high mountain stages were added. This was a race of contrasts, where many types of terrain were combined: the dunes of Erfoud, the fast tracks of Ouarzazate and the rocky trails of the southern part of the Atlas Mountains.
Following the trend in past editions, this year the race attracted more foreign riders and established itself as the most important MTB enduro event organised in Spain. In 2010 foreign riders arrived at the race in force, representing more than 15% of the total number of participants. Out of a total of 335 riders from 16 different countries, Spain was again the most heavily represented country in the event. Even so, there were more than 40 foreign riders at the starting line, breaking all records from previous years. What's more, there was a quantum leap in the quality and preparation of the cyclists.
Illustrious names in cycling ventured to compete and cyclists of the stature of Tinker Juarez and Igor Astarloa appeared in the race for the first time.
The big surprise of the race were the two riders from the Czech Republic, Ondrej Fojtik and Martin Horak, who from the first day set a spectacular pace that placed them at the front of the field. Only Roberto Heras was able to stay up with them, displaying all his skills in the mountain stages and taking the lead in the event with two spectacular solo breaks in stages 3 and 4 that put him out in front at the finish line in Ouarzazate. Heras
was able to recover from a puncture in the fourth stage which caused him to lose almost 10 minutes and a fall in the fifth and last special stage that endangered the final result. With this victory, Roberto Heras became, with his win in 2008, the first repeat winner in the Nissan Titan Desert.
In the team classification, the Radikal Bikes group, made up of Milton Ramos, Marc Trayter and Oriol Morata, prevailed over Nissan CEE 1 (Central Europe), composed of Ondrej Fojtik, Martin Horak and Peter Hasenfrazt. In third place was Doctore Bike, with Roberto Heras, JosÃ© RaÃºl HernÃ¡ndez and Fernando PÃ©rez.
In the women's category, Nuria Lauco also made history by obtaining a second victory in the competition. The woman rider from Granollers was able to prevail over rivals Nuria Espinosa and Nuria JimÃ©nez and finished in a spectacular 89th place in the general individual classification. In addition, Lauco won in the new Duo Mixto category begun in 2010, making up the Madform Aumartrans-Basoli team with Santi Ribot.
A total of 289 participants were able to complete the Nissan Titan Desert 2010. There were a lot of winners in this race, not only those who finished at the head of their classifications, but all those who were able to outdo themselves and complete the entire course, facing the challenge of the desert and overcoming their own limits, following a dream and becoming the Titans of the 2010 edition.
ROBERTO HERAS PREVAILS IN THE THOUGHEST TITAN YET
The man from Béjar, Roberto Heras, won the sixth edition of the MILLENNIUM TITAN DESERT by Powerade which took place in Morocco and Spain. The race, known as one of the most important and toughest in the world of the mountain bike, is famous for its extreme weather conditions owing to the competitions venue in the desert. In 2011 the race had six stages for a total course of 600km, from Erfoud at the gates of the Sahara Desert to the city of Granada in Spain.
Imagine yourself in a place where no one has passed for days, weeks or even years, where water is more valuable than gold. Now imagine yourself taking part in a six-day 600km race from the dunes of the Sahara to the city of Granada. This is the MILLENNIUM TITAN DESERT by Powerade, a race against Mother Nature herself; a race against the limits of common sense; a race only for the strongest; a race for Titans.
THE TITAN DESERT 2011
Nearly 500 riders arrived in Erfoud, Morocco on Sunday morning, May 8th. All day long they went through the administrative checks and verifications for the sixth edition of the MILLENNIUM TITAN DESERT by Powerade. Although temperatures exceeded 35ÂºC, the riders appeared happy and confident in spite of what was waiting for them during the following days.
The initial stage, between Erfoud and Boudnib, an 87km course, was the first obstacle for the riders. The heat was oppressive in the dunes of Erfoud, and Roberto Heras was able to take advantage of his previous desert experience to accumulate a few minutes of lead over his main rivals. He and his fellow team member, the Portuguese Luís Leao Pinto, managed to break away from the rest of the group, gained ground, and had garnered a lead of 8 minutes when they passed the second check point.
Behind them the rest of the group started to push hard and Heras and his teammate began to suffer from the effort expended. The peloton came up from behind to narrow the lead, and at Water Point 3 their advantage had been reduced to only 3 minutes. Pinto warned Heras that he couldn't keep up the pace and the Spaniard had to cover the last 20 kilometers alone, with Milton Ramos and Triki Beltrán stepping on his heels.
At the finish line, Heras had had managed to maintain an advantage of 56 seconds over Ramos, enough of a lead make him optimistic about the following stages.
During the next four days, Roberto Heras and Milton Ramos played cat and mouse, with similar scores in the timed stages. When Heras began an attack, Milton would follow, and when Milton tried to break away, Heras, Pinto or another member of the lead bunch was there to prevent it.
At the end of the fifth stage, after 500km, only 54 kilometres separated Heras and Ramos. The favorites were ready for the last round in Spain.
The last stage, from Abla to Granada, 110km with a total vertical climb of 2000m, would decide the winner of the race. Before the start of the stage, Roberto positioned his bike right behind Milton, as if to say: You won't get far. But Milton intended to play his last card on one of the big hills in the stage. At kilometer 60 he attacked and tried to gain a bit of lead when they passed the second check point, but Pinto and Heras caught up with him after a few kilometers. With no more opportunities left for the Spaniard of Honduran origin, he and Heras crossed the line together and the man from Béjar became the winner of the desert ordeal for the third time.
FOUR CROWNS FOR ROBERTO HERAS
Roberto Heras has achieved his fourth victory in the Millennium Titan Desert after the victories in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and at 38 he continues his reign in the desert race. The Spanish cyclist has surpassed the Portuguese Luís Leao Pinto in more than nine minutes, managing perfectly the income obtained in the fourth stage in the mountain. In third position has finally finished the Czech Tomas Vrokrouhlik after an intense fight with Milton Ramos and Eduardo Gonzalo. The victory in the women's category has been for the American Rebecca Rusch, who has managed to get rid of the thorn that has been stuck since last season when she was runner-up.
The Millennium Titan Desert 2012 has come to an end with the final stage of 102.97km between Mcissi and Maadid. The day was marked by the intense marking that Roberto Heras has made on his great rival Luís Leao Pinto, who has been conditioned by the rhythm imposed on the front group that has been formed by more than 30 cyclists until passing through the first point. of control.
When passing by the kilometer 30, Milton Ramos has suffered a puncture and has been off the hook, at which time Vrokrouhlik has used to push very hard of the group and achieved four minutes of advantage that had the Honduran on him. With him Pinto has gone and after the Portuguese Roberto Heras was hooked dividing the group head and leaving only a dozen survivors in front of the peloton.
As they approached the finish line the top favorites took positions to dispute the stage victory and in the last few meters Luís Leao Pinto launched an attack to get the stage win and Roberto held the attack to the same finish line where the Portuguese has been awarded the fourth stage victory of this edition.
Roberto Heras said after crossing the finish line: "I am very happy and proud to have achieved my fourth victory in this race that is getting more and more complicated every year, we have not had a rest day and all the stages have been loaded of difficulties, thanks to the team I was able to get a new victory, I feel very good in this race, mentally I am very strong and in this race it is perhaps what counts the most ".
Luis Leao Pinto has been very satisfied for his second position in the general "I am very happy to have fought for the victory, I have had a great rival in Roberto and we all know that Roberto is a lot Roberto, he is an exceptional competitor and a great friend . I am very happy for him.
LUIS LEAO PINTO IS THE KING OF THE DESERT
From beginning to end, the Milenio Titan Desert had a great dominator, the Portuguese Luis Leao Pinto (Esteve). Crowned as the new King of the desert, the Portuguese achieved his best victory in this epic race in the desert of Morocco. After finishing the last year in second position, Pinto succeeds Roberto Heras in the Golden Book of the race. They accompany him on the podium Milton Ramos (Lider-Unical) and Czech OndrejFojtik (Cannondale X-Sports).
The last stage of the Milenio Titan Desert has been practically a tribute to all the survivors, those Titans who have done many efforts for the "finisher" Jersey. In the last stage, 60 km between Merzouga and Maadid, the Czech Fojtik has won after beating at the sprint Milton Ramos and Pinto.
After crossing the finish line, the Portuguese was exultant for his victory, after a tough week in which has had to overcome the pitfalls of the desert and the attacks of enemies. Pinto achieved his triumph thanks to a spectacular performance in the first stage, where a devastating attack left nailed all his rivals.
With an advantage of 8 minutes and a half over his main opponents, Pinto has been able to regulate and control the race when it was necessary, and suffer on the stage of the dunes, when Milton Ramos almost turned the classification. Finally, he has won the Titan Desert by 2 minutes and 7 seconds with respect to the hispano-hondureno.
"For me to win the Milenio Titan Desert was very important, I had it as a goal in my career. I think that this is a key point in my career, because with this I'm going to take a very important decision", has said the Portuguese, very happy for the win.
Pinto had some words of thanks to Roberto Heras, who was forced to leave by a collarbone fracture.
The eighth edition of the Milenio Titan Desert has left big names, such as the Italian Marzio Deho - winner of two stages with 44 years-, the Czech Ondrej Fojtik - third on the podium - or Claudia Galicia, the incontestable dominating in the women's category.
But, the most important has been to see how all those lovers of mountain biking that are not professional have sacrificed the maximum to achieve his dream and to reach the goal of Maadid. It has been a huge reward after many months of preparation, and an unforgettable experience.
The Milenio Titan Desert now looks to the future in 2014, where will be again one of the most important races in the world.
ONDREJ FOJTIK, WINNER OF THE TITAN DESERT BY GARMIN
Maadid(02-05-2014).- Czech Ondrej Fojtík (Cannondale X-Sports) is the new King of the desert after winning the Titan Desert by GARMIN, a triumph that has fought from the beginning with a great consistency and efficiency. Milton Ramos - second - and Oscar Pujol - third - complete the podium.
Spectacular triumph of the Czech, who had already been second in 2010 and third in 2013 and which has finally managed to climb to the first step of the podium. Fojtík did not fail in any of the days, and in stage five got a decisive victory for his first title in Morocco.
"I am very happy for this victory. My goal was to fight for the TOP-5, so I’m very happy with the win. It was a great race and competition has been very tough”, said Fojtík, of 37 years, after holding its first Titan Desert by GARMIN.
The today’s stage, the shortest of this edition with only 75 kilometers, has been for the Colombian Diego Tamayo, who after many attacks in the previous days has finally found reward for his insistence.
After 708 kilometers, six stages and much suffering, "Titans" have exploded with joy toreach the goal of Maadid, a scenario that all of them will remember for a long time. An adventure that has led them to the limit.
Milton Ramos, winner of the second stage, and Oscar Pujol, winner of the third, are the two riders who will rise to the podium of the race, completing a trio of great category that gives much prestige to the Titan Desert by GARMIN.
431 participants enrolled in the line-out, only about 80 runners have been left out the race by abandonment despite being the toughest Edition of the history of the race.
An extreme Edition, with spectacular landscapes for the practice of the MTB that has left images for history, great competitiveness and even controversy. In the women’s category, Claudia Galicia has made full of victories with his six-six and has certainly validated his title from 2013. A perfect Edition of the Catalan "biker", which has been impressive.
The Titan Desert by GARMIN 2014 will return next year with a special flavor: will be the tenth edition of the one of the most spectacular stages in MTB World.
TAMAYO DOMINATES THE TITAN DESERT BY GARMIN
The 10th edition of the Titan Desert by Garmin has a winner. Diego Alejandro Tamayo (Zarabici-Trek) proved to be the most consistent of the 600 riders who started out on April 27th. Ibon Zugasti (Probike) finished in second place and Juan Pedro Trujillo (Primaflor-Orbea), who won today’s stage, finished third.
Today sees the end of an epic edition of the Titan Desert by Gamin, the Colombian rider Diego Tamayo claimed victory with a total time of 22 hours 45 minutes and 49 seconds. And yesterday finished with great news, one of the riders who got lost during the fifth stage was found in perfect physical condition by the race’s safety team and the Moroccan security forces just after midnight.
On a sporting note, the Titan has added Diego Alejandro Tamayo to its golden book, the 31-year-old Colombian, living in Zaragoza, managed to overcome all the adversities and beat the big names like José Silva, who led the race over 4 days, Ibon Zugasti, Óscar Pereiro, Luis Pasamontes, the Dutch rider Bram Rood and Juan Pedro Trujillo.
Tamayo clinched the race in the Garmin navigation stage, where he was the best of the favourites and snatched the leadership from José Silva who won the first stage and dominated the race with authority until yesterday. In today’s stage the Colombian only needed to shadow Ibon Zugasti to ensure he held the lead and claim his victory.
“I had everything in my favour but I still needed to finish the last stage today. I’m really delighted and want to say a huge thanks to everyone for this victory. This is the result of a lot of time and effort, it’s a dream come through for me” said Tamayo, who added that he’d be back next year to honor his victory and defend the title.
In the women’s category Mayalen Noriega took her first victory in this edition of the Titan and her teammate Anna Ramírez won the overall classification virtually unopposed.
The finishers’ number one target concluded today at the finish line in Maadid after more than 600 km, lots of suffering, effort and passion for MTB, which tested all the riders to the limit. The amateur cyclists, the true heroes of the race were able to fulfil their dream of finishing a competition that is recognized as one of the toughest MTB stage races in the world for its route, the extreme weather conditions and the level of adventure. The Titan Desert by Garmin 2016 now awaits its future heroes.
BETALÚ, THE TITAN ALL-TERRAIN
The Catalan rider has proven to be the best of the participants in the mountains and in the desert and was able to celebrate his victory in Maadid. The last stage of the race was won by the Andalusian José Luis Carrasco.
The most complete edition of the Titan Desert by Garmin, with a start in the mountains of the Moroccan Middle Atlas and four final stages in the desert already has a winner: Josep Betalú (Bicipark), who has proved to be the total titan and the strongest of the 400 participants with a total time of 24 hours 54 minutes 17 seconds. The podium is completed by Julen Zubero (MMR-Powerade) and the Portuguese José Silva (Olympia), while José Luis Carrasco (Naviera Armas), won the last stage after a long escape.
The Titan Desert by Garmin 2016 is history, and Josep Betalú has entered fully into it and in the golden book of the test. The veteran rider, 39 years old, has found his optimum shape in the Titan, he had no mechanical problems or falls and controlled the race to be crowned winner with honors.
After overcoming the first two stages of the general near the lead – he was third on the transfer journey- Betalú conceived his victory in stage 4, between Rissani and Merzouga, when he took the risk with the navigation and gained 8 minutes. In the Garmin stage, the Tarragona rider also rode with the best and surpassed the two sections of dunes very easily.
In this sixth and final stage, between Merzouga and Maadid of 79 kilometers, the winner has simply remained in the leading group, and was able to celebrate with tears at the finish line his great triumph in one of the most epic and harsh races in the world. He succeeds in the honors the Colombian Diego Tamayo, who this time failed to revalidate the crown.
"Everything went perfectly in this Titan, I had no mechanical problems or falls and the team, with Sergi Escobar, has helped me at all times. In this race there are many rivals and is a huge win for me" said Betalú, excited at the finish line.
José Luis Carrasco, who led the general for two days, has carried out the feat of the day. He has escaped solo at the start of the stage and by the CP2 he had already gained 6 minutes. The Andalusian has been able to maintain the advantage and finished this Titan with a fantastic victory that leaves him with good sensations.
In the female category, Ramona Gabriel (Scott-Taymory) has given a break to her rivals and has "loaned" the stage to Mayalen Noriega. Gabriel leaves the Titan with five stages and the general classification. She is accompanied on the podium by Sandra Santanyes and Mayalen Noriega.
Samples of joy have been unleashed at the arrival, where the "finishers" have fulfilled their different challenges and goals and have received the fossil of the race that certifies them as titans.
The Titan Desert by Garmin 2016 closes with the feeling that the riders have competed in an epic edition, full of emotions, toughness, and sacrifice, in a unique and magical setting. From the mountains of Ifrane to the Moroccan desert. An adventure that marks you for life.
BETALÚ CLINCHES TITLE IN THE NARROWEST VICTORY OF THE TITAN DESERT BY GARMIN
The 12th edition of the Titan Desert by Garmin will be remembered for its beautiful landscapes, its hardness and for the titanic battle between Josep Betalú and Roberto Bou. It’s been a race which had kept the breath until the end. Betalú has won only with 35 seconds of difference in the general classification. Although, Diego Alejandro Tamayo is the winner of the last stage of the Titan Desert by Garmin 2017.
After 612 km spread across 6 stages, the titans finally have got their finisher stone. After so much effort and going through difficulties: dunes, desert, more than 100km every day, wind and the extreme hot temperatures, the race has become an authentic achievement for all the participants.
The fastest participant is the 40 years old Catalan biker, Josep Betalú (who also won in 2016) who is repeating on winning in the desert. The generational relay is guaranteed thanks to Bou, only 24 years old, where in the Garmin Stage gave us an exhibition with the GPS. But thanks to the hard work of Betalú in the following stages, let him to win and celebrate his victory in Maddid.
We couldn’t enjoy a similar ending in the titan since 2008, when Roberto Heras win Joan Llordella only for 38 seconds. Furthermore, Betalú is now the second biker with more victories of the Titan’s history, only behind Roberto Heras who has already 4 victories.
“It’s a race very special for me and suits me perfectly. Bou makes it very difficult and so, it was very exciting. I was very confident and I felt very strong, that’s why I could cut all the time I needed. This kind of rivals makes my victory precious”, said by Betalú in the finish line who also dedicated few lines to his team Doctore-BMC composed by Raúl Hernández and Aitor Hernández.
The today’s stage was only 51km, where Diego Alejandro Tamayo (the winner in 2015) won it with 1:40:45 time. On the other hand, the Argentinean biker, Ariel Gili, got the podium for the first time in this titan after a very impressive actuation.
Regarding the female’s bikers of the Titan, Anna Ramírez has got her second victory in the Titan, after 2015. Ramírez has fight strongly for the victory against Ramona Gabriel and the Cuban biker, Olga Anabel Echenique. Today Echenique has won the last stage in Maddid and she is the 3rd place of the podium, right after Ramona Gabriel and the amzing Anna Ramírez.
The last stage let us emotional moments, specially from those riders who know what the Titan Desert by Garmin is. Every rider that have completed the race had their own challenge or dream to achieve. All of them had the chance to enjoy one of the most epic MTB races of the world.
BETALU WINS THE BEST EDITION OF THE GAES TITAN DESERT BY GARMIN
- Josep Betalú dominates from start to finish and wins his third Gaes Titan Desert by Garmin in a row
- Ramona Gabriel takes profit of the advantage obtained on the first stage and gets her second overall victory, ahead of Anna Ramírez
- The race has lived in Maadid the culmination of a week full of adventure, passion and mountain biking in the best edition of the history of the Titan Desert.
- 546 finishers have managed to overcome the six stages with more than 620 kilometers and 7,500 meters of elevation gain.
Josep Betalú has done it again. The Doctore Bike Team – BMC rider won the Gaes Titan Desert by Garmin for the third time in a row after his victories in 2016 and 2017.
Betalú has dominate the race from the first stage, in which he won alone ahead of Cadel Evans, and he has demonstrated in each stage that he’s now the strongest rider of the Gaes Titan Desert by Garmin 2018. Day after day, Betalú has weakened their rivals’ forces and has increased his advantage at the top of the leaderboard. Neither the first mountainous stages, nor the meteorological conditions, nor the strategy of the most powerful teams of the race such as the TBellés Canondale - Gaes or the Esteve KH7 have been able to put in risk the king of the desert victory.
Ramona Gabriel has been the female protagonist of this edition. The Team Garmin rider made an incredible first day. From there, his strategy has been based on controlling the attacks of his main rival, Anna Ramírez. Gabriel has added his second Titan Desert victory after the one obtained in 2016 and has matched Ramirez's two victories in 2015 and 2017. The third classified has been the Belgian Veerle Cleiren.
The Titan Legend Platinum, Ramon Sagués has been the winner of today's stage. The Primaflor rider has opened a gap alongside Betalú at the start of the stage. With this result, Sagues secured his second position in the general podium and Roberto Bou has finished third in the leaderboard. As for the female category the Mexican Mayalen Noriega has finally managed to win a stage. Veerle Cleiren finished second, and the third classified has been the overall winner of the race, Ramona Gabriel.
After 620 kilometers divided into 6 stages, Titans have fought to obtain their finisher fossil. This edition of the Gaes Titan Desert by Garmin will mark a before and after in the history of the race. The key points have been a high participation with more than 600 cyclists - the sold out took place before the closing of registrations - the female participation of 70 women and participants coming from 25 countries.
All Titans lived together in a first-class camps. Up to 24,000 square meters of haimas with all the services needed by cyclists to live the race as authentic Moroccan nomads to enjoy an experience that will mark their lives.
The culmination of this week has been lived in Maadid, where Titans have experienced unforgettable moments full of joy and excitement.
Josep Betalú: “It has been a really nice race and we enjoyed it. I studied the course well and managed well my effort, in the end it came out perfectly. This is an adventure where you need to adapt, and that’s what I do. I feel well here. Yesterday I felt like I was going to win, whereas everything can adapt; luckily I had a great team.”
Ramona Gabriel: “Take an advance of more than 5 minutes on the first stage got me in a great position to regulate the race. Competing with Anna was hard as she has a strong team and great at navigation. On my side I had to control the race to avoiding losing important seconds. I don’t why, but since my first participation in 2016, I have good results here. The desert is a passion for me, it might be it!”
Josep Betalú makes history in the 2019 Garmin Titan Desert
- Betalú becomes the first rider to win the Garmin Titan Desert four times in a row.
- World champions and Paralympic gold medallists Ignacio Ávila and Joan Font win the closing stage on a tandem.
- Anna Ramírez wraps up a perfect race, claiming every single stage and taking her third win outright.
Maadid, 3 May 2019. Josep Betalú and Anna Ramírez are the brilliant winners of the Garmin Titan Desert, which started in Merzouga six days ago and came to an end in Maadid today. The 600 km route was packed with sand, mountains, jaw-dropping landscapes, struggles… adventure, at the end of the day, a wonderful adventure that attracts increasing numbers of cyclists from all over the world.
Joaquim "Purito" Rodríguez, Sylvain Chavanel, Abraham Olano, Haimar Zubeldia and José Luis Carrasco were some of the most prominent participants in this edition. Yet one man was head and shoulders above the rest. The winner of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions struck again in 2019. No-one knows the desert as well as Josep Betalú, who became the first rider in the history of the Titan to win the race four times in a row. Roberto Heras has also won the race four times, but not in a row.
Josep Betalú: "The Titan is a race that made me great, still makes me great and has become part of my life. It is the first thing that comes to mind when I wake up in the morning. I go to bed thinking about it. Sometimes, I even dream about it. It's a spectacular race, and I'd even go as far as to say that it's without a doubt my greatest experience racing on a bike. I'm over the moon with this result because it's already hard enough to win once, so imagine what it takes to win twice, thrice and then a fourth time… but this is what the Titan does, it gets you hooked and you can't say 'no' any more. You set yourself goals, challenges and, well… I felt some pressure faced with the prospect of a fourth win. Coming here with the best team made it so much easier, like yesterday, when I had a flat, but Iván Díaz was right next to me and helped me out."
Today's stage will also go down in history for a different reason —the first Titan stage win by a tandem. And not just any tandem: victory went to Ignacio Ávila and Joan Font, prolific medal hunters in both the Paralympics and the World Championships.
Ignacio Ávila and Joan Font: "We are very happy and satisfied. We've been chasing a stage win since 2017, but we only managed to get it today. We'd come close a few times before, finishing in second or third place, but today we finally came out on top. When you finally make it after so many attempts, you feel relieved, what with the super-strong field in this race. It's our reward for all the sacrifices we've made, the dedication we've shown and the efforts we've put into every instant throughout the Titan, from the moment we start pedalling to the times when we have to get off our bike to walk through the dunes."
Anna Ramírez was the other star of the 2019 Garmin Titan Desert. After winning in 2015 and 2017, it looked like it was her turn to win again in 2019, and she was right on schedule. She took every stage of the race, leaving nothing for the rest. Ramona Gabriel, her closest rival, tried to take the fight to her, but Anna was untouchable and leveraged her strong team to put over 20 minutes into her opponents.
Anna Ramírez: "The Titan usually favours road cyclists, especially on tracks like the ones we had yesterday, the day before yesterday and today. And well, after a lifetime pedalling on the road, here we are now. I really want to thank each and every member of my team, who all did their bit to make this victory possible and win another Titan, as well as our sponsors."
The dates have been set for the 2020 Garmin Titan Desert. It will be held from 19 to 24 April. Registration opens on Monday with a promotional price for the first 150 riders to sign up.