BECOME A LEGEND
Some exploits deserve a place in history. The organisation of the Garmin Titan Desert celebrates competitors who have smashed through the 3,500-kilometre barrier over several editions of the race in Morocco, as well as the Titan Tropic Cuba by Gaes. These riders are the TITAN LEGENDS by Columbia, competitors who have earned a special status after tackling the dunes and obstacles of the desert. No-one knows the race better than them.
The next step for these Legends is Titan Legend Platinum status, reserved for the brave men and women who have raced 5,000 km in the Titan Desert. The distinction comes with a worthy prize: free registration for the next edition of the race.
A new category will be introduced beyond Titan Legend and Titan Legend Platinum: Titan Legend Diamond. 10,000 km in the Titan Desert is what it takes to join a club so exclusive that it has no members yet. A handsome reward awaits riders who achieve this status. Heed the call of glory, titans!
VÍCTOR ENRIQUE ÁLVAREZ
Víctor Álvarez has been participating in the Titan Desert for over six years. The desert and race are part of his life. As well as sharing the experience with his friends and other colleagues, he focuses on competing in the race and getting closer to achieving his goals. He was the first Galician to become a Titan Legend. He had never imagined he would cover 3,500 kilometres. "My year is divided into six months of preparation for the Titan and 6 months of fun." Every year, he aspires to improve his records, rank among the first and become a Titan Legend Platinum.
"The Titan Desert is what motivates me to continue training and doing what I like best." Being a Titan Legend means a lot to Oriol. "The Titan is my Tour de France, my top race of the year". In his eighth participation, Oriol has not lost his ambition to be among the first and give it his all in the most awaited race of the year, where the desert of Morocco will set the scene for numerous titans to fight to make it to the finish.
"Perseverance, a thirst for fun in the desert and an attitude" are the three values that define a Titan Legend for Milton Ramos, who has already got seven participations under his belt. Milton always aims to have a blast. His goal for next year is to be among the first. He aspires to become a Titan Legend Platinum. His main motivation to participate year after year is the atmosphere after each stage. "Being a Titan Legend is a source of pride. The race has become a reference, and being part of this history."
The 2019 Titan Desert will be a very special race for Jesús Ladera. Last year, he was proclaimed a Titan Legend on the last day and in the last kilometre. "Becoming a Titan Legend is an important goal. It takes a lot of kilometres, years and sacrifices, but it is one of the titles I like the most."
What motivates Jesús to participate year after year is his love of the desert. "The desert is a hostile environment where living and moving is difficult, but it is very attractive. I like to navigate in a medium where it is hard to find your way." The values that characterise Jesus as a Titan Legend is his consistency and love of the desert. He sees the race as an adventure and an opportunity.
"For me, the Titan has become a tradition, a date marked on the calendar for the last eight or nine years". Francesc Sabiote knows that he has an appointment in Morocco next year. He is aiming to compete in the race and enjoy it. Francesc believes that many values define the Titan, but the most important one is companionship. "Many problems arise during the race, and you always find someone to help you". Other important values such as respect and perseverance also characterise a rider as a Titan.
JOSÉ MARÍA DEL OLMO
Being a Titan Legend is not easy. For José María, it is a satisfaction and a challenge he chased from the beginning. "I thought it was impossible, but in the end, I did it." His motivation year after year in the Titan is to finish the race and achieve his goals, of course, without forgetting adventure and fun. The three main keys to becoming a Titan Legend are effort, self-impovement and perseverance. Morocco awaits a big one.
Jordi Tardiu will start his eighth Titan with one goal in mind: finishing and enjoying the race."It's a test I like very much for the environment and the friendships." Morocco offers a wide range of landscapes that make tourists fall in love with the African country. For Tardiu to be a Titan Legend is a satisfaction you can never imagine becoming a part of.
"The first time I participated in the Titan, I did not imagine that I would travel 3,500 km through these arid and spectacular landscapes at the same time." For Roberto, being part of the Titan is a source of pride: "I am fortunate to have been able to participate and finish six consecutive editions". His main motivation is to challenge himself in the same way year after year. It is an adventure in which we have learned to manage our mind and body to complete the test. Roberto dreams of achieving Titan Legend Platinum status after covering 5,000 kilometers.
"The Titan Desert is an exciting adventure that has captivated me. The desert, its spectacular landscapes, a great sense of freedom and meeting with friends from previous editions are what motivates me to return every year to practise the sport I like the most." Being a Titan is an achievement, but becoming a Legend is a privilege. For Cuenca, being a Titan Legend is a source of pride and the motivation to continue pursuing his objectives. With more than seven starts, Carlos always aims to finish the race and learn new things. His greatest triumph was his debut in 2011. The Titan is an exploration of his physical and mental limits that helps him to convince himself anything is possible.
Winning three consecutive editions of the Titan is something only Betalú has achieved. For him, being a Legend is a plus, "being part of a club of people in love with the desert". His main motivation to participate in this race year after year are the organisation and the desert. He is not thinking about achieving Titan Platinum status. What really motivates him is the prospect of winning the fourth Titan Desert Race in a row.
JORDI ALONSO MARTÍNEZ
The desert combines a harsh climate with beautiful landscapes on both the dunes and the endless plains. Jordi had never aimed to become a Titan Legend, but he was over the moon when it happened. The Titan is a special race to which Jordi adapts very well given its characteristics, "the environment is very different from the usual ones". He does not rule out becoming a Titan Legend Platinum someday.
- Titan Legend shirt every year after achieving Legend status
- Titan Legend jacket when Legend status is achieved
- Exclusive Titan Legend plate
- Fast lane at the checks
- Exclusive transfer from the charter flight to the camp in Morocco
- A wad of Titanitos
- Seating privileges on charter flights
- Titan Legend gathering
- Free registration the year after achieving Platinum status
- Free Photograph Service the year after achieving Platinum status and in subsequent editions.
- Titan Legend Platinum vest. A commemorative vest will be awarded after the stage in which the participant achieves Platinum status.
- A spot on the Companion programme. This spot can only be used in the edition following the one in which the participant achieves Diamond status and will be awarded to a person chosen by the participant.
- 10-minute helicopter flight.
- The participant will get a free 10-minute helicopter flight with the companion invited via the Companion programme the year after achieving Titan Diamond status.
The organisation will schedule the flight for one of the days of the race.
- Customised book. When a participant achieves Titan Diamond status, the organisation will gift him/her a customised book so that the new member of the Diamond club has a memento of the occasion to show to his/her family.
HALL OF FAME
RAMON ARANDA ARQUES
Ramón Aranda (Escaldes, Andorra, 1960) celebrated his tenth Titan Desert anniversary in style by achieving Titan Legend Platinum status. "The Titan has changed my perspective on life. It was a turning point for me." As soon as the race ends, he starts thinking about the next edition. "I grab the same clothes I've been using, wash them and put them right back into the suitcase for next year."
RAMON ESPELT OTERO
"The Titan has become part of my life", says Ramón Espelt (Granada, 1955). This Legend rider has started each edition since 2006. The race is an opportunity for him to spend some time with friends and Alfredo, his brother. He is a Titan Legend Platinum rider.
However, the "unpredictable" environment and the ambition to complete the race help him to "get away from the daily routines and usual concerns" for a week.
JOSE RAUL HERNANDEZ SILVA
José Raúl Hernández (Mataró, 1982) is the youngest member of the Titan Legend family. He has taken part in the race for eight years and has never skipped an edition since his debut in 2007. This is how he describes the Titan Desert: "You either love it or hate it". As well as serving as a lieutenant to Roberto Heras in a couple of editions, he provides technical support to other participants from his Doctore Bike shop in Mataró.
FRANCISCO BARRANCO DEL CUERPO
Paco Barranco (Granada, 1957) is third in the Titan Legend ranking. After almost a decade of racing in which he has only missed the 2007 edition, he still finds the Titan adventure as appealing as ever. He sees the Titan Desert as "an opportunity to spend some time with friends, Africa and yourself".
DAVID DOMINGUEZ CASAS
David Domínguez (Sitges, 1966) has made the Titan Desert his sporting and personal challenge for quite a few years now. His history with one of the toughest races on Earth, known as "the Dakar of cycling", goes all the way back to 2008.
ALFREDO ESPELT OTERO
Alfredo (Granada, 1964) sees the Titan Desert as "a holiday with friends" and an opportunity to get in shape for the only marathon stage he tackles every year. "The aspiration to finish the race is what motivates me to stay in shape."
DANIEL HAUSMANN SPIELMAN
Daniel (Molins de Rei, Barcelona, 1968) sees the Titan Desert as "a different, epic race that puts everyone to the test". He has taken part in almost every edition since his debut in 2006. Daniel says that Morocco "has landscapes that are hard to describe, light-years away from what we are used to".
MANUEL LAFORA CANTI
Manu Lafora (Barcelona, 1970) has played an active and important role in the race for many years now. His exploits in the Titan have made him a renowned Legend and earned him the respect of the camp.
He says that returning to the race as a Titan Legend rider feels no different. The things that motivate him to remain consistent are the desert, mountain biking and his competitive spirit. He sees perseverance as a value that all Titan Legends have in common. He considers the race a life experience.
JAVIER DIAZ NIETO
Javier (Argentona, 1965) started his seventh Titan Desert in 2015. He has been a regular fixture in the race since his debut in 2009. The man from Argentona sees the Titan Desert as "the driving force behind a challenge", which we hope he will continue to tackle for many years to come.
Portugal's Nuno Margaça became a Titan Legend during the tenth edition in 2015.
SAID EL AYOUBI
Morocco's Said El Ayoubi became a Titan Legend during the tenth edition in 2015.
JOSÉ LUIS GÓMEZ MIRANDA
José Luis Gómez achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition in 2016.
He still gets goosebumps every time he remembers the day he crossed the line to become a Legend. At the time, he did not know he was so close to his objective, but he achieved it at the end of a stage he also won. "The first thing that came to mind were all the kilometres I'd had to ride and all the hours of training I'd had to put in, and all the sacrifices I'd had to make. It's an amazing memory when you consider how hard I had to work for it."
From his point of view, when you return to the race you feel more confident, as if everything is under control. The added experience makes you more reassured because you already know the ropes, but the race is still fiendish enough to always throw something new at you. José Luis finds the Titan Desert addictive. It all started when he read a press release in a bar and decided to prepare for the race. Improving year after year drove his morale sky-high, so he decided to try and fight for victory. "Rising in the ranking makes you want to push your limits and outdo yourself." He thinks he has improved by gradually gaining experience over seven years. He also believes that a burning ambition to overcome this challenge is what all Titan Legends have in common. They know that they want to finish and that they have many people rooting for them.
From his point of view, the race is a mix of adventure and personal challenges where riders compete against the desert and themselves. He thinks everyone is a winner because there are different levels. "This race is a struggle between your body and mind and the desert. Your only rival is the desert."
CLAUDIO FERREIRO CARRILLO
Claudio Ferreiro became a Titan Legend during the tenth edition in 2015.
Crossing the finish line is a spectacular event. Overcoming your limits to finish the Titan Desert makes you feel very fortunate on a personal level. Remembering these exploits helps him on a day-to-day basis and makes him stronger in the face of adversity.
Claudio chuckles as he explains how, when you return to the race as a Titan Legend, especially a rider like Claudio, who has already got eight editions of the Titan Desert under his belt, other participants see you as a phenomenon or a superhero. This fills him with pride and satisfaction. It explains why he always starts the first stage on cloud nine, even if the gruelling race soon pulls him down to earth. He enjoys helping participants of all levels, including impetuous rookies, to finish the race.
His main source of motivation to stay consistent is the Titan Desert itself, his favourite week of the year. He is aware that there will be sweat and tears, but he also knows that he will get to meet and help lots of people. Claudio says that he needs to take part in this sensational race at any cost. He will keep coming for as long as he can because it has a salutary effect on him.
He thinks the race is harder on the mind than on the body, but it is an extreme test altogether —the toughest MTB race on Earth. The heat, wind and sand can mess with your head, but a Titan has to stay strong. It is a survival contest.
AUGUST PASCUAL PRATS
August Pascual became a Titan Legend during the tenth edition in 2015.
August Pascual describes crossing the line after finding out that he had become a Titan Legend as "an immense joy", knowing that only a handful of riders has achieved Legend status. "When you return to the race, you realise that many participants look up to you and ask you questions about the Titan."
The same motivation that pushed him to complete his debut edition is still his driving force. Health allowing, he strove to become a Titan Legend and, if possible, achieving Platinum status as well. He thinks that all Titan Legends have three things in common: perseverance, a strong self-improvement drive and the right attitude.
For him, the Titan Desert is a race that every mountain biker has to do at least once in a lifetime. "Chase your dreams", he says.
JOSEP MASSANEDA FONTANET
Pep (Girona, 1964) sees the Titan Desert as a multifaceted personal challenge. "It is an excuse to prepare for the race", he says. Josep has answered the call of the desert every year since his first participation in 2008: "Every year, when I finish the race, I say there's no way I'm coming back, but when the next year comes around I sign up anyway."
VICENÇ GONZALEZ ROIG
Vicenç "Tito" González (Barcelona, 1970) sees the Titan Desert as an opportunity to "leave everything behind" and live an authentic adventure. "Morocco is authentic", he says. The environment, conditions and gruelling difficulty of the Titan do Vicenç a world of good: "you empty your mind, have fun and relax".
Eduardo Ester achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016.
A flood of joy and other emotions overcame him when he crossed the line knowing he had become a Titan Legend. When he returned to the race, there were times when he realised it gave him an edge over other competitors. Chasing a different objective every year is what motivates him. He thinks the defining characteristic of a Titan Legend is perseverance and sees the race as his goal of the year.
JOSÉ ANTONIO GÓMEZ
José Antonio Gómez achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016.
Love of the desert is what motivates José Antonio Gómez. He is passionate about the race and always has a blast competing in it. He sees it as a holiday in which he leaves everything behind and gets some alone time. A feeling of satisfaction takes over. From his point of view, courage, perseverance and training year-round are what makes a Titan Legend.
He enjoys the race and considers it "spectacular" and "impressive". He says everyone should try it at least once. However, he admits it can get very tough when the time comes to face the vast desert. Riding on your own against the elements and finding yourself are the things that make this race special.
Mohammed Dkhissi achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016.
"Crossing the line as a Legend rider was a special and long-awaited moment. I knew exactly how many miles I had left to become a Titan Legend, so I was all fired up. It was during the famous marathon stage, to boot. I shared this moment with some big names who had become friends of mine after several years riding side-by-side. The Titan Legend club is a small family within the big Titan Desert clan. We are the 'disciples' of the event and have plenty of experience in the desert.
Everything changes when you return to the race as a Legend rider, not least because your race number is different. "I think we've become experts in the Titan Desert. What motivates me to take part in the Titan Desert is tackling the toughest mountain biking race on Earth. Simply finishing the race is already an exploit, as many riders fail to make the cut!"
Mohammed Dkhissi defines the race as a gruelling event, but one that can be the best sporting experience of a lifetime. "Year after year, we acquire a better understanding of the spirit of the Titan Desert and life at the camp."
ANTONI COMAS ROCA
Toni (Barcelona, 1963) sees the Titan Desert as the "call of the desert", which lures him in and "hypnotises" him year after year. He took part in his maiden edition in 2007 at the urging of friends and has since been a regular fixture in the race. It is an objective that pushes him to train and get in shape.
TONI DE LA ASUNCIÓN
Toni de la Asunción achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016.
Even though he was happy when he crossed the line, it was not very special because he takes part in the race every year. Back in the race as a Titan Legend, he feels relaxed, knows the staff and people and understands every aspect of the race. The desert is what makes him want to participate. From his point of view, camaraderie and determination are what all Titan Legends have in common. He sees the race as an adventure.
IGNACIO SOPESENS PASCUAL
Ignacio Sopesens became a Titan Legend during the tenth edition in 2015.
After crossing the line, he felt he was part of something bigger within the adventure. Little changed for him when he returned to the race as a Titan Legend because his main motivation is adventure and passion for the desert. He thinks that an obsessive approach is what Titan Legends all have in common.
Ignacio Sopesens sees the Titan Desert as an original, unique race in the world of MTB. He says it cannot be compared with other races. It has become an integral part of his life.
SANTIAGO PRAT BALLOBAR
Santi Prat became a Titan Legend during the tenth edition in 2015.
Santiago says that, when he crossed the line, he felt pleased to join this exclusive club and complete all the editions one stage at a time. Coming back the following year, he got an even warmer welcome from the participants and organisers. He compares it to a company acknowledging a valuable client, and it makes him feel valued and happy.
The spirit of the race and the way it is run are his main sources of motivation. He thinks that being a finisher is the most important characteristic he shares with other Titan Legends. It is such a gruelling race that even top riders need to dig deep to finish it. He describes the race as a unique cycling experience and adventure in a jaw-dropping environment.
Melcior Mauri achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016.
Joy and a whole new level of recognition in the Titan Desert is what Melcior Mauri felt when he crossed the line. He says that he would have just as much fun if he were not a Legend, but he still appreciates it. Furthermore, he feels emboldened and proud when the organisation and other participants recognise his exploits. His motivation is the race itself and everything he has achieved in it. Coordinating a team year after year also adds a personal component to the mix.
A cocktail of values binds Titan Legends together, ranging from shared time at the camp and navigation to pushing their limits year after year —as well as their passion for the race. Melcior Mauri stresses the importance of Legends drawing on their experience to help rookies who are fighting to finish the race.
He sees it as a tough, gruelling race. He emphasises the need to have a realistic idea of what you can do in the race to avoid going too deep, ensuring you have enough left in the tank to achieve your goals. You need to ride conservatively. He says that he enjoys looking for shortcuts while navigating.
JOAN ESTEVE PASTO
Joan Esteve became a Titan Legend during the tenth edition in 2015.
Joan Esteve was overcome by a flood of emotions and the satisfaction of succeeding in a challenge when he crossed the line as a Titan Legend. He thinks that "you have to experience it to understand it, [the Titan Desert] is a beautiful race". He explains that returning as a Legend involves a feeling of apprehension because you know you are going to suffer, but the desert calls and for some reason you want to go back. Seeing a vast expanse of desert and mountains is something out of this world that cannot be put into words.
Joan Esteve swore he would never do it again, but he could not resist the siren calls of the event. Riders forget all the bad parts and only keep good memories. In his case, he pushed his limits and found out how far he can go. He thought he would never make it to the end but got stronger as the race went on. He is very proud, and each of the seven editions he has taken part in has been a fantastic experience.
For him, the race is 80% mental and 20% physical. n your first participation, you focus on physical aspects and forget about mental ones. Only later do you realise that it works the other way round. There are many times when you feel desperate, at the end of the rope, and you need to tap your willpower to pull ahead. He advises potential participants to psych themselves up and train hard to improve their stamina, but especially, to be aware that they will be tackling the hardest cycling race on Earth.
Finally, he highlights the emotion of seeing the flags at the finish. It makes you feel alive, which is even more important in the world of today. You realise you are part of pure, unadulterated nature.
XAVIER MASSANEDA FONTANET
Xavi Massaneda became a Titan Legend during the tenth edition in 2015.
"Crossing the line fills me with satisfaction. It is a reward for all the effort and all the kilometres ridden. Returning as a Titan Legend is moving a step up in the race. Every time I take part in the race I feel more motivated to stay in shape. The environment and the confidence I get from having finished the event before help me to tackle the challenge." He also has fun a blast.
Xavier Massaneda considers stubbornness the defining trait of a Titan Legend. There are times when you think, "what am I doing here?". However, your fighting spirit and motivation make you want to come back. The rush of adrenaline, the fun you have and the satisfaction you get at the end are all huge. What makes it awesome is that no-one can do this for you. You own it. If you do not sweat it, there is no reward.
Xavier Massaneda sees it as a tough race and an opportunity to discover oneself, to find one's physical and mental limits. He says that a mix of camaraderie, competitive spirit, adventure and a strong self-improvement drive is what pushes people to participate.
JAUME GELONCH ROMEU
Jaume Gelonch became a Titan Legend during the tenth edition in 2015.
"In the Titan there are many times when it would be easier to quit than to keep on going. This is where motivation and the ambition to push your limits really come into play."
JOSE MARIA BUSTILLO RODRIGUEZ
The Titan has been many things for Chemari Bustillo (Madrid, 1973) over the years. It started as an opportunity to travel, provoke and pedal furiously through the desert among people just like him. Nowadays, it is more about "a certain sense of austerity, observing my surroundings, reflecting on life, enjoying the logistics, chatting, and sharing experiences and things with others".
Rafael Abelenda achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016.
Rafael sees the Titan Desert as an exciting project for riders with lots of stamina and their heads screwed on right. He claims to have never expected to be a Titan Legend and, when he realised he was about to become one, he was really eager to cross the line. His first Titan was the best one, but when he finished it he thought he would have to be crazy to return. However, he ended up doing another six editions because he could not resist its appeal.
Family and children are one of his sources of motivation. He wanted to show them that hard work pays dividends. He also wanted to encourage his employees to practise sport. On a personal level, his main driving force was pushing his limits, knowing just how hard it is to finish this race.
He finds the race beautiful, tough, full of contrasts and somewhat quaint. The desert has something that draws you in. Getting to know people from different countries and cultures is a nice bonus. He advises anyone who likes cycling to participate in the race at least once. It is a unique experience.
ANTONIO RAMIREZ CAPITAN
Antonio Ramírez achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016.
From his perspective, the defining characteristics of a Titan Legend are perseverance, self-sacrifice, camaraderie, the mental strength to go to a place with such gruelling terrain as Morocco, and finishing every Titan Desert. He sees it as the toughest MTB race, but he is not giving up. He considers it a wonderful race in the desert, a captivating setting.
"Crossing the finish line after becoming a Titan Legend was amazing, although I already knew I'd done it because there was a celebration at the kilometre point. I took part in my first Titan almost by accident, but I ended up racing six times. I must say being a Legend is a source of great satisfaction." "When you come back to the race, you feel like you've already done your homework, you relax in the knowledge that you're already a Legend. I'd love to become Platinum, although I'm already over the moon being a Legend."
Antonio Ramírez has had several emotional sources of motivation. One was his sister, who was gravely ill. The other was riding for the son of a work colleague. He afterwards gave the race souvenir to the boy. He says that his grandchildren are another source of motivation.
ANTONIO GASSÓ NAVARRO
Antonio Gassó became a Titan Legend after the second edition of the Titan Tropic Cuba by Gaes. Gassó is the CEO of Gaes, title sponsor of the Gaes Titan Desert by Garmin, and sets a great example of sponsor involvement.
JULEN ZUBERO ALDEKOA
He became a Titan Legend during the 2017 edition.
He sees the race as a home away from home, a routine that he and the other riders already take for granted. It is like a duty. He is always very happy when he crosses the line, but as a Titan Legend he gets more recognition for all the time he has been racing in the Titan Desert.
The aspiration to do better year after year, win a stage, finish as high as possible in the general classification and train with a clear goal in mind is what has made Julen Zubero consistent and part of this club.
Aside from pedalling together for so many years and kilometres, he thinks that friendship is the glue that binds the Titan Legend club, which he sees as a small family that comes together once a year. He chuckles as he compares it to Christmas with the family.
He expects his return to the race as a member of this club will be something similar, but he also thinks that he will get more recognition for all the years he has been racing, and that being part of this select group will bring him closer to the others.
David Mateu achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016.
The Titan Desert has become a pivotal event for this rider, not just for its sporting aspects, but also for the pleasant experience of spending a week with great friends. Finishing the closing stage of the Titan Desert triggers a wave of nostalgia, and you only truly "recover" when you come back to the race.
"Becoming one of the youngest Legend riders ever packed quite an emotional punch. Sharing this with the great friends I'd been making in the Titan Desert year after year was something I'll never forget." Now, as a Legend, I've enjoyed sharing my experience in the Titan Desert and helping my friends and other titans to enjoy their experience to the fullest.
David Mateu thinks that a hard-working ethos, self-sacrifice and perseverance are what all Titan Legends have in common. He attaches great emotional value to the event. The Titan Desert is a race where you end up finding yourself. The course puts your body and mind to the test for a week.
MANUEL VÍCTOR LÓPEZ RAMÓN
Manuel Víctor López achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016. The rider known as "Manu Toyota" was an inspiration in the desert environment and the race thanks to his amazing navigational skills. Acclaimed and loved by the entire camp, "Manu Toyota" died in March 2017. May he rest in peace.
JOSÉ ENRIQUE MELCHOR AGGERI
He became a Titan Legend during the 2017 edition.
José Enrique Melchor was over the moon when he crossed the line after becoming a member of the exclusive Titan Legend club. He says that coming back with this status gives added experience.
Solidarity and perseverance are what all titans have in common. His motivation comes from setting himself new challenges, like he always does in sports. The Titan Desert is one of those challenges he seeks to overcome. That is why his motivation has always been to finish each of the stages he had to complete to become a Legend.
He is adamant that this race puts mind and body to the test, pushes riders to their limits and shows whether they can break past them or not. "It is a race in which regular athletes like me learn lots of things about life at the end of each edition."
FERRAN ESCABIA LLOMBART
Ferran Escabia became a Titan Legend during the tenth edition in 2015.
He thinks the Titan Desert is a different race that captivates you and, once you have tried it, you can no longer stop thinking about it and coming back. He believes that perseverance is what all Titan Legends have in common.
What motivates him is pursuing a different challenge every year, as well as maintaining his pace and form. The event has a special charm that makes him return year after year to chase his objectives.
When he crossed the line after becoming a Titan Legend, the first thing he felt was the same fatigue as the previous day. The race is exciting, but also about taking things one day at a time. He appreciated the shirt and jacket because these gifts remind him of the goal he achieved and make him happy.
SANTI RAMOS FARELL
He became a Titan Legend during the 2017 edition.
After many years fighting and working hard to achieve it, crossing the line as a Legend was a dream come true for Santi Ramos. The race is really tough, so he thinks perseverance and hard work are what all members of the club have in common.
His source of motivation was a shoulder injury sustained in 2013. Ever since then, he has kept coming back to the Titan Desert. The doctor said he would not be able to compete again, but he defied expectations. Seeing friends from previous years also helped. A group of friends forms and they are always there.
For him, the race is a craving for the desert. Seeing the same faces and the friends you have made over the years, whom you see once a year in the desert regardless of circumstances, means the race packs an emotional punch. Back in the race, the pressure you have felt over the years dissipates and you enjoy the race even more.
Núria Espinosa achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016.
Crossing the line knowing she had just joined the Titan Legend club sent her over the moon. Her main two sources of motivation to participate and become a Titan Legend were racing in the desert and becoming the first woman to achieve this status.
Núria Espinosa believes that a strong self-improvement drive is what all Titan Legends have in common. Sometimes you do not feel physically or mentally strong, but overcoming these difficulties to finish the stages and do better every time is what helps them to pull ahead.
She thinks it is a very difficult race in every way, both on the course and at the camp. Extreme temperatures during the race and having to sleep in a haima only make the challenge harder.
OSCAR ALBERTO COCA
Óscar Alberto Coca achieved Titan Legend status during the eleventh edition, back in 2016.
He sees the Titan Desert as a unique race where each rider lives an experience that puts his limits and ability to overcome them to the test. He believes that perseverance is what all Titan Legends have in common because when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Every second that a rider keeps on pedalling brings him closer to the finish line. An unbreakable will is needed to make it through.
"Crossing the line knowing that you have become a Titan Legend is a unique and long-awaited moment. As an amateur rider, doing well in one of the leading MTB races makes you feel really proud. It takes many stages to get so many kilometres under your belt, but when the last one comes, you spare no effort. The toughest moments and the temptation of giving up are forgotten. You feel happy about a job well done."
Óscar Alberto Coca says that returning to the race reminds him of all the effort he had to put in to achieve Legend status. Having plenty of experience does not make each Titan stage less of a challenge. He keeps on adding kilometres to his tally as he pursues his challenges.
His source of motivation is something that happened during his second Titan Desert. He told his son Juan that riders who covered 3,500 km got an award from the organisation, and his son said: "I guess you're going to do it, then". Although every time he finished a race he was unsure whether he could do it again, after a few months his motivation returned. Together with new friends, he kept on racking kilometres until he made good on his promise to Juan. "You need to be mentally strong to come back because it's the same effort every time, fighting against time, the heat and everything the race throws at you. Being a Legend is worth every kilometre it takes."
He became a Titan Legend during the 2017 edition.
Perseverance, a strong self-improvement drive and a positive spirit is what all Titan Legends have in common. He feels something special for the desert. He thinks the quality of the organisation, the experience with friends, the jaw-dropping landscapes and the ambition to have fun are what motivated him to persevere and become a member of this exclusive club.
Josef Ajram defines the race as a life experience with values that go far beyond sport. What you learn here can be transposed to professional life. He was a bit surprised when he became a Titan Legend.
"I felt satisfied when I crossed the line because it means you've been doing well for years and you managed to start and finish a challenge."
MANUEL BELTRAN MARTINEZ
He became a Titan Legend during the 2017 edition.
Manuel Beltrán only found out he had become a Titan Legend after a surprise night announcement. He savoured the moment and was delighted because it was the perfect place. Sharing it with friends was the best part.
He says that, when he comes back to the race, he will experiment together with the "crazy adventurous riders". Sharing the experience with the Titan Desert team, the adventure and the cycling mindset is what makes him look forward to the next edition. Being part of this exclusive club is a source of great satisfaction.
Manuel Beltrán thinks that being great athletes with plenty of experience in this race is what all Titan Legends have in common. He praises riders who are brave enough to tackle the race.
He thinks participants are men and women with an ardent fighting spirit because racing here is really tough. The motivation for his challenges is having a clear goal, understanding an athlete's way of life and knowing that every year is a new experience with surprises and new things to see in the desert. Achieving Platinum status is not terribly important to him, as he is focusing on acquiring even more experience in the Titan Desert.
Jordi Tardiu became a Titan Legend after the first edition of the Titan Tropic Cuba by Gaes.
Jordi Tardiu was overcome by a feeling of satisfaction when he crossed the line. The source of his motivation to persevere and become a Titan Legend is the experience of the race itself. He thinks that self-improvement, friendship and all those years helping each other as a family are what all Titan Legends have in common. For him, the race is a spectacular way of having fun.
DIEGO ALEJANDRO TAMAYO
He became a Titan Legend during the 2017 edition.
He only has kind words to define the event: an unparalleled race, an unforgettable experience and passion for the Titan Desert and its desert environment. For him, coming back to the Titan is a beautiful experience because you are a veteran and can tackle the challenge with many more kilometres under your belt. He appreciates the recognition, but he has just as much fun as the very first time.
He did not expect to join the club, so it was a welcome surprise. Diego Alejandro Tamayo is motivated by his passion for the race and the ambition to become a Legend. The race changed his life. He fell in love with the Titan Desert and still looks forward to the next edition.
Titan Legends are aware that the Titan Desert turns your life upside down and becomes part of your DNA. Everyone tackles the race at a different level but with the same degree of respect. Riders put themselves to the test in the desert and strive to push their limits. He thinks that amateurs should receive extra credit.
Paulo (Amel-Torres Vedras, Portugal, 1972) has taken part in each edition of the Titan Desert since 2009. After six editions as a participant, in 2015 he experienced the race as part of the organising team. "For me, the Titan is a dream, an adventure and a personal challenge", he says, adding that all MTB lovers need to tackle it "at least once". There is a catch, however: "you always want to come back".
|1||RAMON ARANDA ARQUES||PLATINUM||7.662|
|2||RAMON ESPELT OTERO||PLATINUM||7.662|
|3||JOSE RAUL HERNANDEZ SILVA||PLATINUM||7.003|
|4||DAVID DOMINGUEZ CASAS||PLATINUM||6.359|
|5||ALFREDO ESPELT OTERO||PLATINUM||6.229|
|6||FRANCISCO BARRANCO DEL CUERPO||PLATINUM||6.166|
|7||MANUEL LAFORA CANTI||PLATINUM||6.052|
|8||JAVIER DIAZ NIETO||PLATINUM||6.011|
|9||SAID EL AYOUBI||PLATINUM||5.576|
|11||JOSÉ LUIS GÓMEZ MIRANDA||PLATINUM||5.564|
|12||CLAUDIO FERREIRO CARRILLO||PLATINUM||5.534|
|13||AUGUST PASCUAL PRATS||PLATINUM||5.442|
|14||DANIEL HAUSMANN SPIELMAN||PLATINUM||5.440|
|15||VICENÇ GONZALEZ ROIG||PLATINUM||5.132|
|16||JOSÉ ANTONIO GÓMEZ||PLATINUM||5.099|
|17||TONI DE LA ASUNCIÓN||LEGEND||4.975|
|18||IGNACIO SOPESENS PASCUAL||LEGEND||4.963|
|19||SANTIAGO PRAT BALLOBAR||LEGEND||4.945|
|21||JAUME GELONCH ROMEU||LEGEND||4.748|
|22||JOSEP MASSANEDA FONTANET||LEGEND||4.603|
|23||ANTONIO GASSÓ NAVARRO||LEGEND||4.526|
|24||JULEN ZUBERO ALDEKOA||LEGEND||4.498|
|27||ANTONI COMAS ROCA||LEGEND||4.404|
|28||SANTI RAMOS FARELL||LEGEND||4.364|
|29||JOAN ESTEVE PASTO||LEGEND||4.295|
|31||MANUEL BELTRAN MARTINEZ||LEGEND||4.270|
|32||XAVIER MASSANEDA FONTANET||LEGEND||4.168|
|34||DIEGO ALEJANDRO TAMAYO||LEGEND||4.142|
|35||JOSE MARIA BUSTILLO RODRIGUEZ||LEGEND||4.118|
|37||ANTONIO RAMIREZ CAPITAN||LEGEND||4.093|
|38||FRANCESC SABIOTE RUIZ||LEGEND||4.004|
|41||MANUEL VÍCTOR LÓPEZ RAMÓN||LEGEND||3.868|
|42||JOSÉ ENRIQUE MELCHOR AGGERI||LEGEND||3.853|
|43||FERRAN ESCABIA LLOMBART||LEGEND||3.838|
|44||VICTOR ENRIQUE ALVAREZ||LEGEND||3.811|
|50||OSCAR ALBERTO COCA||LEGEND||3.691|
|51||JOAN MANEL MONTANER||LEGEND||3.677|
|53||JOSE MARIA DEL OLMO||LEGEND||3.570|
|68||JOSE LUIS CARRASCO||3.050|
|69||JUAN EUSEBIO CARRASCO||3.042|
|74||LUIS ALBERTO CRISTOBAL||2.951|
|77||ANTONIO PÉREZ VALLS||2.831|
|78||OLGA ANABEL ECHENIQUE||2.825|