Ferreira and Becking win stage 1 of the Costa Blanca Bike Race 2020
The sixth edition of the Costa Blanca Bike Race started. A race that has set a new record of participation in 2020, placing it among the races with the highest number of participants in Europe, within its UCI category. On a sporting level, the list of favourites that started today in Altea is also at the level of the best races in the world.
Ferreira-Becking and Michiels-McConnell win the first stage of the Costa Blanca Bike Race 2020
The DMT Racing Team couple, formed by the Portuguese Tiago Ferreira and the Dutch Hans Becking, imposed themselves with authority on the first day. They took the lead from the beginning to the end of the stage. In the women's category, the strongest pair was Primaflor Mondraker X-Sauce, formed by the Belgian champion Githa Michiels and the recent winner of Oceania, Bec McConnell.
From the first stage, the ingredients that make this race a reference of the beginning of the season are very clear. In total 55 km with 1700 m of difference in level that the participants have completed with an exceptional climate and in which they have found everything. From endless uphills that can take their toll on the rest of the stages, to very fun trails that have delighted those who wanted to enjoy authentic mountain biking.
This year the race did not have a neutralised start and the participants started looking for the first positions from the beginning. In the men's category, Tiago Ferreira and Hans Becking took the lead in the first kilometers making it clear that they would be the couple to beat at least on the first day. The Primaflor Mondraker X-Sauce couple formed by Dan McConnel and Anton Sintsov kept the second position until the first big uphill, where Francesc Guerra and José María Sánchez, from Buff Scott, took over and tried to cut the distance with the first ones.
But it could not be in the uphill climb that led them to the highest point of the stage, 895 meters in Coll de Povet, nor in the fast second half of the course that began in the area of Sacaret and continued along the Loix branch until it connected again with the margin of the Rio Algar.
Tiago Ferreira and Hans Becking reached the finish line first with a time of 02:24:54 hours. The second position was finally decided in the sprint, where the Norwegian couple, Emil Hasund and Anders Johannessen, beat Francesc Guerra and José María Sánchez who closed the podium.
In the women's category, Githa Michiels and Bec McConnell were favourites to defend the title they won here last year, and they did not fail. The Primaflor Mondraker X-Sauce couple led the entire stage alone. From behind and with a difference of 1 minute, which remained approximately throughout the course, followed the couple formed by the Spanish Rocio del Alba Garcia, BH Templo Cafes, and the champion of Bosnia, Lejla Tanovic.
At the finish line, Githa Michiels and Bec McConnell, set the best time with 03:00:12 hours. Rocío del Aba García and Lejla Tanovic were second to 03:01:53 hours, and the podium was closed by the Estonian national team couple composed by Greete Steinburg and Janika Loiv with 03:10:47.
Tomorrow comes one of the most mythical stages of this race, the time trial to the antennas located in the Sierra Gelada. A short stage in which the participants will have to deal with one of the hardest asphalted sections in Europe.